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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Lazio's masterpiece

Game 7, Serie A

Saturday, November 1, 1997

Stadio Olimpico

Roma Lazio 1-3

Down to ten men after only seven minutes Lazio end up humiliating Roma with unforgettable derby triumph

Source Lazio Wiki

An excited 75,000 crowd packed out the Olimpico for this much awaited "Stracittadina" game.


Lazio had the predicted starting XI with Roberto Mancini and Pierluigi Casiraghi up front and Beppe Signori on the bench. The Biancocelesti were missing defender José Antonio Chamot and forward Alen Boksic.


Roma had some problems in defence as Aldair, Fabio Petruzzi were suspended and Antonio Carlos Zago was also missing. Their replacements in the middle were Cristian  Servidei and César Gómez. In Zdenek Zeman's 4-3-3 Carmine Gautieri was preferred to Marco Delvecchio, who started on the bench, to partner Abel Balbo and Francesco Totti up front.


After seven minutes of derby skirmishes the game came alive. On a low ball from Roma's half, Damiano Tommasi surged through centrally but was hacked down by Beppe Favalli. A blatantly late tackle but not last man as there were other defenders covering. The expected yellow card however never emerged from Mr. Collina's pocket, instead out came a direct red. The referee claimed it was violent and intentional thus the harsh punishment. A nightmare start for Lazio.


Sven-Goran Eriksson made no substitutions for the moment but wisely gave himself some time to think about it. On the susequent free kick from at least 35 metres out Gigi Di Biagio blasted a central shot which Luca Marchegiani fisted away.


Roma predictably smelt blood and attacked. Marchegiani was forced to make two good saves, first on a low Gautieri strike and then a a blistering Vincent Candela shot on the near post, both into corner.


Lazio reacted with a curling Diego Fuser freekick from about 35 metres out which went extremely close to the left post.


At this point Eriksson finally made his decision and it was a brave one. He left all the forwards on and took off midfielder Matías Almeyda for defender Paolo Negro.


Then it was Roma again with a Tommasi left footed volley but it was superbly parried by Marchegiani.The Lazio keeper was under fire by the opposition but even more so by the Roma fans who constantly bombarded his area with flares, some dangerously close to his persona.


Roma's pressure then gradually faded and Lazio were able to reach the break on level terms. Roma 0 Lazio 0.


A first period clearly influenced by the early sending off. Lazio could thank Marchegiani but could also take heart from Roma's increasing difficulty to create threats as the game went on.


There were no changes during the interval. The second half started with a bang and a goal. In the 47nd minute Lazio interrupted a Roma attack at the edge of the area and played the ball out to Casiraghi in midfield, the big northern striker immediately flicked it out to Roberto Mancini on the left wing where Mancio ran at the two backward pedalling defenders before gliding through them on the left vertex and brilliantly putting the ball in the far top corner. A wonderful goal, pure class. Roma 0 Lazio 1 and Roma in shock.


Roma attacked head down but were in a state of confusion and only produced a long range shot, saved comfortably by Marchegiani.


It was in fact Lazio who went closer again. Pavel Nedved from his own half teed up Casiraghi, through the vulnerable Roma backline, one-on-one with Michael Konsel who however raced off his line and saved the attempted chip.


A few minutes later however Lazio scored. In the 57th minute Mancini near the left corner flag cut in and floated a long cross onto the opposite side where Casiraghi acrobaticall lunged and with a diving volley beat Konsel, with a low shot on the near post. Another quality goal, Roma 0 Lazio 2. This was gradually turning into a dream come true for Lazio and an absolute nightmare for Roma.


The Giallorossi tried some substitutions, just after the goal Delvecchio replaced Gautieri and then in the 65th minute Vagner was thrown on to up the tempo in place of Eusebio Di Francesco.


Roma however looked beaten. Lazio almost made it three on Fuser freekick, from the left of the area, punched away by Konsel.


Lazio took Mancini off in the 73rd minute for a more defensive midfielder Dario Marcolin and Roma made their final change in the 82nd with attacking Paulo Sergio for defender Gomez.


Roma almost pulled one back in the 83rd minute when from a Candela cross Delvecchio's went for a scissor kick which was not far over the bar. In the 84th minute Eriksson played his last card and brought on Giorgio Venturin for an exhausted Vladimir Jugovic.


In the same minute Lazio made it three. From a Beppe Pancaro thrown in just over midfield Nedved first lobbed Tommasi, burst forward between the remains of Roma's defence and lobbed Konsel coming off his line. A goal to match the first two, Roma 0 Lazio 3.


In the 90th minute Roma too were reduced to ten men when Di Biagio got a second yellow. In the 91st minute the Giallorossi got a late consolation goal when Delvecchio headed in a Candela cross. Too little too late. Final score Roma 1 Lazio 3.


An epic win for Lazio. The Biancocelesti had stood firm in ten men and then made the superior quality of their players count. Eriksson had had been proven right in his decision to keep the attacking threat on while reinforcing the defence.


For Roma a devastating loss. To be well beaten by ten men in a derby is not as bad as losing in injury time but it's still pretty grim. The mention of the defensive duo Servidei-Gomez still brings tears to Roma and Lazio fans eyes, for different reasons obviously.


Lazio with this historic win moved up to joint 5th place, on 11 points, only one point behind Roma in 4th.


Who played for Roma

Konsel, Cafu, Gomez (82' Paulo Sergio), Servidei, Candela, Tommasi, Di Biagio, Di Francesco (65' Vagner), Gautieri (57' Delvecchio), Balbo, Totti

Substitutes: Chimenti, Pivotto, Scapolo, Helguera

Manager: Zeman


Who played for Lazio

Manager: Eriksson


Referee: Collina

Goals: 47' Mancini, 57' Casiraghi, 84' Nedved, 91' Delvecchio

Red cards: 7' Favalli, 90' Di Biagio



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