Score: A.S Roma 3 S.S Lazio 2FT (Lazio Win 4-3 on AGG)
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Following successive wins in SERIE A against Palermo, Sassuolo and Empoli Roma would get ready for another passionate battle with arch Rivals Lazio In the second leg of the Coppa Itaila Semi Finals. Lazio having won the first leg as the home team 2-0. Roma would need two goals to advance to the final in hopes of bringing their first trophy to Rome since 2009. It would another instant classic In the Derby Del Capitale Roma would be looking for their second victory against them this season having won their first meeting in serie a back in December. It would turn into a fantastic derby between both Rome sides. Lazio would strike first with Savic to give them the 1-0 lead (3-0 AGG). Roma would respond with a Stephen El Shaarawy goal to make it 1-1 (1-2 AGG) right before half. It would be 1-1 after the first half in the second half Lazio would score again with a Ciro Immobile Goal to make it 2-1 (4-1AGG) killing any chance of a comeback for Roma. However Roma would continue to fight as Mouhamed Salah would score not long after to make it 2-2(2-4 AGG.) Time would go on Roma would brining in Totti for his possibly final derby and it worked as Roma would take the lead in the game when Mohamed Salah scored in the 90th minute to grab a late winner making it 3-2 (3-4AGG) But no little too late as Lazio Would advance to the final as they won it 4-3 on Aggregate but Roma has won two out of three fixtures against Lazio this season. However it seems like Spalletti will leave the club at the end of the season.
After lots of news of speculation of transfers last week there wasn’t as much team news this week. Speculation and recruitment of Sevilla Director Monchi’s arrival to become Roma’s sporting director continues despite no conformation as of yet this move is still expected to go through. The Potential of this move intrigues Barcelona midfielder Ivan Raktic the former Sevilla man believes he could bring greatness to Roma who have long awaited a trophy. This is what the Barcelona man had to say this is what he told to Gazzetta dello Sport: “I expect him to be successful wherever he ends up. If he goes to AS Roma, they may win. To take him is like buying 10 new players, he would be very positive for the club.” Monchi has spoken highly of the Roma job opportunity this is what he had to say about the possibility of working for Roma. “Roma are the team that has talked to me the most and I like the proposal, they want to wait for me but there are other offers in France and England, although they are not so far along. I have listened to them and I told them how I work, but again Roma is a project I like.” He has said that he will make his decision regarding his future soon. With Spalletti’s likely departure Roma have revisited the possibility of bringing in Former Inter boss as a replacement the Italian currently lives in Rome and it has been reported that he met with Roma’s President James Pallotta this week. It would be a pretty good replacement if it happens he’s already managed in this league on several occasions and has a premier league title he has won with current Roma striker Edin Dzeko it could be an ideal replacement for Spalletti. Also the Agent of Stephen El Shaarawy has insisted that he is very happy in Roma and would like to stay for the long term. Even more speculation is occurring about Roma’s number keeper Wojciech Szczesny. The Polish international has stated that he is happy in Rome but will make his decision in June when his loan ends. Szczęsny leads Serie A with 13 clean sheets in his second loan spell with the Romans. Despite all that he is highly unlikely he will return to London if he doesn’t have a guaranteed starting place in the Arsenal team. I am kind of ok with it either way I’d prefer him to stay but if he’s doesn’t I’d still be happy with Allison. The last of the team news this week’s ends on a very thoughtful statement made by Raja Nainggolan in tribute to Roma Legend Francesco Totti. As the Belgium compared him to Swiss Tennis star Roger Federer who won his first Grand Slam of 2017 at the very distinguished age of 36. The Belgium International had this to say “Federer is exceptional. But we have Totti who still plays at 40 and for Roma; he’s just as valuable as Federer”. Very kind words from Nainggolan, Nainggolan has proven this season that he is one of the best midfielders in the world Nainggolan passed up the chance to play alongside Hazard for club and country recently, having been approached by the Blues last season, but he says he is reluctant to move to England. So that’s very good news as well given the importance he has to the club. Luciano Spalletti knowing he side needs at least two goals to progress. He decided to change the formation a more of an attacking offence. Roma would lineup using the 4-3-3; Allison would be the keeper as he has been Roma’s first choice throughout this competition. Roma going with four in the back for this one as they have mainly have been using three in the back. Emerson would take on the left-back position replacing Mario Rui, it’s been a little while since Emerson has played in defense but he is definitely capable. Antonio Rudiger would lineup on the opposite side as the right-back. Than finally in the middle as the pair of center-backs it would be Juan Jesus replacing Fazio who picked up a minor injury in the last game and joining him in the center would be Kosta Manolas to make up the defense. Than in the center midfield would be the trio of Leonardo Paredes in the center with Raja Nainggolan on the left and Kevin Strootman on the right. Up front Roma would go with three strikers. Roma’s Record breaker Edin Dzeko would be the central striker joining him on the side would be Stephen El Shaarawy replacing Perotti on the left wing and on the Right wing would be Mouhamed Salah. In other news Danielle De Rossi would watch the game from the stands as he would be out due to an injury he picked up while on international duty with Italy. It is A very strong Roma team very attacking style a football is what we should see out of this team Luciano Spalletti is spot on tactically I feel it made the right changes for this game.
