Keita Diao Scores Twice as Lazio Top Roma to Split Season Series #72


Score S.S Lazio 3 A.S Roma 1 FT
Stadio Olimpico
                Following Roma’s win on Monday against Pescara causing their Relegation; Roma would continue their Crusade in Serie A this season with their 34th match of this year’s campaign as they would face arch rivals Lazio in the fourth installment of the Derby Della Capitale having played three times this season with Roma winning two wins out of three with Roma’s elimination by Lazio in the Coppa Itaila they would be looking for revenge. Juventus having dropped points against Atalanta on Saturday it could open up the title race Juventus most likely to win it but given their recent draw and 3rd place Napoli having another tough match up against Inter Milan a win could confirm automatic entrance to the Champions League a massive chance for Roma. Unfortunately they could not take it; Keita Diao hit first early in the game for Lazio giving them a 1-0 lead in the first half. In stoppage time Roma would draw even due to a controversial penalty Danielle De Rossi would put it past the keeper to make it 1-1 going into the half. In the second half things went from bad to worse for Roma as goals from Keita Diao and Dušan Basta would finish the job in an eventual 3-1 win for Lazio; as The Roman clubs would split the four meetings this season in one of Roma’s worst performances for the season.



               Roma’s new Sporting Director Monchi “The Transfer Guru” would get to work right away as he as several ideas of who he can bring in to take Roma to that next level. Monchi eyes Barcelona’s Dennis Suarez to be his first Roma signing of his tenue. The young Spaniard has felt left off and feels frustration of not getting regular first team football he desires to start games and it appears that’s not going to happen at Barcelona. Monchi wants to reconnect with the 23-Year old midfielder the two worked together during the 2014-2015 season when he took the youngster on loan at Sevilla he plans to take him on loan with an option to buy according to reports Monchi has already discussed the potential move with representatives at Barcelona he would be a massive signing if he were to sign. Kevin Strootman is one Roma player that has been linked with Manchester United as well as many other top European teams but he has officially put everything to bed regarding the rumors as the Dutch International has said that he will remain in Rome next year. “Will I stay at Roma past 2018? Now there’s a new sporting director and some things will change at the club. We’re talking about my contract; I always said I’m comfortable in Rome: they always supported me, even during the injury. Next season I’ll still be here.” Said Strootman regarding his future at the club also this week Monchi has set up a meeting with Atalanta and Franck Kessie. An agreement has already been made according to reports; both sides will discuss a 2Million a year salary as they two sides are very close to a complete agreement. However apparently Ac Milan are also interested it seems like it will be too late for them but we will have to see what happens. According to transfer experts Manolas will be sold by Roma this season as Inter being the most likely location but the expert believes that he will be the only Roma player to leave this season. Despite that Inter are also going to try to bring in Mouhamed Salah this is very unlikely to happen as Salah is one of Roma’s most important players this season putting together the best season of his career Inter would need at least a 50 Million bid but Roma still will be unlikely to sell the Egyptian International. Roma Boss Luciano Spalletti would return to the 4-3-3 formation for the derby. Only one lineup chance was made everything else was the same. Serie A’s Clean Sheet leader (14) Wojciech Szczesny would be in goal; the defensive line would be the same sticking with four at the back. Emerson would be the left-back on the oppiste side would be Antino Rudiger as the Right-back to finish off the defensive line as the center-backs would be Fazio and Kosta Manolas. The trio of the center midfield would be Raja Naingggolan on the left Kevin Strootman would be on the right and in the middle replacing Leoandro Paredes would be Danielle De Rossi. Finally upfront as the return of the three headed monster on left would be Stephan El Shaarawy on the right it would be Mohamed Salah and in the center would be Serie A’s top scorer Edin Dzeko. On paper it was the right lineup for this game



