ROME, ITALY - MARCH 04: Hernanes of SS Lazio celebrates after scoring a penalty during the Serie A match between AS Roma and SS Lazio at Stadio Olimpico on March 4, 2012 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Serie A, Week 26: Lazio Claim Derby Spoils With 2-1 Win Over Roma

Lazio went up early on a penalty for which Maarten Stekelenburg was sent off, but Fabio Borini equalized for 10-man Roma. Wit 30 minutes left to play, Stefano Mauri found the definitive goal for Lazio.

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Roma Vs. Lazio, 2012 Serie A: Lazio Win The Derby Della Capitale, 2-1

Goals, sendings off, controversy...the Derby della Capitale would have been a true classic if only the handbags had come out. Maarten Stekelenburg saw red for AS Roma in the seventh minute and Hernanes scored the resulting penalty. Fabio Borini equalised for the giallorossi just minutes later, but in the end it was Lazio who grabbed the win, via a goal by Stefano Mauri.

The derby started off on a chaotic note. Despite Roma's early attempts to take the game by the scruff of the neck, goalkeeper Stekelenburg made a horrible blunder before ten minutes had even passed. Hernanes sent in a pass to Miroslav Klose, with the Lazio forward in plenty of space inside the area. Stekelenburg panicked, rushing out and bringing down the German. It was a textbook example of denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity, and referee Mauro Bergonzi wasted no time in pulling out the red card. Bogdan Lobont took charge in goal, with Erik Lamela the man to give way. Hernanes easily put the resulting penalty past the substitute keeper, giving Lazio the early lead.

Roma may have been down a man, but they were able to even the score after less than ten minutes. A spell of pressure resulted in Juan hitting the bar from a tight angle. The ball bounced to the feet of Borini, and despite a desperate header from Giuseppe Biava, the ball was rightly ruled to have crossed the line, and Roma had their precious equaliser.

The 1-1 scoreline held into halftime and, surprisingly, beyond. But it was only a matter of time before Lazio managed to weary ten-man Roma. A free kick from Cristian Ledesma drifted tantalisingly close to the goal, but Stefano Mauri came sliding in, catching Lobont off-guard and easily slotting the ball into the back of the net.

The 2-1 win puts Lazio ahead of Udinese, who only managed a draw against Atalanta this afternoon. It looks like the biancocelesti are doing their best to cement that Champions League position -- while Roma just may have pulled themselves out of the race with this performance.


Roma Vs. Lazio, 2012 Serie A: Stefano Mauri Gives Lazio The Lead

Time and patience have paid off for Lazio in the Derby della Capitale. With AS Roma down to ten men, the biancocelesti just needed to wait awhile for their opponents to tire. Sure enough, in the 62nd minute, captain Stefano Mauri broke the deadlock, giving Lazio the lead once more.

Matuzalem won the free kick after a foul by Roma defender Gabriel Heinze, and it was Cristian Ledesma that stepped up to try his luck. The ball went close to Bogdan Lobont's goal, but Mauri was taking no chances, sliding in from close range to knock the ball past the substitute keeper.

Now Roma have less than thirty minutes left to work up a little bit of giallorossi magic. Will they be able to tempt one of the many Lazio players carrying a yellow card into making a foolish foul? Or will Francesco Totti step in to save the day and a point?


Roma Vs. Lazio, 2012 Serie A: All Even At Halftime

It's halftime in Rome and the Derby della Capitale has already featured flying bodies, flashing cards and even a couple goals. Hernanes started the scoring in the seventh minute with a converted penalty, but Fabio Borini evened the scoreline less than ten minutes later. Could the second half bring even more excitement?

It was Roma that started off the brighter of the two sides, charging toward the Lazio goal. But the match quickly swung in favor of the biancocelesti. Hernanes fed the ball into Miroslav Klose, who had plenty of room in the Roma area. Maarten Stekelenburg panicked, chasing down the Lazio forward. He managed to use his arms to bring him down and his legs to catch him on the way, earning himself a straight red card. Erik Lamela got the hook and Bogdan Lobont took up the keepers gloves. The Romanian couldn't save Hernanes' penalty, however, and Lazio took the lead.

