Rudi Garcia has cracked the Rome derby at his first attempt. His side maintained their 100% start to the season by picking up their first derby victory in six games. Federico Balzaretti's second half strike and a stoppage time penalty from Adem Ljajic did the damage for the Giallorossi. Lazio finished the game with ten men after Andre Dias saw red late on.
Antonio Candreva and Miroslav Klose returned to the Lazio attack after being rested for the midweek Europa League victory over Legia Warsaw. The Eagles were without injured quartet Stefan Radu, Giuseppe Biava, Bruno Pereirinha and Lucas Biglia. Club captain Stefano Mauri remains suspended pending an appeal for failing to report match fixing.
Chances were few and far between during a subpar first half. Daniele De Rossi shot over from distance, while Candreva saw a free-kick charged down from a similar position to which he scored in last season's fixture. A quick set-piece set Alvaro Gonzalez free, but the Lazio man dragged his shot wide of the far post.
Gervinho headed Roma's best chance wide on the half hour mark. Francesco Totti's free-kick found the former Arsenal man in the six yard box, but he headed the ball down and into the side netting. Candreva was Lazio's creative spark and he cut inside to fire wide just before the interval.
Miralem Pjanic flicked a Totti free-kick wide straight after the restart. Lazio then rattled the crossbar from their own set piece. Hernanes' delivery was met by Michael Ciani's head, which took a ricochet off Leandro Castan en route to hitting the woodwork.
Roma introduced Ljajic and the game suddenly sparked to life. Federico Marchetti punched clear a Totti free-kick, then Ciani cleared a dangerous Ljajic ball across the face of goal. De Rossi glanced a header wide from a corner, while Klose ran to collect a cross, but an unfortunate ricochet off his thigh saw the ball finish the wrong side of Morgan De Sanctis' post.
De Rossi tangled with Lorik Cana in the Lazio box, but the referee waved play on. Maicon weaved into the area on the hour, only to find Abdoulay Konko in the way. The Lazio defender used his body to deflect the Brazilian's shot wide.
Roma's pressure paid off on 63 minutes. Balzaretti saw a shot cannon off the post, with Ljajic unable to take advantage of an open goal. Less than 30 seconds later, Totti chipped the ball back into the danger area from a wide position and Balzaretti connected with a low volley which found the back of the net. The left-back wheeled away with tears of joy.
Minutes later, Totti fed Ljajic who ran into the box, only to miskick and drag his shot wide. Temperatures rose up to 71 degress inside the ground and the tackles became more intense. De Rossi was lucky to escape a second booking for a foul on Senad Lulic, while Cana escaped with a caution after hacking down Gervinho.
Lazio had Marchetti to thank for keeping them in the game on 73 minutes. The custodian fisted clear a point blank De Rossi header from a Totti cross. Roma kept pouring forward. Gervinho shook off Hernanes to run into the box, only to lose his balance and balloon his effort into the stands.
The Biancocelesti shot themselves in the foot eight minutes from time when Andre Dias was given a straight red for a bodycheck on Totti. The substitute had only been on the field four minutes, but was deemed the last man by the referee. Marchetti palmed over the resulting Ljajic free-kick which was dipping underneath the bar.
In stoppage time, De Rossi put in a last ditch challenge to stop Ederson from pulling the trigger, with the Brazilian in an inviting position. Totti left the field to a standing ovation and his replacement, Marco Borriello almost netted instantly, but Marchetti kept the forward's header from crossing the line. Moments later, Roma were awarded a penalty when Ledesma fouled Ljajic. The former Fiorentina man stepped up and converted the spot kick, sending Marchetti the wrong way.
Klose thought he'd pulled a goal back with the last kick of the game, but his header was disallowed for offside.
AS Roma: De Sanctis; Maicon, Benatia, Castan, Balzaretti; Pjanic, (Taddei 85) De Rossi, Strootman; Florenzi, (Ljajic 51) Totti, (Borriello 90+2) Gervinho
Lazio: Marchetti; Cavanda, (Floccari 71) Ciani, (Andre Dias 78) Cana, Konko; Ledesma; Candreva, Gonzalez, Hernanes, (Ederson 78) Lulic; Klose
Goals: Balzaretti 63 (R) Ljajic pen 90+4 (R)
Sent off: Andre Dias 82 (L)