               With the season ending soon Rome have reached their most vital point as they prepare for their toughest stretch since January as they faced Lazio in the derby. in this match follow that up with A.C Milan Away and they finish off with a big test against Juventus at home. It would be yet another derby the 4th derby between the two sides this season so for overall the three matches Roma has won two having won their first meeting in Serie A this season 2-0 as well as winning the second leg for the Cup Semi Final 3-2 however Lazio still advanced through on goal difference. Lazio won the first leg of the cup semis 2-0 picking up their only wins against Roma in the last 4 years. A massive game for obvious reasons not only is this a rivalry game and the teams are playing for bragging rights but this game has more meaning than they a win for Roma would mean they would all but secure champions league for next season as well as climb closer to Juventus who dropped points. For Lazio a win for them would help them get closer to securing a European spot for next season after missing out this year it would be a massive achievement for their club. Lazio are in slightly better form over the last 5 games but Records and standings get thrown out when these two sides complete the Derby Della Capitale is no ordinary game. For those of you that don’t understand this isn’t just a game this fixture is everything the hatred between these teams is unlike any rivalry in sports. The meaning of the derby means more in Rome than perhaps any other city or derby in the world which is what makes this derby so special. It is politically driven as well as location based Roma and Lazio fans often argue about who is the real fans of Rome the supremacy in the city matters above all else. Historically throughout time Roma and Lazio were winning very few Scudetto’s the meaning of the season was the derby it wasn’t about we are the champions of Italy it is about we finished higher than them it was the only reason to be proud. Both teams are evenly matched but Roma have the better team on paper so they would go in as slight favorites. For Roma the two players they need to worry about are Ciro Immobile and Keita Diao. Immobile has had a tremendous season this year having scored 23 goals this season including 2 goals against Roma this year he is an amazing talent is always a threat to score. However perhaps their biggest threat is Keita Blade Diao he is in great form coming off a Record breaking 5 minute Hatrick in Lazio’s 3-1 win over Torino the youngster is ready for another stunning performance. However Lazio will have their own problems to deal with in Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah. Edin Dzeko is always a threat to score as he has been scoring goals for fun this season as he tops Serie A’s goal charts with 25 goals not to mention that he has 35 goals in all competition . The biggest threat to Lazio is probably Mouhamed Salah having scored against Lazio twice in their last meeting. Mouhamed Salah in my opinion is Serie A’s very best player having scored 17 goals and 13 assists in all competitions he is a massive threat to any team as he can hurt you in so many ways. A lot on the line for both teams its really starting to heat up it’s now or never.


               The Sunday afternoon fixture kicked off in the 184th installment of the Roman Derby. The Romans starting off pretty well something that would become a rarity in this game but early in they looked like same old Roma. Just two minutes into the match Dzeko attempted a pretty decent strike to try to give Roma the early lead. Kevin Strootman delivered a pass to Dzeko and Dzeko hit a strike from the middle of the box but was saved in the top corner. Several minutes later Roma would get another chance to take the lead when Kevin Strootman set up Mohamed Salah the Egyptian would take a shot from the right side of the box but once again the keeper was able to deal with it. Roma did look good early in the game but would be shortly wrecked. Lazio would get into the game with a great chance from Lucas Biglia his deep strike from outside the box was close missed. Lazio wouldn’t be discouraged as they would hit back and this time there was no stopping it. The man Roma should have been worrying about would make them pay. In the 12th after receiving a pass from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic Lazio’s man of the moment Keita Balde Diao would strike a well hit ball from the center of the box putting Lazio on the front as he would give Lazio the 1-0 lead. At this point Roma lost their confidence in the game as Roma seemed to lose their fizzle shortly after. Lazio remained on the front foot Marco Parolo got involved in the Lazio attack as he would strike from outside the box but Szczęsny would be able to handle. Lazio looked like the much better team as they were playing fairly flawlessly as Roma only seemed to struggle. They were just a lack of desire in a lot of the Roma players. Lazio continued to show their form as they midfield were looking really strong. Marco Parolo had another good chance for Lazio from outside but it was saved. Roma’s defense was letting in ball way to easily as they were very poor in the first half. Late In first half Roma finally had another chance When Antonio Rüdiger took a shot from deep but it was saved by the Lazio keeper. A few minutes later controversy would hit When Roma were given a penalty. Kevin Strootman would take a shameful dive after having no contact with the defender. Even though I’m a Roma fan that was so stupid for him to do that I’m guessing he is likely to get a fine or a suspension and rightfully so despite that he was the only player that was doing his very best he was giving it everything he had. Anyways the penalty was given Lazio was fuming understandably but Danielle De Rossi would step up to take the penalty slotting it in the bottom right corner to equalize 1-1. It would be Danielle De Rossi’s 2nd goal of the season it would go into the half even despite Roma playing poorly.


