Dating back to the fall of 1929, AS Roma and SS Lazio have met 149 times, and while Roma has come out on top in 52 of those tilts, rest assured, nearly every one of those victories was hard fought. While the sesquicentennial rendition of the Derby della Capitale is a perfect time to reflect upon the societal, political and historic factors that comingle when two sides from one of the world's oldest cities collide, not to mention all the legendary players who have donned the glorious giallorossi and the blase biancocelesti over the past 86 years, today we'll shift our focus from fame and fortune to fury, namely red cards.
As one would expect, when two sides as diametrically opposed as these square off, tensions flare...often. Although the collective calcioteers of Rome have avoided the red in their past two encounters, they did amass 13 yellow cards; we'll call that a tame day in the Eternal City. Over their past six meetings, Roma and Lazio have kept Italian referees awfully busy. Dating back to November of 2012, a full 49 cards have been drawn, 44 yellows and five reds. And before you pin this all on Lazio, consider this breakdown: those 44 yellows have been split evenly down the middle, while the Biancocelesti have earned three reds to Roma's two, so we've got some ground to gain.
The most obvious question, of course, is who have been the main culprits in these dustups? Over those past six matches, Senad Lulic has drawn five yellows, and while this is an impressive haul, Stefano Mauri is really Lazio's leading man, drawing three yellows and one red; getting sent off earns him bonus points in this countdown.
As far as Roma's most profligate scofflaw...seriously, come on, you already know this.
Over those same six matches, Daniele De Rossi has drawn three yellow cards, which isn't too bad, but you may or may not recall the straight red he received in the 46th minute during the November 2012 meeting. Although, given what we just read, it was quite fitting DDR got sent off for pimp slapping Mauri in stoppage time. De Rossi has been booked against his city rivals at least a dozen times since he made his debut in 2001.
Led by the likes of De Rossi, Mauro, Cristian Ledesma, Stefan Radu, Francesco Totti and Miralem Pjanic, among others, the whole of Rome has drawn approximately 148 bookings since the year 2000.
So, while we can't necessarily predict Monday's scoreline, we're sure to see hordes of men cursing officials as they're ushered off the pitch.
It's the Roman way.