Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Scenes from a Derby: It's Roma 2, Lazio 1 in Coppa Italia

It was the Derby della Capitale on Wednesday January 19, 2011 as Roma hosted Lazio in the Coppa Italia. Considered one of the biggest and fiercest derbies in Europe, if not the world, Wednesday's match lived up to its billing as 90 minutes of fierce play saw Roma win their fourth straight derby.

The atmosphere at the Stadio Olimpico along with Ray Hudson's take on the Derby della Capitale are captured in the following two videos:

Considering the atmosphere in the stands, it's not surprising that the first half saw each side pick up yellow cards. Lazio's Stefan Radu picked up the first yellow card when he kicked Roma's Nicolás Burdisso in the face in the 18th minute.

It didn't take long for Roma's Daniele De Rossi to pick up a yellow card for a hard challenge on Lazio's Alvaro Gonzalez in the 29th minute.

There were some uneasy minutes late in the first half when Lazio's Giuseppe Biava went over the back of Roma's Adriano and almost landed on his head and neck.

Lazio dominated the first half with a vigorous attacking style of play and while they came close to scoring, it never happened and the half ended without any goals. Roma's Coach Claudio Ranieri made two substitutions during the half, putting Jeremy Menez on for Leandro Greco and Mirko Vucinic on for Adriano. Whether these substitutions were game planned by Ranieri or made on the fly, the presence of Menez and Vucinic completely altered Roma's style of play. From the start of the second half, Roma attacked Lazio with a fury that was completely absent during the first half.

Ranieri's half time adjustments paid off when Lazio's Stephan Lichtsteiner was called for a handball in the 52nd minute, setting up a penalty kick that was converted by Marco Borriello.

Roma's lead didn't last long though because in the 57th minute Juan tripped up Zarate in the box, setting the stage for a Lazio penalty kick that was made by Hernanes.

With the score tied at 1-1, both sides turned up the pressure looking for that one goal that would give them the lead and a spot in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals. In the 77th minute, Roma's Fabio Simplicio scored a goal that is better seen than described:

Sadly, the match lived up to its billing in unfortunate ways too. Prior to the match when rocks were thrown at both teams' buses and fan was stabbed during fighting between the teams' respective ultras.

Wednesday's victory means that Roma will face Juventus in the Quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia. Roma and Lazio will next meet each other on March 13th.

Here's some post match reaction from Roma after the jump:

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