Maurizio Sarri explained his celebration with the Lazio mascot Olympia after beating Roma 3-2. ‘I didn’t expect the derby to give you this adrenaline rush and satisfaction at winning.’
The Aquile were the underdogs going into this game, with just two points from the last four games between Serie A and the Europa League.
However, they commanded largely from the start, winning 3-2 with goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Pedro and Felipe Anderson.
A Roger Ibanez header and extremely controversial Jordan Veretout penalty made it a tense finale, but Sarri celebrated at the final whistle by holding up the club mascot, eagle Olympia, to the fans in the Curva Nord.
“She sleeps close to my room at the Formello training ground, so I hear her sometimes,” smiled Sarri on DAZN.
Lazio win the Derby della Capitale! 💠
Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio best José Mourinho’s Roma in a spectacular match in Rome 🦅💥🐺 pic.twitter.com/8kz51QMltW
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 26, 2021
Felipe Anderson not only scored a goal, but also provided an assist.
“He should continue this level of performance, because he has what it takes. My worry is that he doesn’t realise his own strength, he plays in timid fashion, so I can only hope he gains that self-belief.”
It is a situation he has mentioned several times, along with the players and director Igli Tare, one of a psychological block.
“I had the sensation the lads were too blocked by thinking and that stopped them playing. I told them to move more freely, as some of the movements have now sunk in.
“Having said that, let’s not get carried away with the concept of freedom. Clearly, within certain zones of the pitch and certain contexts, the players can have freedom to express themselves.
“The trouble is, this is real football, it’s not a PlayStation game. Tonight I saw seven or eight situations that I really liked, but we cannot clone one team and make it work elsewhere. This team has its own potential that is still waiting to be expressed.
“I am only disappointed that we played well defensively and still conceded two goals from dead-ball situations.
“We tested out a few situations yesterday for Roma’s headers at the near post, and it was not easy, because Veretout put in two or three splendid corners. We struggled a little in those situations.”
This was the first Derby della Capitale for Sarri and he had said he was more anxious ahead of a Serie C match.
“I will admit, it was emotionally one of the most exhilarating matches of my career. I didn’t expect the derby to give you this adrenaline rush and satisfaction at winning.”
Sarri also commented on his history at Juventus, where he did win the Scudetto, but his tenure was still considered a failure.
That might now be re-evaluated, considering the difficulties that Andrea Pirlo and now Max Allegri are running into.
“Changing three or four players at Juventus is only achievable at an inaccessible cost. We had to adapt some of the players to suit my game, and reached a compromise that allowed us to win. I can do my work here at Lazio.”