By Andy Bargh
Under the stormy skies of Rome, the Derby della Capitale produced a thunderous game in which Lazio defeated their fierce rivals 3-2.
Not short of drama or talking points, both sides ended with 10 men and Roma were once again left to rue defensive errors.
With the game delayed due to floodlight failure, it soon lit up when Erik Lamela continued his rich vein of form, heading home at the back post to put himself at a share of the lead in the scoring charts. For a Lazio team who hadn’t won in 3 games you can be forgiven for thinking that Roma would hold onto the lead, but then you may not be forgiven for forgetting that Roma’s defence is terrible.
With 35 minutes played, Lazio equalised; Second choice goalkeeper Goicoechea attempted to punch Candreva’s 30 yard free-kick, but only ended up in punching it directly into the top corner. With the Biancocelesti’s tails’ up, they took the lead with half time approaching; The mercurial Hernanes’ cross-cum-shot was straight into the path of Miroslav Klose who found himself in acres of space between the Roma centre-backs and the German took one touch before clinically finishing.
The calm before his own personal storm was Daniele De Rossi. The Italian was sent off seconds before half-time after punching Lazio Captain Stefano Mauri. As if i lupi’s task wasn’t hard enough already.
Another defensive howler, this time from Piris, laid the ball on a plate for Mauri to bury the third early on in the second half. The Lazio captain was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence and Miralem Pjanic reduced the deficit to one with a 45 yard free kick, although it was not as impressive as it may sound as the keeper was hugely at fault.
Lazio remain fifth in the league whilst Roma drop to seventh, but what impact could this result have on their respective seasons?
Will this result finally force Zeman into rethinking his game plans’ and tactics? The Giallorossi have conceded 14 points from winning positions this season, trumping any other team in Serie A. Such inconsistency will take its toll on the side’s aspirations for the season and with ill-discipline rife in the defence, Zeman will have to rethink quickly before his side starts to plummet the league table.
The coach was quick to criticise De Rossi after the game as well, claiming that he is “sad for him and the team, as we have to play the next two games without him.”
The goalscoring exploits of Erik Lamela cannot go unnoticed however, as the Argentine made it seven in six with his header in the derby. The 20-year-old has come to life this season under Zeman’s seemingly flawed system, contributing to over 30% of his side’s goals, and without this blossoming talent they would be significantly further down the league.
Despite leaking goals at the back, Lamela (along with Totti and Osvaldo) would not have had the freedom to express his talent if Zeman didn’t insist on playing such an open style of football.
With goals in abundance at both ends of the pitch for Roma, the right formula needs to be found quickly to maximise potential in an offensive, and defensive, sense.