It would another addition of the Derby Della Capitale Chapter three of this famous fixture. Roma winning the first match back on December 4th in Serie A winning it on that occasion 2-0. Lazio would win the second battle about a month ago in the first leg of this Semi Final fixture 2-0 taking their two goal advantage into this game. There has been a fair amount of controversy in both matches in their first meeting Lazio’s Lulic was suspended 20 days for making some racist comments about Roma defender Antonio Rudiger this is what was said “Rudiger was provoking us even before the game. Two years ago he was selling socks and belts in Stuttgart, now he acts like he’s a phenomenon. It’s not his fault really, but the fault of those who are around him. They haven’t taught him good manners. “When Lulic was pressed to rethink his comment and apologize, he replied: “I said what I think.” It could have been in response to Rudiger saying he didn’t know anything about their team basically implying he didn’t know who they are. Raja Nainggolan also have strong words about his dislike for Lazio. The Actions of all the players in the media instigated a very violent game on the pitch where we saw 14 bookings over the 90 minutes. Also in that first match we saw a Lazio player from the bench shove Kevin Strootman after celebrating the opening goal. There was also a bit of controversy in Roma’s loss to Lazio in their first leg match with Rudiger again being the center of commotion. Throughout the duration of the match the Lazio fans abused Rudiger for most of the match; as they sang racist songs directed at him as well as making monkey noise and waved bananas. It got so bad that they were pleaded to stop by the referee’s and the announcers. For those of you that don’t understand this isn’t just a game this fixture is everything the hatred between these teams is unlikely 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. Despite Lazio’s 2-0 lead gained in the first leg on current form Roma are in much better position than their crosstown rivals. In the table Roma currently hold the second position with 68 points with a 4 point lead in front of Napoli and trailing Juventus at the top of the table by six points. Roma although unlikely have a small chance at the title Roma will be in the champion’s league next season but you can’t say that about Lazio. Lazio don’t have the same luck although they have much improved since last year and they have proven to be a quality side but they have out of the title race and being four points behind Napoli champions league is very unlikely. They currently sit in 4th with 60 points with Inter and Atalanta not far behind. Roma are the better team and most likely with win the game the questions becomes it if they will in it by enough goals as far as that goes I’m not so sure. Roma have won their last 4 games in a row as they have performed very well this year with the team they have Dzeko has without a doubt been their big star as he has been World Class this season. The Bosnian Striker broke Totti’s record for goals in a season over the weekend as he banged in his 32nd and 33rd goals of the season. Roma is in fantastic position but Lazio aren’t slouches either as they have won 3 out 4. This match as all the ingredients for a derby classic the match may have some big ramifications regarding Roma manager Luciano Spalletti who has he had previously stated that if Roma don’t win any trophies this season that he would leave the club so it almost turns into a must win. The result of this game will come down to the attack of both these teams. Roma’s attack is definitely excels Lazio’s options with Dzeko, Salah and El Shaarawy. However Lazio have three high quality players with Ciro Immobile a player that has been unbelievable this season, they also have Felipe Anderson and Sergej Milinković-Savić a very strong attack in their own right. Roma has the better team and a slightly better attack and defense but Lazio isn’t far behind in the same areas this will come down to whether Roma can get the amount of Goals necessary.
