Vengeance and Liberation, Roma derby

“Il mio nome e` il simbolo della tua eterna sconfitta”
“My name is the symbol of your eternal defeat.”

In Roma derby day, no one remember it’s the 4th giornata, a home match, or a 0/1/3 point(s), none of that, it’s rivalry, passion,  emotions. It’s beyond.

26th May still clouding over roman heads, the defeat on the Coppa Italia’s final. AS Roma as a group wasn’t able to take all the blame, Danielle De Rossi crying, the always energetic Alessandro Florenzi look sluggish dragging his feet after the final whistle. I will stop it in here, no need to rub it off.
Roman tifossi love their roman players, they couldn’t put the blame on them they need to find antagonist on that day, which nominated to 3 person:

  1. Aurellio Andreazolli.
    For his (viewed) tactical flaw to put DDR and Michael Bradley together in the midfield.
  2. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo.
    How many minutes he play on that day really? A good striker but somehow tifossi easily put hate on him.
  3. Frederico Balzaretti.
    On that match, he’s weak as left fullback, not able to penetrate on opponent territory, loosing in one on one.

We know what happen with the first two. Andreazolli was taken off from his position as head coach, the job which never for him, so I think he take the dismissal lightly. Osvaldo was herded away from the capital to Southampton for €15 m, a very good deal.

For Frederico Balzaretti, it went wrong for him in any aspect since his arrival in Roma. Balzaretti was signed after his impressive gig at Palermo with his 12 assist in 2 season and strong performance in Euro cup, then Zeman’s Roma and Andreazolli fail to bring him to his top form. No more solid defending, I think he will take the blame Zeman virtuous football, and his crossing barely touching his own teammates. Then Coppa Final close his season for him, from those 3 antagonists he’s the last standing.

Under Rudi Garcia, he still first choice in left back, I don’t think Dodo will take him over soon, But his performance until 3rd match this season still below expectation, whatever bad mark I just mention previously still in him, Roma visit to Parma and Parma breaking Roma clean sheet is partly on him, 1 match before the derby. He still has the burden.

Derby day

OK, let skip the first half. Nothing in here, both team play extra careful, fear to make a mistake, hence it’s fruitless.
Roma’s forward wing Gervinho and Florenzi running around tirelessly with it’s occasional long pass through trying to break Lazio flank, they just got the run, not result.
Lazio try to take initiative to score first just ended up in our 2 solid defender, Benatia and Castan. The home side, however, take the tension and draw 2 yellows.

Second Half

Talking about second half is talking about Rudi Garcia and we try to recall what he said in pre-match interview, he know how it feel to play extra in Europe competition to players physic and he try to take advantage on that. Roma not start get things eazy in 2nd half, Lazio has 2 key moment in the beginning to score, then Adem Ljajic come in for Florenzi and Roma players starting to roaming around in Lazio defensive zone from Lazio’s goalkeeper Frederico Marchetti view in first half the Roma ball flow only happen in his left and right flanks, now he starting see the ball travelling around in front of him.

After numbers of attacking attempt, Balzaretti ‘s first shoot hit the post, cloud coming in his head asking on his luck, but the tireless 37 years old captain, Francesco Totti sent another ball from right flank over 11 players in penalty box connecting only to Balzaretti who just running back to his position and take his submarine volley shoot in 63 minutes.

Balzaretti goal break-him-down-into-tears. It liberate him for all the burden he has, and hopefully put his confidence back then convert him to what an promising player he is as effective and efficient left fullback again.

Balzaretti-derby

In the next minutes, performance on both team went separate ways, Roma get more confidence and more stamina, all the pass is connecting while Lazio show shaky performances and all their attack intercepted by our 2 shock absorber piston, Danielle De Rossi and Kevin Strootman, and in the end they face another wall in form of Mehdi Benatia and Leandro Castan.

Everything went uphill battle for Lazio after Andre Diaz red card on 81′. Totti orchestrating the event when he make Cana stumbling over lob pass and immediately take the ball forward to find him in open space only left with Andre Diaz as last defender to make him draw the fault. With 1 extra players, it doesn’t take long for Roma to take final conclusion on the result, starting with Borriello open header straight to Marchetti, to me it’s a goal, then Ljajic got tackled in penalty box, where Ljajic himself take the penalty after he get De Rossi blessing.

Protagonist

I’m not sure why Strootman doesn’t get high mark on this match after he become the man of the match on Parma visit. To me he’s the reason why Lazio machine stop working, he mark their axis of attack Hernanes and shut down ball coming to and going from Hernanes.
Castan looks good at the back, he pull off his agility and trick again Lazio runners, and again to me partly is credit to Benatia, he’s so solid until no one dare to test him anymore and take another route through Castan.
De Rossi is one of the hero that day, he make clean crucial tackle from Ederson left side where he found position to make it one on one facing De Sanctis, the lost ball was taken by Castan out of the box move it away from the danger position. This heroic action grant DDR 2 points higher on his rating.
Totti? can you believe he’s 37 years old? even Italia’s Cesare Prandelli consider him to start for national team again.
Maicon. He is moving tank in defending and attacking, no one can pass him and he split 2 defender when he try entering opponent box.

Final Score: Roma 2 – 0 Lazio.

Roma have 4 win out of 4 games, 100% win where it reach top of the table with 1 goal difference with Napoli, also Roma repeating history in season 1960/1961. Can Rudi Garcia extend his winning strike? He might put his name in Roma history since on the next game Roma will visiting currently 16th place, Sampdoria.

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