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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Four out of four!!

Game 24, Serie A

Sunday, March 8, 1998

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Roma 2-0

Lazio humiliate city rivals by winning unprecedented fourth derby of the season

This was an important game for the league but it was above all a Roman derby. This was the fourth of the season and Lazio had already incredibly won three derbies out of three so far (3-1 in league, 4-1 and 2-1 in Coppa Italia). This would would be a record breaking win and guarantee bragging rights for generations to come.

A big game as always in the "Derby della Capitale"  but Lazio still with an eye on the Scudetto and Roma on a UEFA qualification (and destroying any dreams Lazio may have) made it extra special.

A 70,000 crowd for this fourth derby of the season.


Lazio went with a similar team to that which had beaten Roma in ten men in the first league game, with the exception of Alen Boksic instead of Pierluigi Casiraghi.


Roma had their first choice defenders back, Aldair and Zago, and played Marco Delvecchio and Paulo Sergio alongside Francesco Totti up front.


Roma started on the frontfoot and pushed forward. In the 4th minute Gigi Di Biagio had a bicycle kick saved low by Luca Marchegiani and in the 15th Paulo Sergio had a decent shot go wide. More smoke than fire and Lazio's superior midfield gradually got the upper hand.


Lazio had several chances first Roberto Mancini pulled the ball wide after a good Boksic run. Boksic himself missed a sitter in front of goal, after a perfect Diego Fuser cross, kneeing the ball just wide of the post. Fuser then fired wide set up by Boksic and the Croat mishit a bicycle kick with the goal completely open after a Michael Konsel mistake.


Roma had more possession but made continuous mistakes in midfield leaving themselves open to Lazio's quick counterattacks.


Roma had one more chance of their own with a Totti header from a corner but Giorgio Venturin headed off the line.


Boksic tried again just before halftime but his close range low header on the far post never really got going and was blocked by Konsel. At the break Lazio 0 Roma 0.


Roma were giving it everything but Lazio looked superior and as if they could score any minute as they were by far the more dangerous.


There were no changes for the second period.


In the second half Roma had a Di Biagio header go wide and then a goal came early on and it was unsurprisingly for Lazio. In the 49th minute the Biancocelesti were awarded a free kick just outside the box in the middle. Vladimir Jugovic blasted a mid-height shot which Konsel parried but into the path of Boksic who cooly slotted in the rebound with a low finish. Lazio 1 Roma 0.


In the 55th minute Roma showed some signs of life when Zago hoofed the ball forward to Delvecchio who ran shoulder to shoulder with Alessandro Nesta on the left and went for a shot from a difficult angle but Marchegiani saved without excessive difficulty.


In the 62nd minute Lazio scored again. Boksic ran rampant down the right wing, cut inside Aldair and shot but the ball was saved by Konsel and reached Fuser at the edge of the box who drilled a low shot with the keeper out of goal. The ball was somehow kept out by Zago on the line but only as far as Pavel Nedved who from an angle fired a low left foot past hapless Zago and Damiano Tommasi on the goalline. Lazio 2 Roma 0.


Roma were beaten and powerless to get back into the game. The Giallorossi had a couple of  chances with a Eusebio Di Francesco shot wide and  a Tommasi low, central shot blocked by Marchegiani but never really gave the impression of being capable of a comeback.


Lazio took both goal scorers off to standing ovations and near the end Dario Marcolin came on for Mancini. For Roma, Ivan Helguera had replaced Di Biagio soon after Lazio’s second goal and then   Cristiano Scapolo came on for Di Francesco in the 84th minute.


Lazio had the last chance of the game but Venturin's long range strike was caught in the top corner by Konsel. Final score Lazio 2 Roma 0.


Lazio were superior and they knew it. The win had had come easily, almost inevitably. The Biancocelesti were more technical and more confident and the goals were just a matter of time. This was 4 on 4 derbies in a season, a new record that would take some beating.


The Lazio fans held up a banner in Curva Nord, "...e lo scherzo  continua" (and the prank goes on) but for the Romanisti it was more like an ongoing nightmare.


With this win Lazio moved up to 2nd place (Inter lost 0-1 at Parma), four points behind leaders Juventus (1-1 at Udine). Roma were now joint 5th with Parma but the table was the least of their problems at the moment.


Who played for Lazio

Manager: Eriksson


Who played for Roma

Konsel, Cafu, Zago, Aldair, Candela, Tommasi, Di Biagio (67' Helguera), Di Francesco (84' Scapolo), Paulo Sergio, Delvecchio, Totti

Substitutes: Chimenti, Pivotto, Petruzzi, Dal Moro, Gautieri

Manager: Zeman


Referee: Boggi

Goals: 50' Boksic, 62' Nedved



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