But even with the giallorossi down to ten men, it took less than ten minutes for them to find an equaliser. Juan managed to hit the bar from a tight angle, with the ball falling at Borini's feet. Borini reacted quickly, and although Giuseppe Biava made a desperate headed save, his entire body was inside the goal line at the time.

The match then settled into a rather choppy affair, with neither side able to establish a decent rhythm. Edy Reja might want to think about making a few changes after the break, considering four Lazio players are sitting on yellow cards. One wrong move and the field will be level again.


Roma Vs. Lazio, 2012 Serie A: 10-Man Roma Level Through Fabio Borini

Barely 15 minutes into the Derby Della Capitale and we have goals from both sides, as well as a straight red card (some of us might also have beer on the carpet, but that's a different story). Just as the dust was settling after Maarten Stekelenburg's sending-off in the seventh minute, Fabio Borini wiped the smug smiles off the Lazio supporters' faces. AS Roma defender Juan managed to hit the bar from a tight angle, the ball bouncing to the feet of the young Italian, who reacted quickly to put it over the line.

Despite a headed clearance by Giuseppe Biava, the goal was given -- although the delay in the whistle brought flashbacks of Sully Muntari's ghost goal against Juventus. The scoreline might be even, but it seems impossible to believe Lazio won't find another. Should they simply sit back and be patient, Roma will exhaust themselves, allowing the biancocelesti plenty of time to find all three points.


Roma Vs. Lazio, 2012 Serie A: Stekelenburg Sent Off, Hernanes Gives Lazio The Early Lead

It's started off with a bang in Rome! In the 7th minute, AS Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg was handed a straight red for a foul on Lazio striker Miroslav Klose. Hernanes fed the ball perfectly to the German, with Stekelenburg apparently feeling he had no option but to charge. Stekelenburg first tripped Klose up with his arms before swinging around and catching him with his legs. Roma might feel hard done by, but it's a by the book red, and the referee had no choice but to pull his card.

Erik Lamela was the man pulled by Luis Enrique to make way for substitute keeper Bogdan Lobont. The Romanian's first task was to face Hernanes from the spot. The shot was low and hard, easily settling in the back of the net.

Despite this early chaos, it's important to remember that this is the derby. Who knows what might happen? Next we hear, Lazio might be down to nine men.


Roma Vs. Lazio, 2012 Serie A: Lineups For Derby Della Capitale

It's almost here, the event we've all been waiting for, the Derby Della Capitale. Red and yellow v Blue and white. Wolves against Eagles. Good v Evil.

While waiting for the match to start, take a look at these lineups -- it's obvious that suspensions and injuries have taken a toll on both sides. Pablo Osvaldo and Marco Cassetti are both suspended for Roma, while Lazio have so many injured players that naming them all would take us right to the start of the match.


AS Roma Starting XI (4-3-3): Maarten Stekelenburg; Rodrigo Taddei, Juan, Gabriel Heinze, José Angel; Fabio Simplicio, Daniele De Rossi, Miralem Pjanic; Francesco Totti, Fabio Borini, Erik Lamela.

Roma Bench: Bogdan Lobont, Aleandro Rosi, Simon Kjaer, Marquinho, Greco, Bojan, Giammario Piscitella

Lazio Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Federico Marchetti; Lionel Scaloni, Giuseppe Biava, Andre Dias, Garrido; Cristian Ledesma, Mauzalem; Alvaro Gonzalez, Hernanes, Stefano Mauri; Miroslav Klose.

Lazio Bench: Albano Bizzarri, Modibo Diakitè, Andrea Sbraga, Antonio Candreva, Enrico Zampa, Emiliano Alfaro, Libor Kozak


Parma Vs. Napoli, 2012 Serie A: Napoli Take All Three Points In Zona Mazzarri

It was a hard-fought battle at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, but in the end, it was the visitors that picked up all three points. Goals from Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi bookended one from Cristian Zaccardo. Parma played well, but in their rush to grab a second, left themselves vulnerable to Napoli's counterattack.

Napoli took the lead just before the break through the skill of Cavani. The forward twisted his way through the Parma defence, finding a bit of space inside the area. Before he could take advantage, Gianluca Musacci clipped the back of his heel, sending Cavani tumbling and earning himself a yellow card in the process. El Matador stepped up to the spot himself, but sent in an easy shot, batted away by Antonio Mirante. Unfortunately for the home side, the keeper couldn't smother the ball, and Cavani knocked it in on the rebound.