Both Roman sides would arrive at their shared home the Stadio Olimpico to prepare for their match with a lot a stake with the winner heading to the Coppa Itaila final to play the winner of Juventus and Napoli. It was announced that barriers at the Olimpico stadium of Rome was lifted for the game. Finally the day has arrived after waiting for this game for since the first leg of semifinals after all the preparation for this famous fixture it was time as The Derby Della Capitale would kick off in Rome. Roma knowing that they would need two goals to advance to the final roma would fire from all cylinders as they would have a great chance in the opening three minutes. Edin Dzeko would give Roma a great chance as he would take a shot from very close in the shot was close but just missed. A great opening chance but not to be undone Lazio wasn’t just going to sit back Ciro Immobile would give Lazio a chance to put away the game possibly killing the roma comeback attempt. He would get so close as he took a shot from the left side kind at an angle; the shot was very well taken it was so close as the shot just missed by inches. That was one of the only chances Lazio got early as Roma were well in control from the very beginning. About 10 minutes later Roma would together a few high quality chances. El Shaarawy as the catalyst send a cross into the center of the box to find big man Edin Dzeko; the striker would get his head to it as he would try to head it home but it miss just to the left. Not long after it would be Stephan El Shaarawy’s turn to take a shot after receiving a pass from Dzeko creating somewhat of a break away the Italian would take it well as he would take the shot but missed a little to the left taking a deflection. It’s one he should have probably put away but it still was a great scoring chance. Off the deflection Edin Dzeko had another chance as he would head it from the middle of the box but it would be saved. It looked like everything was going Roma’s way but as we well know it only takes one chance to score. Ciro Immobile took a shot from the middle of the box but Allison would make the save however Roma would be hit with some misfortune as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic would put it into the bottom corner to give Lazio the 1-0 lead. This gives them a 3-0 lead on AGG. It looked all but over for Roma They would need a goal before the half to even realistically give them a chance. Nothing important happened for several minutes however there however was a bit of scuffle between Edin Dzeko and Wallace. During an attempted scoring chance for Roma; Wallace would fall over and Dzeko went over to help him up. When Dzeko approached him he stepped in between his legs and the grass and offered his hand. Instead of grabbing his hand Wallace pretended that Dzeko hurt him displaying a disgraceful act of play acting Dzeko was given an unfair yellow card for doing nothing wrong. However Roma’s moment came In the 43rd minute near Lazio’s danger area Rudiger would send in a cross from the wing into the box it would be improperly cleared by the Lazio defense as he would be tapped right to El Shaarawy; and the Italian international would slot it into the bottom corner to equalize 1-1 to give Roma some hope. Roma would still in three goals in the second half due to the fact Lazio were the away team in this game. It’s been a less than stellar season for Stephen El Shaarawy it would be his 4th goal this season he wouldn’t celebrate to much as he knew there was still work to be down. A few minutes later the referee would blew his whistle signaling the end of the first half with the score 1-1 although Lazio led 3-1 on AGG as they started their fight against time.
Stephen El Shaarawy Scores to End the Half to Give Roma Hope
So far in the game it has been very much in Roma’s favor as they were easily the better team in the first half as they were very unlucky to have given up a goal. They played well but had they put away their chances Roma could have had a multiple goal lead. Both teams would make one sub each Roma would bring in Bruno Peres to replace Juan Jesus at center-back. Than for Lazio Wesley Hoedt would replace Stefan de Vrij because of an injury he picked up near the end of the first half. Roma’s attacking formation was working but it would take a massive second half to go through needing three goals. Play would finally resume in the second half as Lazio would get some momentum back as they continually disrupt the Roma attack as their defense would get in the way of several roma shots. Blocking shots from Dzeko, Emerson and Salah Lazio were doing a fantastic job of take control of the game as Roma’s frustration lead to some Lazio scoring chances. Senad Lulic would send a cross into Sergej Milinkovic-Savic the midfielder would take shot on goal near the corner of the box but he would miss to the right. They would just be getting warmed up as it Lazio were staying the course Ciro Immobile would take a well hit shot from the center of the box but once again would miss as his shot went wide. A minute later Ciro Immobile would take yet another crack on goal as he would hit a powerful shot from the left of the box but in the end it would be a easy Routine save for Allison. A minute later Roma would be hit with even more disappointment as Lazio put the nail in the coffin. It would be Ciro at the end of it once again in the 56th minute Sergej Milinkovic-Savic send a well-placed through ball into Ciro Immobile and the Italian would be all alone in a one on one break and he would slot in into the bottom corner to make it 2-1. Lazio would