Google+ PLANET FOOT 7: AS Roma Beats SS Lazio in the first derby of the season.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

AS Roma Beats SS Lazio in the first derby of the season.

AS Roma won their first derby under the American owners on Sunday afternoon as they overcame Lazio 2-0, thanks to two second half goals from Federico Balzaretti and Adem Ljajic.

The opening stages were tense, with both teams taking care not to concede too much space to the other in midfield. Roma were harrying and forcing the Biancocelesti into rushing passes, and Daniele De Rossi flashed the first warning shot at Federico Marchetti's goal with a 30 yard steer that flew just over the bar.Abdoulay Konko dragged a shot broad on 18 minutes, but most of the play was taking place in the center third of the pitch as Roma patiently looked for a route through Lazio's defence. A foul by De Rossi on Antonio Candreva gave the visitors a chance to have a shot on goal on 25 minutes, but Candreva's free kick cannoned into the wall.

With half an hour gone, the Giallorossi had their first positive chance when Francesco Totti picked out Gervinho at the far post from a free kick but the Ivorian headed broad from a narrow angle.

Lazio were starting to threaten more as the half went on; Candreva shot broad before Senad Lulic put in a dangerous cross towards Miroslav Klose that Mehdi Benatia did well to intercept. There were no goals before half time though and the score remained 0-0 at the break.

Moments into the second half the Biancocelesti approximately opened the scoring when Klose rose highest into the crate but rattled the crossbar with his header from 10 yards out. De Rossi then headed broad from a Totti corner as Roma tried to press forward, with Ljajic looking lively after coming upon for Alessandro Florenzi.

Lazio had started the second half as the better team and Klose had another opportunity upon 55 minutes. This time German could not react quick enough when a deep cross came through to him at the far post and the ball bounced off his shin and broad for a goal kick.

The Giallorossi tried to react and Maicon had a shot deflected out for a corner before blazing a shot into the Curva Sud from distance. Then it was Roma's turn to hit the woodwork as Balzaretti rattled the post from Totti's low cross, but the full back was celebrating moments later.

Totti played the resulting corner short to Miralem Pjanic and took the ball along the byline into the penalty place, and his cross picked out Balzaretti at the far post who volleyed it back across goal into the far corner.

Marchetti had to make a good save to keep it at 1-0 upon 72 minutes when De Rossi headed Totti's free kick powerfully at goal, following some good play from Gervinho to win the set fragment. The former Arsenal man's pace was causing problems for Vladimir Petkovic's side and he led a swift counter attack with 15 minutes left, running half the length of the field before slicing his shot well wide.

It went from bad to worse for Lazio with 10 minutes left when Andre Dias, who had only just arrive upon, elbowed Totti in the face as the captain tried to run past and was shown a straight red card by Gianluca Rocchi. Ljajic took the free kick but Marchetti palmed his dipping effort over the bar.

De Rossi had to make a brilliant tackle as the clock ticked into injury time; as Ederson lined up to shoot inside the penalty area, De Rossi came in from behind and perfectly timed his challenge to deny the Brazilian. Moments later Marco Borriello approximately scored with a header but Marchetti just kept out his effort.

Finally Roma made the game secure when Lazio conceded a penalty in the third minute of injury time; Ljajic stepped up to take it and sent Marchetti the wrong way to make it 2-0 and wrap up the points.

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