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The defender scored his side's opening goal on Sunday and revealed his delight at his rare appearance on the scoresheet

Roma defender Federico Balzaretti has revealed that he started crying with joy after scoring in their 2-0 derby win over Lazio.

The Giallorossi exacted revenge on Lazio for Coppa Italia final defeat with a two-goal triumph at the Stadio Olimpico, with Rudi Garcia's side taking the lead through Balzaretti in the 63rd minute.

A stoppage-time penalty from Adem Ljajic allowed them to add insult to injury and derby hero Balzaretti - who was heavily criticised following last season's loss to Lazio in May - is thrilled with his and the team's turnaround under Garcia.

"I felt such incredible joy and emotion," the 31-year-old told Mediaset. "This doesn’t happen every day. I tend to score once every four years, so to do it in the derby. So much went through my head at that moment.

"Criticism is part of the sport and my strength is that I keep working the way I always have done. I know the club has faith in me and my team-mates care for me.

"The problem is not what others say, but how I feel and I can assure you that when I play badly, I feel absolutely terrible. I try to take responsibility and keep working.

"Rudi Garcia did very well to bring the team back together after we had so much mud thrown at us over the last few months. He worked on us psychologically and gave us back our confidence. The squad understood his style of football and the results are clear."

Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic believes that the result could easily have gone the other way and felt his side were better than Roma in many areas.

"I am happy with the way the team played," he told Sky Sport. "In the first half we controlled the situation well and created more scoring opportunities than Roma.

"It was clear that whoever broke the deadlock would end up winning and unfortunately that turned out to be Roma. If we had taken some of our first half chances, then perhaps the game would’ve gone differently."

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