Roma 1 - Goat Lovers 0
There's a pile on the pitch as once again Roman order has been restored. Marco Cassetti, Roma's goat much of the year, fucks Lazio in the end.
Irony is beautiful, isn't it?
Juan wins yet another ball in the air - you could also frame his perfromance today as Cassetti wins a header and Burdisso hate boots it down the other end.
91' Totti wins the exceedingly necessary foul under pressure and now they're just hoofing it out.
Taddei coming on. Mirko off.
Baronio off as he shows his one-digit IQ by wasting time coming off. Dabo on.
Roma still with a sub in the bag.
And there's the inevitable. Pizarro red: the stand begins.
Such brilliance from Totti; such near brilliance from Mirko. It's a shame Totti couldn't pass to another version of himself.
87' Pizarro yellow for words, which we've obviously never seen before.
Smoke consuming the pitch.
86' Still one sub in the bag....Roman possession not staying long enough.
Rembrandt could've framed that move.
Juan gobbles up space like Pacman; Mirko counter...Riise one-timer saved by Muslera. What brilliant Roman football again.
Rizzolli will just not allow Totti to get positioning on a free kick. Having none of it.
Break launched by Brighi and Totti runs it down to hassle for a throw.
83' Lazio free kick in a dangerous spot near the touch.
82' Rocchi on Mauri off.
It may not have been a goal, but that was an 89:55 moment from Mirko. What a job to bullet that pass.
Mauri yellow; Rocchi ready to come on and flop.
Football from the heavens and who else by the much critiqued Mirko Vucinic to setup a streaking Cassetti. He buried it, then he buried the sign boards.
Unfortunately I spotted that pass by DDR last Tuesday. Imagine what that means for everyone else on the pitch.
76' Juan is hunched, which never bodes well given his history. Passes not connecting in the final third despite some truly inspired work.
Daniele is a man possessed.
74' Pizarro looking genuinely hurt, but walks it off all the same. Pound for pound, he may be Roma's toughest. And by pound for pound, I mean that one pound.
Brighi looks on shaky knees here now. Foggia dive x 2.Typical.
Kolarov pulls a Riise. Except it doesn't go in the back of the net.
71' Foggia falls, Rizzolli gives another Lazio free kick. This is not his finest game.
Burdisso clears a dangerous cross for, finally, a throw rather than a corner.
69' DDR pushes Stendardo in his back and he grabs his face not, apparently, aware that pushes in the back do not hurt the mouth. Pansy.
Riise found Simone with a great cross... John playing out of his tree to win a corner.
Lichsteiner undressed Totti. Penalty, please.
Muslera matches HSB's heroics, although Simone's header was right at him.
Mirko again with an awful pass. He'll need to score a goal to make up for this turd, though he;s been better in the second.
66' Tough pass by Brighi into blue shirts. One would hope for a bit more crispness as Daniele goes back to tackling everything in sight.
64' Heart still reeling from that JSB save while simultaneously wondering if Doni will make it to February on the roster.
Lazyo free kick from 35 or so...deflects out for a corner. Too many corners.
Riise break....back the other way. It's a fight right now. A goddamn prizefight as Daniele De Rossi shows just why he's the best DM in the world.
I have no words to explain how that didn't go in the net. I cannot fathom just how Julio Sergio got to that ball.
Julio Sergio! The save of the year!
The subs, however, have done a bit of good so far. While the skill and technique are oozing, the tridente needs to be put in the right circumstances to thrive. The derby may not be it.
Francesco with the dummy to....no one. How often do you see that happen? Never. God, a begging goal from 15.
57' Pushing from Stendardo and Totti. Hopefully with Francesco aware that the blue bastard is on a yellow.
Starting to wonder if Al-Sadd's fee went to Rizzolli instead of Zarate now.
This is getting ridiculous. Foul on Totti.
Brighi called for another nonexistent handball. Rizzollli needs to be better.
54' Cassetti fancies his chances; I do not. Goal kick Lazyo.
Fortunately Zarate felt like booting it into Curva Nord instead.
52' Totti called for handball when it clearly hit him in the back. Rizzoli has not been brilliant today, but you've sort of got to forgive him in the derby setting. Kinda. Free kick a bit closer...
Mirko launches a Lazio counter. He is beyond poor right now. Daniele then concedes the foul with a ridiculously good tackle from 25 or so. This is not good, and goes down to Mirko. Again.
50' Foggia in the game, by the by. Matuzalem I do believe.
