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Sunday May 26 2013
The ultimate Rome derby

This evening Lazio and Roma go for the triple whammy – Coppa Italia triumph, European qualification and bragging rights, explains Susy Campanale.

“It’s all or nothing,” said Roma Coach Aurelio Andreazzoli and that absolutely sums up the game we’re going to see today. Win the match and you have silverware, Europa League qualification, a season that wasn’t a total disaster and the right to say you’ve won the most important Derby della Capitale of all time, the historic 158th. Lose and you’re not only empty-handed – your arch enemy will walk over and steal everything you’ve got left, then set fire to it in a bin. While laughing.

I doubt there is any city rivalry in the world as bitter as the one in Rome, as “you’ve got to win the derby” is the first thing any new arrival hears. The rest of the season could go down the toilet, but as long as the derby goes the right way, all is forgiven. The way these campaigns have gone, it is literally all they’ve got left to cling to.

Lazio fans swaggered around the Eternal City for most of the year, as new Coach Vladimir Petkovic had overcome summer scepticism to challenge for the top of Serie A, reach the Europa League quarter-finals unbeaten and the Coppa Italia Final. On the Giallorossi end of the divide, enthusiasm for Zdenek Zeman’s spectacular football soon waned as it became clear results simply weren’t coming and fans increasingly sided against him over dropping Daniele De Rossi in favour of Panagiotis Tachtsidis.

It all turned around with the advent of spring. Lazio tired in the long run at competing in three tournaments with a small squad, crashing out of Europe and tumbling down the Serie A table until they finished in seventh – behind Roma. Andreazzoli was promoted from the staff to replace sacked Zeman and shored up the worst defence in the top flight, albeit making them far less entertaining for fans and neutrals alike.

As one club rose, the other fell and they now meet in the middle. The Stadio Olimpico will be like the Thunderdome today – two teams enter, one team leaves. Roma have momentum, confidence and perhaps a little bit more desire, as their season has otherwise been a total failure. Lazio at least progressed in Europe and were in the race for third before fatigue took its toll. Now they have had a week to train intensively and prepare for this one match, perhaps that will cancel out the factors that cost them so dearly in the final weeks of the campaign.

Statistics don’t help us predict this game either. The Biancocelesti are unbeaten in four derbies, earning three straight wins and April’s 1-1 draw, but on the other hand Roma have scored in each of the last 13 editions for a total 22 goals. A victory would make Roma the first club ever to win the Coppa Italia 10 times and earn a permanent silver star on their shirts, but they’ve lost seven Finals compared to Lazio faltering just once in six attempts. We can certainly expect fire, as the last five meetings provided eight red cards and 34 bookings.

It’s such a finely balanced encounter, you could place it on the head of a pin and still not see it swing one way or the other. No favourites, no predictions, no room for error. It’s the ultimate Derby della Capitale.

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Have your say...
Well done Lazio! The best team won. Candreva played very well! Roma were very flat. I blame the coach. The line up & the tactics were all wrong. Totti has excelled when starting from the left. Placing him in the middle just put him in the pockets of Lazio's dm's. Mancini would not fit in at Roma, with his Lazio history, & imagine him, (with his poor man-management skills), dealing with De Rossi & Totti.
on the 27th May, 2013 at 9:01am
Why wasn't Osvaldo on from the start? De Rossi where were you hiding today? I would like Roma to have Roberto Mancini as manager next season not Massimiliano Allegri but tonight I'm pure gutted! I really wanted that silver star above our badge. We really need to invest as everyone knows Roma is the biggest team in Rome. Just wasn't our day. I really hope we can challenge for the Champions League as I miss us in it. We will be back next season much stronger. Forza Roma!
on the 26th May, 2013 at 10:25pm
Devastated. Just finished crying. Awful night and an awful season. Well done to lazio. Pallotta needs to spend some serious money, but invest wisely. Osvaldo should have come on sooner. We need to use tonights pain as motivation for next year and hopefully next year will be a lot better. Gutted no europe again.
on the 26th May, 2013 at 9:14pm
LAZIO CAMPIONI!


ROMA ZERO TITULI!
on the 26th May, 2013 at 6:48pm
There is nothing better than a) beating your city rival b) getting into European football next year at your city rival's expense and c) lifting silverware high into the Roman sky as your city rival languishes beneath you having to watch you celebrate! Aaaaaaaaaaa all is right with the world! Lazio is the first team of Rome and will forever be the best team in Rome! FORZA LAZIO. Let it burn!!!!!!
on the 26th May, 2013 at 6:20pm
In addition to 2000 police officers, I'd like to see the army in attendance, as an additional deterrent:there has to zero tolerance. I'm sick & tired of the idiots that repeatedly ruin the experience for the genuine fans & give Italian football a bad name. I hope the De Rossi sticks to his recent words & conducts himself well. His antics could quite easily serve as a catalyst to incite the hooligan element.
on the 26th May, 2013 at 9:07am
Its all or nothing. Forza roma. Its like the world cup final totti is our grosso tonight. Its our time, make it happen. Tears of joy tonight not pain.
on the 26th May, 2013 at 9:07am

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