Sunday March 4 2012
De Rossi: 'Don't blame ref'

Daniele De Rossi admits Lazio “are more of a team than Roma this season” and defended the referee’s derby performance.

The Giallorossi saw Maarten Stekelenburg sent off for giving away the penalty on Miroslav Klose in the opening seven minutes of their 2-1 defeat.

“This season incidents just aren’t going our way,” De Rossi told Roma Channel.

“I talked about referees for a lifetime, I complained, got bitter, but it’s not remotely productive. I don’t think the referee did anything that shocking today. The problem is that when going down to 10 men, you have to give up on playing, so that is frustrating.

“It’s a shame that the match started like this, as the first leg was also compromised by a red card.”

De Rossi also stood up for the referee after Rodrigo Taddei claimed Giuseppe Biava deserved a second yellow in the final minutes.

“I can only work hard to improve my own errors. I went through the 2008 season when I saw truly shameful things happen and I said it out loud.

“Today the referee might’ve made a mistake on Biava, but it didn’t seem anywhere near that level, otherwise we’d have been all over him! When you lose like we did in 2008, everything after that seems perfect.

“We have to focus on ourselves, as we lost against a Lazio side that is more of a team than Roma this season.

“The truth is we made mistakes in defence, particularly on the free kick for Stefano Mauri’s goal, but when you play for 10 men practically the entire match then that happens. It’s a shame.”

The Giallorossi are now 10 points adrift of Lazio in third place, so hopes of qualifying for Europe are fading fast.

“It’s not a very exciting season for the fans or for us, but we will continue working and hope for a little more luck and experience.”