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February 9, 2014
• Stadio Olimpico, Roma
Referee: D. Orsato
• Attendance: 49236
So something of a dour affair in the end, after all the usual pre-game fisticuffs. A late goal in Verona will be welcome news to Roma, but they will feel this was a game they should have won. For Lazio, meanwhile, a morale-boosting point and an impressive organised display - perhaps Reja could stay in the job after all... Thanks for joining me!
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Kevin Strootman
90' + 2'
And that's that! 0-0 it finishes, and Roma's title hopes are looking slim now...
Well met by Radu, and it's out for a throw. Just two minutes to play.
De Sanctis just meets a cross ahead of Klose and Lulic's cross is cleared by Benatia. Roma break with Ljajic and it's another corner.
Another chance with Bastos, as his cross towards Destro is cleared by Onazi. Can Roma find a winner?
BASTOS - wide! Scrappy battling in midfield eventually yields Roma a chance to attack, Ljajic finds Bastos to the left, but his poked effort is deflected into the side-netting. Berisha claims the corner.
Here comes Destro, on for Totti, who looked a bit leggy. Last throw of the dice for Garcia
Oh, what a chance for Lazio! A quick counter sees Onazi race clear, with only Torosidis ahead and Klose available, but the Greek blocks his pass.
Pjanic runs at Biava and wins a corner. That's his last act of the game, as Adem Ljajic comes on. Onazi is on for Gonzalez, meanwhile.
Bastos flashes the ball across goal but Gervinho can't reach it. Too many nearly moments so far for Roma.
Radu almost dispossessed by Totti but he turns well out of danger.
A rather heavy collision involving De Sanctis and Dias, and the Roma keeper looks a little winded after that clash.
Just under 20 minutes to go, and it's hard to say where the breakthrough will come from, at present. Lazio looking very tough to break down.
Roma look to break and another Totti backheel sets Bastos away but his pass to Gervinho is short. Roma win it back, and patient build-up from Maicon and Strootman presents Totti with an opening but he drags his shot wide.
Candreva's delivery at the second attempt is a wicked one and De Rossi heads firmly clear at the near post.
Yellow Card Stefano Mauri
Konko crosses deep and Bastos concedes the corner...
A booking for Mauri this time, after he blocks Totti's free kick without withdrawing the full 10 yards.
First action for Bastos - his free kick is flicked on by Pjanic but Lazio clear their lines and it's back with De Sanctis.
Yellow Card Antonio Candreva
First change for Roma - Florenzi is off, and Michel Bastos makes his Serie A debut for the Giallorossi.
Lazio in possession but Roma pressing the ball well. Very little space at the moment. De Rossi wins it back from Candreva and the winger brings down his Italy team-mate, earning a booking.
It's all settled down a little again, but there's plenty of warming-up going on on the touchline. Garcia looks ready to play his hand.
A rare foray forward for Lazio, but Konko's cross is blocked by Torosidis. Gervinho attacks at the other end and makes space for a shot, which he drags wide.
Totti pops up on the right again but Dias ensures the ball runs out of play. Roma press and win it back through Strootman, though.
TOTTI! Another rasping drive from the veteran, curling it just over with the outside of the right foot.
Roma have stepped up a gear here. Much more lively from Totti and Pjanic so far. Lazio right on the back foot.
PJANIC! Wide! More good interplay with Totti and Torosidis and Pjanic receives the pass in the area but scuffs his shot just wide of the near post.
Chance for Roma! Better passing play this time, Gervinho finds space and drives for the byline and forces a corner.
A clever pass from Totti but Gervinho can't keep it in play. Roma have seen that link-up far too seldom so far today.
Half a chance for Roma! A corner is cleared to Maicon, and his cross is turned right across goal from De Rossi, but somehow eludes everyone. Strootman then tries his luck but troubles nobody below the Curva Sud at the top of the stand.
A loose pass from Benatia presents Lulic with the ball, and he cuts back to Mauri, but his shot is scuffed and bounces through to De Sanctis.
Mauri making his first appearance since the Coppa Italia win over Roma in May. Torosidis is down now after Candreva takes a little swipe at the defender - bit silly from the winger, there.
Here we go, then! Lazio kick off to another chorus of fireworks...
The teams are emerging from the tunnel here at the Olimpico - it looks like Stefan Mauri is about to enter the fray, seemingly for Keita.
45' + 1'
Torosidis launches the most ambitious of shots from distance, which ends up somewhere in the stands, and that's that for the first half. More of a squabble than a battle so far, with the sides cancelling each other out well.
Totti wants a handball against Konko but nothing doing. Just one minute of stoppage time.
De Sanctis claims the corner and sends it early to Gervinho, only for Konko to haul him down and avoid a free kick.
Another Ledesma interception, another Lazio counter, and Keita cuts inside and fires at goal only for Castan to put his head in the way. Corner kick.
TOTTI! My word, he hit that! A fierce strike from 25 yards flies a yard wide of the far top corner.
Things have really opened up in these last few minutes. End-to-end stuff, but with very little end product.
Yellow Card Senad Lulic
PJANIC - oh, what a chance! Lovely link-up play with Maicon sees the midfielder receive a pass in space, 10 yards out, but he can't control it and Konko intervenes. Moments later, Benatia tees up Gervinho, who curls a shot just over the bar.
