Edy Reja believes “this derby was decided by the referee's decisions. I'm sorry to say it, but that's the truth. The penalty was crystal clear.”
Lazio fell 2-0 to a couple of Roma penalties, but felt they deserved one of their own when Stefano Mauri was hauled down by John Arne Riise. At the time it was still 1-0.
“This derby was decided by the referee's decisions. I'm sorry to say it, but that's the truth,” Coach Reja told Sky Sport Italia.
“The penalty on Mauri was crystal clear. You could see it straight away from the bench and we all knew it. Was Andre Dias offside? Yes, but the linesman didn't flag it, so play continued and therefore it should've been a penalty.”
Reja also had doubts about the second Roma spot-kick scored by Mirko Vucinic.
“In the build-up to that incident, Julio Baptista had fouled Guglielmo Stendardo and the referee was in a position to see it. My players were telling me they'd had enough of playing with 11 against 12.
“In the first half we didn't have the right sporting aggression and we got the wrong approach, as we were too timid. It takes intensity in a derby match. Then we have to say Roma didn't have that many chances to go in front.
“After the break we played better, even if the Roma opener was a gift from our error. Let's say this game was decided by two penalties and we played well.”
Lazio's eight-match unbeaten run is ended, but they are still top of the table with Milan closing in second place.
Reja raised eyebrows by substituting Hernanes when his side was losing, but he explained it in physical terms.
“Hernanes did not play badly. This was a difficult match and he was replaced because he was exhausted.”
Lazio have been letting the eagle Olympia – the symbol of the club – fly around the stadium before every home game this season, but due to safety concerns she was grounded for the derby.
“Evidently when Olympia doesn't fly, then neither does the team,” shrugged the Coach.