Two straight Lazio corners - this is not ideal, but Brocchi trying to cross the ball is. Goal kick.
Totti just gave Baronio the swim move on his way to sacking the quarterback. Love it.
48' I about messed my pants on that Zarate turn, I will not lie. Looked supremely dangerous.
Also hoping Mirko will have on e of his 89:55 games.
This will have a bit more of the 4-3-1-2 about it, me thinks. It'll also have Perrotta running a bit more centrally, which is dreamy.
46' I'm not sure I like the two subs by the half in a derby which is begging for red cards and tough tackles, but at least both yellow cards are off the pitch.
Menez is coming off, mostly because he's asking for a red, and Brighi on.
I'm now realizing my little preview had the game at 0-0 at the half while a centerback would be coming off in the first. 'Twas via red, but....
Typical derby play - including the 10 min stoppage in the middle.
About that "great deal of extra time": 1 min. What the fuck do I know.
Forgetting there will be a great deal of extra time, so they can't risk Philou getting roasted based on his knee. Yellow for Baronio as he just hammered Perrotta. He'll be due a red shortly too.
No idea why they aren't waiting until the half, but here comes Mexes. This is a minor disaster without doubt, greatly due to the fact that the knee injury happened without contact.
44' Cassetti getting warm. Now the shirt is coming off.
42' Simone just gave Zarate a free run out of pity as Baronio hits the ground because DDR pimp slapped him. He should know his place.
Mexes looking knocked and Ranieri asking him if he needs a sub.
41' Foul called on Totti because Lichsteiner's mother is a whore. That's fair.
And then JSB just about wins a free kick 30 yards from the Lazie goal with his bombing kick. Get that man a contract.
39' Menez with a good bit of running but doing so carefully now. Zarate on the right, cross blocked by Riise.
I don't like all these setpieces.
And Mexes then saves the day again on the free kick.
Trying to tell myself that red cards are part of the derby territory, but it's not working.
36' And.....they're screwed. Mexes yellow.
Burdisso is having throw-in difficulties. So much so he fires one out for a free goalkick.
34' Mexes forced to concede a corner. Lazyo really spacing the box and then fouling, as is their way.
33' Diakhite is playing like this is first ever game. Menez with a foul on Lichsteiner. If he makes it to the half he may need to come off.
31' Julio Sergio now with the cape. Waiting for the deflection and forced into the epic save.
Stendardo yellow. 1-1 now.
Zarate was just bitched by David Pizarro. Retire, dude. Just retire. It's over.
29' Or not another corner. Whatever.
Totti, Mirko and Menez put on an absolute show. The result is putting Lazio under enough pressure to concede a corner for the first time in ever......another corner after Menez wound up.
I don't want to jinx anything, but Juan is a ridiculously good centerback.
27' Riise does Riise things, like shoot hard. It goes way high.
Lazio attacking that left side purposefully.
25' Gorgeous work by Menez, Totti and...wait for it....Burdisso. At least until Nicolas was forced to cross the ball.
Mauri "hurt" in the box. "Hurt" being synonymous with "Roma were breaking on a counter".
Rodrigo Taddei needs to start warming up. Menez's technique is wonderful, but XI men is better.
Menez yellow. He's begging to be sent off.
22' Menez fouls Zarate then follows up with his now patented Stare of Death.
21' Menez with a shot on the floor from an angle which renders a shot on the floor easily saved. He does this a lot. I no like.
19' Philou is wearing the cape and mask currently. Tremendous interception on a dangerous ball.
The switch to the left doesn't work, Menez's professional foul does. He'll be lucky not to get a yellow this half.
18' I'm not liking these calls. Lazio get a corner on a shit which stayed the same course the entire way. Deflection? Hardly. Fortunately Juan can jump like a bean.
Lazio handpass not called. Nice to see the flow not being interrupted, but there are limits......
Perrotta and De Rossi are playing like maniacs today.
15' Vucinic just borrowed Julio's touch; Lazio get the ball back.
14' Quick cross by Zarate dangerously cleared. Fucking stoppage.
DDR now hurt.
Here we go. Finally. Not a clue what that was about except for typical derby shenanigans.
Now everybody's warming up again because the stoppage has drawn on too long. Still not entirely sure what's going on. Thought it was the lights, may be more than that. For fuck's sake even the linesman is having to warm up again.
Baronio looks homeless. And I say that not because he's the goat-shagging captain - he just does.
What's a Rome derby without a stoppage, right?
The game's been stopped for some reason. Technical difficulties? Ah, the lights have gone out again. DDR quickly changing boots finally.
