If you were filming a Remember the Titans-style movie centered on Roma this season, surely this would be the feel-good climax of the film, where our heroes finally triumph after various struggles over the course of the season, and the screen fades to black as the players celebrate. Now, in reality, there’s still a ton to play for over the course of the rest of the season, but wow, what a win to claim city bragging rights, and what a way to do it!
Rome is officially red for the rest of the season as the Giallorossi thumped Lazio 3-0 in what was easily Roma’s best performance under Mourinho, running absolutely riot against their city rivals.
Being a derby, we all expected drama and fireworks, and sure enough, the action got going right away, thankfully to Roma’s benefit. An audacious Lorenzo Pellegrini corner kick in the first minute was nearly in the back of the net, with the ball rattling off the post and, by the grace of the football gods, finding itself right in front of Tammy Abraham, who was able to use his thigh to get the ball in the back of the net and give Roma the early lead. Finally, the Giallorossi were on the other end of an early, game-changing goal, with Lazio being the team who had to throw their game-plan out the window as a result. And while you’re never comfortable with a 1-0 lead in a derby, the goal went a long way in easing the fears of those who anticipated a repeat of the first meeting between the two sides this season.
Abraham, brimming with confidence following his opener, and the clear MotM on the evening, didn’t take long to double his tally, as just twenty minutes later Mkhitaryan found Karsdorp making an overlapping run, who in turn delivered a pinpoint cross into the box, finding a wide-open Abraham, who was able to twist his body and fire it into the back of the net for his second on the night.
With Roma now firmly in control of the game and stifling Lazio on the other end, the game became less about worrying whether Lazio would pull one back or not, and more about how long till Roma added to their tally, such was the confidence Roma were playing with, a wonderful sight to see following countless games the last few seasons where the Giallorossi looked completely out of their depth against their rivals.
And add to their tally they did in the 40th minute, as Rome’s own Lorenzo Pellegrini scored a picture-perfect Totti-esque freekick, with the man himself watching in attendance. You honestly couldn’t have scripted it any better, in what was a wonderful moment for Roma’s captain, putting the cherry on top of a dominant first half.
The second half lacked the goals we saw in the first but was just as delightful to watch, with Roma mainly on cruise control on their way to a dominant victory, content to control the game and focus on keeping a clean sheet, with the occasional chance on the Lazio goal. And as the final whistle blew and the celebrations began, you couldn’t help but be proud of this team, as this display was a wonderful showcase of how far this team has come since the start of the season.
In case you missed any of the action, enjoy the highlights below. If you want a deeper look, here is the extended highlight package.