Serie A - Tale of two penalties sees spoils shared in Rome derby

Serie A, Stadio Olimpico - Roma 1 (Totti pen 56) Lazio 1 (Hernanes 16)

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Serie A - Tale of two penalties sees spoils shared in Rome derby
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As Roma's Francesco Totti (front) celebrates with teammates after scoring a penalty against Lazio during their Italian serie A soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Rome April 8, 2013 (Reuters)

Anderson Hernanes gave Lazio the lead with a wonderful strike just after the quarter hour mark in a closely-contested first half but the same player contrived to miss a penalty early in the second half before hauling down Miralem Pjanic to concede one for his team. Francesco Totti converted his kick to give Roma a deserved share of the spoils.

Giuseppe Biava saw red for a second bookable offence with 20 minutes remaining but Lazio held firm in the face of some late Roma pressure.

Roma started the match on the front foot, Totti almost engineering a good chance in the opening moments but the ball got caught up in his feet before he had time to pull the trigger. The veteran striker then turned provider, almost playing in Pjanic with a deft little reverse ball but Federico Marchetti was alive to the danger and off his line quickly to smother the danger.

A rasping shot from Antonio Candreva forced Maarten Stekelenburg into his first action of the match but Roma created the better early chances, Erik Lamela beating his man by the byline only for Gonzalez to clear from under the nose of Totti.

Moments later and Lazio were ahead thanks to a moment of magic from Hernanes, who cut inside Leandro Castan before unleashing an unstoppable drive into the top corner from outside the box.

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His tail well and truly up, Hernanes had the chance to double his side’s lead two minutes later but his effort was deflected over the bar for a corner. Candreva forced Stekelenburg into another save before the keeper needed to be at his best to thwart Senad Lulic with a wonderful stop low to his left.

The second half was only three minutes old when Lazio were gifted the opportunity to double their lead, Marquinhos needlessly handling Lulic’s cross. But if Hernanes was deadly from 25 yards out, the same could not be said from 12 yards as he skied the ball over with Stekelenburg committed the wrong way.

And when Roma got their chance from the spot, Totti made no mistake with a drilled effort into the corner after Hernanes' mistake.

Roma blew their opportunties to take the lead: Alessandro Florenzi had two chances to follow up Marchetti’s parried save from Totti’s fierce drive but the keeper saved his first attempt before he blazed over.

A second yellow card for Biava for a foul on Marquinho handed the impetus to Roma to go on and press for a winner and Lamela was offered a glorious chance to do just that from sub Mattia Destro’s cross but he somehow headed wide at the far post with the goal gaping. And Marchetti capped a good performance on the night with another fine save from a late Totti free kick that crept under the wall.

The result means that Roma stay three points behind Lazio and two places behind their fifth placed rivals in the Serie A table.

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