Sometimes, I wish I was a neutral during these things. It's a bit too hard to appreciate the genius of Totti, Menez & Mirko right now.
11' Riise owns Zarate. Nothing surprising.
Menez with the smart dummy, Totti and Yeremy combine to earn a corner. Those two have decent technique.
Gorgeous ball by someone - Totti? to feed in Perrotta. Cuts it back, no Mancini there to bury it.
Kolarov is the homelessman's Riise. And that's piss poor.
8' Both teams looking to break the Italian record for fouls in a game. I don't like this - can't give the inferior team too many set piece chances. The balance shifts drastically.
Juan leading the line wanting a penalty, no dice, and Riise's hammer goes well wide. Early intent is lovely, but I need a quick goal so that my hands stop shaking. (Or maybe to quit my Red Bull addiction.)
Free kick from 35 or so, early deflection and it's back to Roman possession.
5' Mexes so smooth on Zarate. Totti doing Totti things.
This game is hella physical already, but you knew that.
4' What a dive from Stendardo, frakin' fairy.
Free kick with an unmarked Burdisso becomes a corner. Nicolas already getting a lecture. I love him.
2' Early Lazie shot blocked; hack on Totti not called.
I geuninely worry about Menez today. A few more fouls are going to be allowed given the nature of the game and that does not suit him.
Early Roman free kick however...
1' Curva Sud is gorgeous right now in its red and yellow hue.
Here we go....KICKOFF
They're on the pitch shaking hands and all one can hear is Roma, Roma, Roma. The way it should be - the only way it can be.
Three minutes. Three long, agonizing minutes.
FSC is showing the last derby. Let's just say I'm thrilled Motta is on the bench.
The Stat which everyone has been batting about...
Goals this season:
Totti - 9
Lazio - 9
And one of these had midseason surgery. You can guess which one.
This, quite frankly, frightens me.
Lazio's lineup makes that incredible Rangers UEFA Cup of two years ago look a high-flying ode to attacking. Typical Lazio cojones - or lack thereof.
We are now entering the pregame portion of the tv coverage, which means the game is imminent. It also means, as I'm sure is the case for many, I'm quite sick to my stomach. I often embellish feelings pre/postgame, as is the writer's prerogative, but this is different. This is, every year, too much. I've said they should play thirty-eight a year, but twice does more than suffice.
The team's biggest fan will be wearing the captain's armband as its best player.
This you cannot buy. Not even from Qatar.
Burdisso, Mexes, Juan, Riise
Perrotta, Menez, Vucinic
ROMA (4-2-3-1): Julio Sergio, Burdisso, Mexes, Juan, Riise, De Rossi, Pizarro, Perrotta, Menez, Vucinic, Totti.
A disp.: Doni, Andreolli, Taddei, Cassetti, Motta, Brighi, Okaka, Baptista.
LAZIO (3-4-1-2): Muslera, Diakitè, Stendardo, Radu, Lichtsteiner, Brocchi, Baronio, Kolarov, Matuzalem; Mauri, Zarate.
A disp.: Berni, Dabo, Eliseu, Rocchi, Siviglia, Foggia, Meghini.
Cicinho's probably as good as gone in January. Otherwise, nothing shocking.
Captain Rocchi is showing just where his quality and gonads belong: on the pine of a piss poor team.
One would hope, and expect, that they'd run out with a bit more passion for this game - a bit more intent. And this, at least for me, renders the Basel game as if it never happened tactically. The 4-2-3-1 with Menez and Mirko on the flanks was always bound to disappoint under those circumstances so this is almost its first true run.
Provided, of course, Claudio doesn't go with Taddei or Cicinho/Motta from the off. Which I suspect he might.
And then once more...when have tactics ever matter in a derby? For this reason, I'm not sure I like Mr. Mancini Junior Menez too much to begin.
Now that we've decided tactics matter not, let's take a look at the supposed Lazy lineup:
LAZIO (3-4-1-2): Muslera, Siiviglia, Stendardo, Radu,Lichtsteiner, Brocchi, Baronio, Kolarov,Matuzalem; Zarate, Rocchi.
Ballardini clearly taking his anti-Roma tactics straight from 2007. Wonder if he's checked the guy roaming the sidelines lately?
Latest reports have Burdisso on the right, which always seemed most likely to me. It also seems like my heart won't be able to take the Burdisso-Mexes card-attracting tandem. See the preview.
Streams: MyP2P; atdhe.
Kickoff: 2045 local.