ROME, ITALY - MARCH 04: Maarten Stekelenburg (C) goalkeeper of AS Roma reacts after the red card during the Serie A match between AS Roma and SS Lazio at Stadio Olimpico on March 4, 2012 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
- Nobody deserves to be singled out for a lashing, though Heinze won't be getting any POTW awards and the midfield - another pattern of recent - wasn't quite scintillating. This was simply the inevitable outcome of combining derby tenacity and outlay with playing a man down for nearly ninety minutes. Within the context, it's hard to fault the performance; some may even celebrate it. (Though upon seeing them burst to life in the minutes following the dismissal, you'd imagine none to have been happier than Reja, his eye glinting lustily toward minutes seventy through ninety.)
Luis' record against coaches he's faced once before is just gettin' better and better: 1-2-5. This isn't coincidence. (I've even left Slovan Bratislava off out of mercy and reverence for Fernando Gago.)
- However, the initial lineup was wisely taken. Greco and Rosi aren't exactly the world's most card-adverse footballers, and thrusting their Roman DNA into a derby atmosphere may have spelled a far worse ending.
- Refereeing wasn't ideal in either direction. It's a derby. It doesn't just happen, it's standard fare.
- Marquinho can cross a lot better than he can shoot, apparently. Back when he was a potential hiring, there was some leftback talk in there, no? Considering how mild hit/Hiroshima Jose Angel can be, giving 'quinho an extended trial in that spot might just be wise.
- That said, something rather important was taken from this game.
Champions League is simply not going to happen - regardless of how LE feels - and the Europa League will remain a battle. Would it be wise to lessen the chances at some second-tier UEFA action by running out the children each weekend in order to gain some much needed, long-term beneficial Serie A experience? Who knows, perhaps they will come good and surprise us in the process.
If there is to be a silver lining, it's that there is now so little to lose as so much is already lost.