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.