Rudi Garcia maintained his perfect record and won the Derby della Capitale, but explained why Roma emerge in the second half.
“It was a very important game for us and for our fans. As I said before the game, you don’t play a derby, you win it,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia after a 2-0 victory over Lazio.
“I won’t forget we now have four consecutive victories.”
Roma are top of the table with 12 points from four rounds, but curiously all their goals have been scored after the break.
“During the first half our opponents pushed harder, but Lazio played three days ago in the Europa League and I was sure they’d feel a dip in fitness levels. I know this because I played in Europe for four years. We played very well in the second half.
“It might be important that Milan, Juventus, Napoli and Fiorentina are playing in Europe, which takes up energy, so it’s an advantage for us that this season we’re not in those competitions.
“Our objective is to finish in the top five and get back into Europe. I too am ambitious, but it’s too early to say anything more than that. We haven’t played enough games to know our true level, but I really like this team and these fans.
Federico Balzaretti opened the scoring before a last-gasp Adem Ljajic penalty.
“Defending well is a team movement and not just an issue of four players. All the players contribute and that’s the important thing.
“My philosophy is to attack and to score more than our opponents. The full-backs are very important and have to attack, so it’s a great symbol that Balzaretti scored today. I wasn’t here in May for the Coppa Italia Final, but I heard he was criticised heavily.
“Kevin Strootman was the designated penalty taker, but it was near the end of the game, he was very tired and so he let Ljajic take it.”