The Derby della Capitale holds a magnitude on the fixture calendar that speaks for itself before we can even get a word in. In a similar fashion, if your foot is anywhere inside the “Fonseca’s Roma can’t perform against Top 6 rivals” door, then you may claim tonight’s final score was a foregone conclusion before a ball was even kicked. In yet another drab result against a Top 6 rival, Roma were second-best, flat and humbled in their first Stadio Olimpico defeat of the 2020-21 season.
Roma held the honour of being the “away” side this Friday, so we’ll still claim the Giallorossi have gone unbeaten at home all season, so far, on paper. But we know such technicalities won’t do justice to the overall big picture of how deflating this defeat to city rivals Lazio will feel over the weekend. Where do Roma pick themselves up from here?
It likely won’t be looking to Roger Ibanez’s on-pitch awareness for inspiration. The Brazilian defender put in one of the worst individual performances in recent Roma memory, leaving his mark on his first-ever Rome derby in a way which he would have never hoped. Added to Ibanez’s troubles are the topsy-turvy form charts of usually bright names like Leonardo Spinazzola and Jordan Veretout. And that’s to say nothing of Edin Dzeko’s recent games.
If you’re particularly masochistic, here are the highlights of Roma’s Friday night defeat to neighbours Lazio below. The loss leaves Roma looking at the possibility of falling down to 6th place by the time the Serie A weekend is done, with 7th-placed Lazio closing in on Roma’s heels.
I’m not sure there’s even been a time where Roma go into a mid-week Coppa fixture against Spezia, needing a win to silence the doubters. But if any Roma side of years gone by have ever found themselves in that position, I can only imagine it ended well.