Serie A - Penalties hand Roma derby win

Fri, 05 Nov 12:38:00 2010

Roma won an absorbing Rome derby after second half penalties from Marco Borriello and Mirko Vucinic inflicted just a second defeat of the season on Lazio.

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In what was an entertaining and, at times, controversial contest, Lazio fell behind when Borriello's 51st minute penalty squirmed under the body of Lazio goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, after Stephan Lichsteiner's handball led to the award.

In a game that saw Roma have a seemingly good goal disallowed and Lazio a definite penalty turned down, tempers were fraying both on the pitch and in the dugouts.

Vucinic put the game beyond doubt in the 88th minute with another spot-kick after Fabio Simplicio was fouled, but Lazio's players left the field still protesting the earlier decisions that went against them.

The game started at the kind of frenzied pace you would associate with this derby, with Marco Cassetti guilty of hacking Anderson Hernanes all game..

Both teams had chances to break the deadlock with Tommaso Rocchi coming closest for Lazio when a long ball was side-footed intelligently across goal by Stefano Mauri and Rocchi, busting a gut to get a foot on the ball, couldn't quite stretch to it.

Any contact from Rocchi would have put the league leaders ahead.

Lazio's trequartista Hernanes, too could have scored when he controlled Stefan Radu's cut back from the left beautifully with his thigh, but fired his left-footed volley just over the bar.

But Roma enjoyed more of the ball than their rivals and they nearly made that count when Simone Perrotta hit a low drive just wide from 20 yards after an elaborate free-kick routine.

Borriello and Vucinic wasted half chances throughout the half before Roma eventually did put the ball in the net 3 minutes before half time, only for it to be ruled out.

Borriello found himself in acres of space on the left as Roma outnumbered Lazio on the break. Borriello's poked cross found Greco, a first half substitute for the injured Menez, who tapped in.

But as he reeled away in ecstasy the assistant referee raised his flag to indicate that Borriello was offside before he crossed the ball. Replays showed that Borriello was on side.

But if Roma felt aggrieved at that decision, they had soon forgotten when they were awarded a penalty five minutes into the second half when the ball hit Lichsteiner's hand in the box. Lichsteiner didn't know much about it given the speed at which the ball was travelling and had to have his hand strapped up as a result.

Despite almost saving Borriello's penalty, the ball trickled over the line, causing the Stadio Olimpico to erupt.

Chances fell to both teams while the score remained 1-0, with Hernanes guilty of missing two gilt-edged chances for Lazio and substitute Pasquale Foggia smashing a half volley against the post.

But it wasn't all Lazio and Roma should have buried the game when Simplicio hit the bar when it seemed it was easier to score.

Then came the big penalty claim in the 81st minute. Mauri appeared to be dragged down from behind by John Arne Riise, who was clearly stopping the Lazio midfielder from tapping in a loose ball.

In a congested penalty area perhaps the referee's view was obscured but Riise was a guilty man and Roma were off the hook.

With two minutes left to play, Vucinic then put the victory beyond doubt with a penalty that gave Muslera no chance.

The final whistle gave way to protests from the Lazio players over the non-award of the penalty, as Roma celebrated the win with their exuberant fans.

Michael Da Silva / Reuters

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