now lead 4-1 on Aggregate meaning it would be pretty much over for Roma now needing four goals. Lazio would make a Substitution Keita replacing Felipe Anderson. After the goal Raja Nainggolan decided the hell with this and decided to show that Roma still had some fight. After Recving the ball from Dzeko Raja Nainggolan would try to go deep hitting it from distance but he misfired to the left. Lazio was trying to push on as Dusan Basta tried from distance but he would miss. Lazio would have yet another chance with Keita shooting from deep but once again poor touch from Lazio as it would coast over the net. Ciro Immobile would also try from deep and much like there previous chances well off target. I think they were just playing stupid giving the fact they had the lead it looked that they were just trying to waste time; when three players all take bad shots in a row it clearly becomes a tactic rather just a bad shot. Rona despite having their back against the wall Roma would put themselves in a good position to score after Leonardo Paredes shot was blocked Emerson and El Shaarawy took advantage as Roma continued to fight with their back against the wall. Emerson would head the ball to Stephen El Shaarawy; the Italian took a shot from a good position but it was saved by the keeper. El Shaarawy very frustrated to say the least. After continuous frustration the tide would turn as they would get one back. In the 66th minute shortly after the previous shot Kevin Strootman send in a deep cross from the halfway line; Emerson would get his head to it and send a pass into El Shaarawy in the box. El Shaarawy would than beat his man taking a near perfect shot from the left side hitting the inside of the post however it bounced to Salah and the Egyptian international hit it in the back of the open net to equalize as well as getting a goal back.
Mohamed Salah Scores to try to Bring Roma Back
There would be no celebration knowing Roma still needed three goals it would be Salah’s 9th goal of the season on a side note he would have close to 20 if it wasn’t for the African Cup. Not long after Roma’s goal Leonardo Paredes nearly added another world class finish stroking in from 35 yards out nearly scoring but he just missed. Roma and Lazio both went to their bench; Roma would bring in Diego Perotti in for Stephen El Shaarawy who had a stellar game. Lazio. Would bring in Alessandro Murgia for Lucas Biglia. The game than flipped back into Roma’s advantage they were very much on the front foot. Roma just didn’t back down even though it was likely over they kept battling. Kevin Strootman would continue Roma’s assault on the Lazio he would take a well time shot from outside the box but it would be saved in to bottom corner. After scoring change by Emerson went wide Roma would make their final sub of the match as Francesco Totti would come in for Leandro Paredes in what could be his 43rd and final derby. His presence made an impact right away as Mohamed Salah put together another scoring chance as he would fire a shot from the center of the box but it would be saved by the keeper. They were losing a battle with time but it was still possible to win the game however going to the final wasn’t possible. Raja Nainggolan smashed a shot in the top right corner but was saved; attack after attack it looked like they weren’t getting another one but Mohamed Salah had other ideas as they would continue to fight. Raja Nainggolan would hit a power shot that was saved but Salah would jump on the rebound putting away one of the easiest goals he will score all season giving Roma the 3-2 lead. It was still over but Roma still had some fight. It would be Salah’s 10th goal of the season. The fight wasn’t quite over as Dzeko gave Roma a few more chances before the end but Roma were too little too late as they would earn the win but it would be Lazio advancing to the final winning 4-3 on Aggregate.
Mouhamed Salah scores a 90th minute winner as he did everything he could to take Roma through despite the loss
It would have been such a perfect derby if this was a league game it had everything intensity quality play and lots of goals. Roma came back twice to bag a winner in the 90th minute Its disappointing Roma were unable to go through to the Final but to be fair they still beat Lazio and now have won 2 out three meetings against each other as well as holding a much high position in the table. The man of the match goes too Mouhamed Salah as he played a brilliant match scoring two goals as he did everything he could to help roma advance has proven time and again that he is one of the best players in this league. Also this was Roma’s 5th win in a row as they continue to play at a high level as they are in fantastic form at the moment. It is still a very disappointing result but on wards and upwards it’s time to look at the positives and get another win this weekend. Roma travel to Bolonga this weekend to take them on for the second time this season trying to make it 2 win out of two against them on Sunday. Lazio head to the final Juventus will be joining them there after they went through in their semifinal despite Napoli’s 3-2 win. Juventus are highly unlikely to lose the final as Lazio don’t have the necessary weapons to really stop the much powerful Juventus. Roma’s inability to win silverware this year was very disappointing but they will come back next season stronger than ever. However Luciano Spalletti departure is now become imminent but who will replace this brilliant tactician.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Mohamed Salah
NEXT MATCH: @ Bolonga Sunday, March 9th 2017