Lazio – AS Roma: Sarri Remains A Thorn in Roma’s Side (1-0)
When Lazio and Roma clash, the Italian capital grinds to a halt, and following a tense Derby della Capitale, the blue half of Rome celebrated yet another triumph. This was another one of those cagey derbies, where both teams struggled until Sarri’s men capitalized on their momentum against a toothless AS Roma side.
Tactical analysis and match report by Rahul Madhavan.
The recent Derby della Capitale lacked the usual drama, with the clash ending in a lackluster goalless draw when these two sides last vied for the crown of Rome. As we fast forward two months, the Coppa Italia quarter-finals offered another opportunity for the coveted bragging rights in the heart of the Italian capital.
Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio have been the superior force in Rome this season, as they have showcased resilience after a challenging start that saw them suffer four defeats in their first seven games. Since then, they have reconstructed their campaign, securing a place in the Champions League knockout rounds, while trailing fourth-placed Fiorentina by just three points in the league. Despite Sarri criticizing Coppa Italia’s format ahead of the tie, a potential semi-final berth would have certainly provided an additional lift to their trajectory.
On the other side of the battle, Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma, plagued by inconsistency throughout his tenure, faced the very same challenge once more. But with just a single point separating the two teams in Serie A, Roma were determined, particularly after not winning their last three games against their bitter rivals. The looming concern about Mourinho’s job added a layer . . .