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Roma v Lazio Rivalry: Italy and Rome’s Serie A Rivals

Derby-Roma

Tammy Abraham became the first English player to score in a Rome derby since Paul Gascoigne as his brace helped Jose Mourinho’s Roma brush aside Lazio 3-0.

Abraham hooked home the opener inside a minute after Lorenzo Pellegrini’s in-swinging corner came back off the bar.

He acrobatically volleyed in a close-range second from Rick Karsdorp’s cross before Pellegrini crashed home a superb 25-yard free-kick to seal the points.

Victory pushed Roma above Lazio into fifth place in Serie A. Mourinho’s side remain eight points adrift of the Champions League places with eight games remaining, while Lazio are a further two points back.

The Derby della Capitale was just 56 seconds old when Abraham became the first Englishman to reach 14 goals in a Serie A season since Gerry Hitchens for Inter Milan 60 years ago.

The 24-year-old also became only the second English player to net in a Rome derby, following Gascoigne’s strike for Lazio in 1992.

Roma legend Vincenzo Montella congratulated Tammy Abraham and explains Lazio‘s collapse in the Rome derby.

Montella was at the Stadio Olimpico yesterday where he watched the Giallorossi’s 3-0 triumph in the derby della Capitale, inspired by a brace of Tammy Abraham.

“It was thrilling it had been years since I hadn’t returned to the stadium. I was there with my sons and it was exciting,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I think Lazio suffered a psychological problem, but in order to know that with certainty, we should know the dynamics inside the dressing room.”

Abraham has now scored 23 goals in 40 appearances with the Serie A giants, more than Montella and Gabriel Omar Batistuta managed in their first season at the Stadio Olimpico.

“Compliments to him,” said Montella.

“I’ve always considered him as a modern striker, good in helping the team and finding the space for goal-scoring opportunities. Lazio had to leave some gaps at the back, so he found the ideal situation to create trouble for them.”

Statistics and Records

In 194 matches, Roma leads the derby with 73 wins. Lazio has earned 55 victories and there have been 66 draws. The biggest margin of victory was a 5-0 win by Roma during the 1933-34 season, while Lazio enjoyed its largest winning margin, 3-0, in the 2006-2007 season.

Although Lazio has less wins in the derby, they do hold the record for most wins in one season. In 1997-1998, they won four derbies, including two league matches and two Copa Italia quarter-final matches. The wins were primarily commanding, as they took the regular season matches 3-1 and 2-0. The quarter-final results were a resounding 4-1 victory and a solid 2-1 win.

In the one Cup Final match in which the two teams have met, the title went to Lazio. The club won that closely fought derby 1-0. It was played on 26 May 2013.

Leading scorers in the Derby della Capitale are primarily from Roma. These include Francesco Totti and Dino da Costa, both with 11 goals, and Marco Delvecchio and Vincenzo Montella, with nine and eight goals respectively. The top scorer for Lazio is Silvio Piola, who has put in seven, while Roma’s Rodolfo Volk has also scored the same number.

Important Games, Players and Managers

A hallmark game between these two clubs occurred recently on 26 May 2013. It was in the finals of the Coppa Italia. The game started at a frenetic pace, which resulted in both Cristian Ledesma and Federico Balzaretti receiving bookings.

Both teams missed golden opportunities to take an early lead. Lazio’s Miroslav Klose shot the ball into the side of the net after Roma lost control. A bit later Roma’s Michael Bradley had a great chance after receiving a fine pass, but his shot trickled by the side of the goal.

In the first half, Giallorossi looked to be the club that would score first, but Lazio eventually did a fine job of only allowing low-percentage long shots. Klose had another opportunity, but lost the ball. By the half, as the teams headed off the pitch, five players had received cards.

In the second half, there was bound to be a goal scored at some point and the aggressive Roma club looked like it might do it. But they could not decipher nor navigate Le Aquile’s defense. Lazio took over and with 19 minutes left in normal time Senad Lulic scored on a far-post tap-in. That goal, despite a concerted effort by Roma to tie the game, would stand up as Lazio won their sixth Coppa Italia.

This deep-seated rivalry has induced some fans to act in an extreme manner. Such fans, who are known as ultras, will often engage in aggressive, violent behavior. One of the worst incidents occurred on 21 March 2004 during a derby. With the game tied 0-0, a riot started in the stands. There had been trouble in the streets outside the stadium and police had used teargas to control crowds. It was rumored that a boy had been killed by a police car during the melee. Although this was false, it agitated fans even more.

As fans in the stadium got more and more out of control, Roma’s captain Totti asked that the derby be called. Adriano Galliani, Italian Football League President, was reached quickly and ordered the game stopped four minutes into the second half. It was replayed one week later with no incident and ended in a 1-1 tie.

High Emotions and Confrontation

Lazio’s ultra fans have incorporated a variety of inappropriate behaviors, including using swastikas and fascist symbols on their banners and exhibiting racist behavior during matches. Roma also has its share of ultra fans. Neither club embraces or condones the types of inappropriate behaviors in which the Lazio ultras have participated. This is a rivalry that runs deep throughout Rome and its various neighborhoods, making the pitch an unpredictable and, sometimes, dangerous place to be.