Pjanic wins it on halfway and finally Gervinho is released with a ball in behind, but with no support, he can only scuff it across into the keeper's grasp. At the other end, Lulic does his best rugby impression to bring down Benatia, and goes into the referee's notebook.
GONZALEZ! Not a bad effort. Good run from Lulic down the right, who pulls it back to Gonzalez on the edge of the area, and his effort flies just over the crossbar.
Maicon does not look comfortable, and Michel Bastos is warming up. Looks likely Garcia will wait until the break if he can, though.
Lovely first-time pass from Totti to Florenzi, and the veteran tries a clipped pass to Strootman on the return but Lazio clear.
Bit of spray treatment for Maicon here. The atmosphere - though hardly quiet - has become a little less heated in the last few minutes, with neither side quite able to take control of things on the pitch.
Lazio are pressing well so far. Totti earns a free kick outside his own area, under pressure from Biava, which underlines the point. A brief break in play now after Maicon was caught by Lulic.
Roma break with Pjanic and then Florenzi but Gervinho loses it 20 yards from goal. Keita loses it again, though, and a hurried clearance at the back presents Totti with a volley from 25 yards but Berisha saves comfortably.
Candreva again takes on Torosidis and again wins a corner kick.
Panic stations for De Sanctis as he drops a catch under pressure from Lulic but a foul is given. Lucky for the keeper, there.
GOAL - no! Offside! Maicon strides forward and drills towards the bottom corner, Berisha parries and Gervinho taps it home, but the flag is raised against the Ivorian. Very, very close, that one.
BENATIA - missed it! Totti's delivery just misses Castan's head and Bentatia arrives at the far post but can't keep his effort down.
De Rossi is clipped at wins a free kick in the centre circle. Totti picks up the ball but Radu's high foot draws a free kick, just 25 yards from goal.
Yellow Card Mehdi Benatia
In by Ledesma towards Dias but a foul is given. Lazio certainly the better side at present.
Corner is cleared but the long ball back in finds Klose in the area. Benatia clears, Klose slides and wins it back, and draws the foul from Benatia, who picks up a booking.
A mix-up in defence sees the ball ricochet to Candreva, who wins a corner off Torosidis...
Lazio back with the ball now after Totti was outnumbered going forward.
FLORENZI! First real opening for Roma! Gervinho slips it back to Maicon, and his cross picks out the forward at the far post but his measured volley flies wide. Could he have brought that under control?
A bit of pinball on the edge of the Lazio area but eventually Florenzi concedes a throw. Lazio attack again through Candreva, and Lulic's cross just evades Klose.
Another great run from Candreva but Gonzalez' cross hits Benatia. As expected, the Roma left is looking to be a real outlet for Lazio.
Roma head clear and Gervinho leads the break, but it comes to nothing as Totti eventually slices his shot into the air. Lazio hit on their own counter and play is brought to a halt with Candreva's offside. Things are livening up now.
Half a chance for Lazio! Candreva drives forward and clips a cross to the back post, where De Sanctis can only tip it behind for a corner.
First bit of arguing on the pitch after a rather heavy challenge from De Rossi brings a free kick and a few heated exchanges. Underway again.
Some mighty fireworks could be heard at kick off, and the smoke has now descended onto the pitch.
A foul from Keita hands Roma a free kick in their own half. He tries another burst down the left a moment later but De Rossi is back to tackle well.
The first Totti backheel of the day sets Torosidis on his way, but he overruns it for a goal kick.
Good run from Pjanic into the area but his cut-back is cleared by Konko.
No surprise to see Roma settle into possession quickly, but a rare loose touch from Gervinho gives Lazio a throw-in.
Here we go! Roma get us underway to a chorus of boos...
"No Totti, no party" says one Roma banner in the stands. I guess it's time to break out the balloons...
Midfield is crucial today, with Lazio missing Biglia and having to cope without Hernanes - Roma should expect to boss the centre with the options they have. But on the break, pitting Candreva against Torosidis could pay dividends for the Aquile. Where do you think the key battles will be? Pay me a visit @JoeWright004 and let me know your thoughts...
Both Rudi Garcia and Edy Reja have spent the week dealing some early blows, but have always maintained this remains "just one more Serie A game." The support in the Olimpico beg to differ, I think. We're just five minutes from kick off...!
ROMA: De Sanctis; Maicon, Benatia, Castan, Torosidis; Pjanic, De Rossi, Strootman; Florenzi, Totti, Gervinho. More or less as expected for the Giallorossi, although Torosidis is forced into left-back to compensate for the losses of Balzaretti and Dodo. There were doubts over Pjanic's fitness, but he makes the XI, ahead of Radja Nainggolan.
LAZIO: Berisha; Konko, Biava, Dias, Radu; Gonzalez, Ledesma, Lulic; Candreva, Klose, Keita. Still no place for January signing Helder Postiga, nor Stefano Mauri, who returns from his long-term suspension. Lucas Biglia is banned.
There's been plenty of pre-match squabbling in the build-up to today's game, but first up, it's on with the team news...
The stage is set. The Olimpico is primed. The capital expects. Welcome to the Rome derby - LIVE!
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