The visitors took the lead into the break, but from the look on Walter Mazzarri's face, you could tell that their performance just wasn't enough (to be fair, you could tell by watching their misplaced passes as well). Shortly after the restart, Parma did their best to find an equaliser, even putting the ball in the back of the net -- only to see the goal called back for a foul. Minutes later, McDonald Mariga missed a perfect opportunity to level the score, sending the ball high into the stands.

Yet it was clear a goal was coming, the only question was when. The equaliser came in the 77th minute, the Napoli defence done in by yet another Parma corner. Morgan De Sanctis managed to push away a header by Gabriel Paletta, but couldn't control the ball. Zaccardo slipped by Federico Fernandez to put the ball in the back of the net.

But Napoli apparently visualised Parma in Chelsea blue, and came roaring back, desperate to reclaim all three points. Lavezzi grabbed the winner, cooly fed by Cavani and easily slotted past Mirate. The partenopei have done all they can -- it's time for them to sit back and wait for the result of Roma - Lazio.


Roma Vs. Lazio, 2012 Serie A Week 26: Where Eagles Fear To Tread

The Rome Derby kicks off on Sunday at 3pm CET/9am ET. Both Roma and Lazio will be battling for coveted 3rd place in Serie A and a ticket to the Champions League.


Juventus Vs. Chievo Verona, 2012 Serie A: Another Day, Another Draw For Juve

Raise your hand if you thought Juventus - Chievo Verona would end in a draw.

Those of you without a hand in the air, you're lying. Juve have drawn four of their last five matches and show very little signs of changing their ways. Antonio Conte may think his squad are performing miracles by being in the race for the scudetto, but the neutrals among us are simply bored.

As is typical for this Juventus side, the bianconeri quickly applied pressure to the visitors, with Alessandro Matri forcing a save from Stefano Sorrentino within the first two minutes. After less than twenty minutes, Paolo De Ceglie opened the scoring for Juve, heading in the ball after a Andrea Pirlo free-kick. It appeared De Ceglie was offside, but you didn't hear that from me.

Juventus had plenty of chances to double their lead, but it's hard to believe they're truly after goals when Mirko Vucinic is leading the line. Instead, it was the Flying Donkeys who increased the pressure -- and the Juve defense could hold out only so long. The equalizer came in the 76th minute and was awarded to Chievo defender Boukary Dramè, although Leonardo Bonucci's attempts to clear it off the line resulted in his actually poking it across.

This time around, Conte didn't seem content with just a point. Prior to the equalizer, he'd replaced Claudio Marchisio with Martin Caceres in an attempt to hold the lead, but after Dramè's goal, Stephan Lichtsteiner made way for Alessandro Del Piero. The most il capitano could do, however, was appeal for a penalty.

No miracles here, as Juventus grab their 12th draw of the season in Turin. It may be efficient, but that doesn't make it interesting.


Palermo Vs. AC Milan, 2012 Serie A: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Defeats Palermo

Where would AC Milan be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic? The thought is almost too dire to contemplate. After the Swede's sending off against Napoli, the rossoneri drew 0-0, lost to Udinese the following week, and drew 1-1 with Juventus. But against Palermo, Ibra made a stunning return, scoring a hat-trick inside fifteen minutes.

The visitors started as they meant to go on, with Ibrahimovic needing just three minutes to force a save from Emiliano Viviano. Palermo's defence never looked up to the challenge, and it was only a matter of time before Milan broke through. Robinho set up the first goal, in the 22nd minute, allowing Ibra to smash it off the bar and into the net.

For his second, the giant forward skipped through the rosanero defence to poke the ball past Viviano. By the 35th minute, Ibra had his hat-trick, with the home side barely moving as he picked his perfect spot to curl his shot into the far corner.

Milan gave Palermo a bit of time to breathe after the re-start, but then just couldn't help themselves. Thiago Silva got on the end of Stephan El Shaarawy's cross, heading in the fourth goal for the visitors, with thirty minutes remaining to play. That's surely not going to dissuade Barcelona from pursuing the defender.

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