Roma could’ve caught Inter in fourth place with a win, but Lazio instead put themselves right back in the Champions League race with a dominant 3-0 Derby della Capitale victory.
Both sides had to do without key players. Ciro Immobile’s muscular problem meant he was only on the Aquile bench, so Joaquin Correa supported Felipe Caicedo, with Wallace, Jordan Lukaku and Valon Berisha sidelined. The Giallorossi lost Kostas Manolas to a stomach bug, after he recovered from an ankle injury, so Juan Jesus stepped in to the back four. Cengiz Under was injured, although Patrik Schick and Rick Karsdorp were back on the bench.
Correa’s strong run got Juan Jesus booked within five minutes and that proved instrumental on the opening goal, because the defenders backed off Correa and the slide-rule pass released Caicedo, who took two touches to go around Robin Olsen and deposit into the empty net.
Thomas Strakosha got down quickly for a one-handed save on Edin Dzeko’s effort from the edge of the box, while Bastos marked the Bosnian closely as he chested down a Federico Fazio cross.
After the restart, there were no substitutions, but Lorenzo Pellegrini was pushed further forward for a 4-2-3-1 formation. Nicolò Zaniolo’s control and volley whistled wide from the edge of the box on a poor clearance.
Roma continued to look shaky in defence, Caicedo going down after some confusion between Fazio and Olsen. Stephan El Shaarawy’s snapshot was pushed round the post, then Zaniolo nutmegged a player to surge forward, but the finish was deflected off Francesco Acerbi into the arms of Strakosha.
During that move, Zaniolo hurt his hip and made way for Diego Perotti, while Immobile was risked for the final half-hour along with Javier Pastore.
Florenzi almost got Roma on level terms with a stunning long-range strike that was dipping and swerving viciously, as Strakosha flew to palm it out from under the bar with his trailing hand.
Roma wasted a golden opportunity moments later, as Dzeko knocked down the corner, but Pastore and Pellegrini got in each others’ way, the Argentine firing inches wide.
It proved a costly error, because Correa was sent clear by an Immobile ball over the top and Fazio, who had been poor all night, tripped him up for a penalty. Immobile converted with the spot-kick squirming under Olsen’s arm into the near bottom corner to double Lazio’s lead.
It still wasn’t over, as Lazio added a third with substitute Danilo Cataldi. It was a well-worked team move with Milinkovic-Savic knocking it back for Cataldi’s powerful finish from the edge of the area, but it bent back Olsen’s gloves to go in. The Lazio youth product celebrated wildly by whipping off his shirt and running towards the stands.
The tension got to Roma, as Dzeko and Radu were booked for a row, sparking a scuffle in which Aleksandar Kolarov was also carded. Less than a minute later, Kolarov received a second yellow card for a mere nudge on Immobile and it could not be viewed via VAR, as that only applies to straight reds or mistaken identity. It was the 34th dismissal in a Derby della Capitale since 1994-95.
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Sent off: Kolarov 93 (R)