Keita Balde opens the Scoring for Lazio in the first half

               Roma would go to the bench to start the first half as they brought in Bruno Peres for Stephen El Shaarawy. It was a quite a poor first half by Roma really shouldn’t have even scored Lazio look ready to pounce. Roma didn’t look all that much improved from the first half but Roma did get two chances to open the first half. Salah connected with Dzeko on a pass but Dzeko’s finish was poor as the keeper got to it pretty easily. Dzeko would get another chance a few minutes later once again Salah found the Bosnian in good position but it would be another poor touch from Dzeko as it went high and wide. Two massive opportunities missed by Roma and as it turns out it would be very costly. No less than a minute later Dusan Basta caught Szczęsny sleeping as he would smash it in the bottom left corner to give Lazio the 2-1 lead on 50 minutes. Roma tried to resound a few minutes later as Raja Nainggolan tried to bring Roma back into the game when he hit a ball from deep the keeper would save it once again as Roma couldn’t break down the defense. A bit later Keita would try to double the lead looking for his second of the game he would shoot from a tricky angle but would miss. Lazio got into dangerous space yet again Felipe Anderson would also have to shoot from a difficult angle and once again it would be unsuccessful as Szczęsny saved it. As we got deeper and deeper into the second half Lazio continued to look the part as Roma looked weak and uninterested. I don’t think they intentionally lacked the desire but it seemed like after Lazio’s second goal they lost the plot as their confidence went. Deep in the game in the 73rd minute Roma made two changes. First they brought in Diego Perotti for Fazio and the big one Danielle De Rossi would come off coming on the replace him would be Roma Legend Francesco Totti making is 44th and possible last derby appearance as well as his 783rd for Roma. Totti is the derby’s all-time leading scorer with 11 goals so if anyone can help a comeback it’s him. Even with Totti Roma was still finding it difficult to do anything. Emerson gave Roma a chance when he hit a shot from outside the box but it seemed like it was already written on the wall. A few minutes later Felipe Anderson had another good chance but the keeper dealt with his shot quite easily. However Roma could only hold off for so long as Lazio would put their final stamp on the game in the 85th minute When Keita Balde Diao would punish roma one last time on the fast break Keita Diao would slot in home in the bottom right corner to make it 3-1 Lazio scoring his second of the game 5th in two games. It would get from bad to worse for Roma as Antonio Rüdiger got sent off in the closing moments of the game for a horror tackle. Roma lose 3-1 to their rivals as Lazio pick up the three points in Roma’s worst performance of the season


De Rossi and Keita battle of the ball in the second half of Roma’s derby loss to Lazio

               With the loss the two Roman sides ended up splitting the season’s series 2-2 the most competitive in quite some time. With the loss it allows Napoli to creep up on Roma only one point behind with Roma’s next two fixtures against AC MILAN away at the SAN SIRO and Juventus at HOME Roma need a rapid response. If Roma were to drop points against Milan they might end up bottling it in Arsenal Style allowing Napoli to leapfrog Roma and stealing the final automatic champions’ league spot. Putting Roma into the dreadful qualifying round where they lost this year 4-1 on AGG to F.C Porto. Not mention its possible Kevin Strootman will miss both games due to his dive in this game. The man of the match goes to Keita Balde Diao for his 2 f goals. Roma Ultimately failure to win what could be Totti’s last derby the Roman derby will certainly never be the same again.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Keita Balde Diao
Next Match: @ A.C Milan Sunday, April 30th, 2017

A.S Roma
Shots: 12
On Target: 6
Possession: 66%
Passes: 550
Passing Accuracy: 89%
Corners: 8

S.S Lazio
Shots: 14
On Target: 7
Possession: 34%
Passes: 246
Passing Accuracy: 76%
Corners: 5

1. Juventus 26-3-4 85Pts
2. A.S Roma 24-3-7 75Pts
3. Napoli 22-8-4 74Pts
4. S.S Lazio 20-7-6 67Pts
5. Atalanta 19-6-8 64Pts

16. Genoa 7-9-16 30Pts
17. Empoli 8-8-18 29Pts
18. Crotone 6-7-21 25Pts
19. Palermo 4-7-21 19Pts
20. Pescara 2-8-22 14Pts (Relegated)

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