The Derby della Capitale had the colors of Roma and the grit of José Mourinho and Tammy Abraham, who led the Roman Wolves to a sounding 3-0 win over Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio.
Abraham led the charge for Roma, netting two goals in 22 minutes to become the fastest player to bag a brace in the Derby di Roma, before the Giallorossi captain Lorenzo Pellegrini would set the score at 3-0 with a magnificent set piece just before the half time break.
It was an absolute triumph for Roma. Not only did the Giallorossi have the upper hand in the heartfelt stracittadina, but they also overtook Lazio in the league table, grabbing the fifth place one point ahead of their rivals.
Roma made it clear that this was going to be their derby right after kick-off. Lorenzo Pellegrini’s corner from the left went straight into the crossbar, then bounced right into Abraham’s hip, the former Chelsea forward being ready to tap the ball in from point-blank range. Tammy Abraham thus became the second Englishman to score in a Derby della Capitale, following Paul Gascoigne’s exploit for Lazio 30 years ago.
The lightning-fast lead gave an immediate boost to Roma’s morale and the Giallorossi continued to attack relentlessly. Thomas Strakosha kept his side afloat on 10 minutes with a save at the near post to deny Pellegrini.
Just before Roma’s second, Lazio produced their only worthwhile initiative with a Francesco Acerbi’s long-range pass for Ciro Immobile. However, the Azzurri striker was blocked by Roger Ibanez.
Then, it was yellow-and-red all over again: Rick Karsdorp cut the Laziali‘s defense from the right like a knife through butter and whipped the ball to the opposite flank, where Abraham – completely forgotten by the Lazio backline – had all the time he needed to volley it home and make it 2-0 after just 22 minutes.
Before the break, Pellegrini made it three for Roma with a phenomenal free kick, teleporting the ball into the top left corner of poor Strakosha’s goal. The Roma captain made it to the scoresheet right under Roma’s timeless Capitano Francesco Totti’s eyes, gleaming with joy as he witnessed his archenemies’ butchering from the stands.
But the Giallorossi had not had enough as, on 41 minutes, Henrikh Mkhitaryan hit the crossbar with a shot deflected by Francesco Acerbi.
With everything going perfect for the Giallorossi, it was up to Mourinho to keep his side and his fans with their feet on the ground as he scolded the supporters who had started to welcome Roma’s passes with olé chants.
Being three goals down in a derby, it is difficult to imagine what Maurizio Sarri must have told his boys in his locker room talk at half time. The Lazio gaffer did not make any change however, and credit must be given to the Biancocelesti eleven for holding their own in the second half and not making things worse.
Lazio appeared a bit more courageous early in the second period, but it was still Roma to come closer to hit the target again as Abraham was picked by Bryan Cristante with a spectacular pass beyond the Eagles defensive line. This time though, the Englishman’s conclusion went off target.
As the Giallorossi understandably hit the brakes, in the dying minutes of the game the stage was stolen by both supporter groups who performed a touching sciarpata, waving their scarves to the air: Roma to celebrate a sounding win in the most important game of all, and Lazio to reassert their pride despite the heavy setback.
The Giallorossi are now unbeaten in seven games, have reached the best eight of the Conference League and won the Derby in an emphatic fashion. Despite quite a few bumps along the way, José Mourinho’s first season at Roma is not turning out to be that bad. Not worse than his Lazio counterpart Maurizio Sarri, anyway.
March 21, 2022 – Serie A 2021-2022 Round 30
ROMA – LAZIO 3-0
SCORERS: 1′ Abraham, 22′ Abraham, 40′ Pellegrini
|ROMA (4-2-3-1): Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Cristante, Oliveira (71′ Veretout), Zalewski (74′ Vina); Pellegrini (87′ Bove), Mkhitaryan; Abraham (Fuzato, Carles Perez, Shomurodov, Maitland-Niles, Zaniolo, Kumbulla, Diawara, Afena-Gyan, El Shaarawy) Coach: Mourinho
|LAZIO (3-5-2): Strakosha; Hysaj (52′ Lazzari), Luiz Felipe, Acerbi, Marusic; Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas Leiva (65′ Cataldi), Luis Alberto; Felipe Anderson (65′ Romero), Immobile, Pedro (Reina, Adamonis, Patric, Akpa-Akpro, J. Cabral, Kamenovic, Moro, André Anderson, Basic) Coach: Sarri