Rome derby ends in stalemate

Lazio squander a chance to win as thrilling derby ends in 1-1 draw against Roma in Italy's Serie A.

    Rome derby ends in stalemate
    Roma's sixth draw of the campaign leaves them in seventh place, 23 points behind leaders Juventus and three behind Lazio [AFP]

    Brazil playmaker Hernanes put Lazio ahead but later missed a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Roma in the city derby on Monday that left both clubs still battling for Europa League spots.

    Hernanes also fouled Miralem Pjanic to give away a penalty for Roma in the 56th minute that was converted by 36-year-old captain Francesco Totti.

    Hernanes scored in the 16th with a spectacular effort from 25 yards, but missed a penalty wide in the 48th.

    Lazio ended the match with 10 men after Giuseppe Biava picked up his second yellow card in the 69th.

    The draw, which broke a run of three straight derby wins for Lazio, left Lazio in fifth place, one point behind Fiorentina. Roma are three points further back in seventh.

    Violence

    The match was marred by violent clashes outside the Stadio Olimpico before kickoff, with at least four fans stabbed and an ambulance attacked.

    Lazio controlled most of the first half and Hernanes' shot into the top left corner was a thing of beauty, leaving goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg with no chance.

    Roma finally started to attack in first-half added time, and Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti had to stretch out to punch away a dangerous shot from Totti just before the halftime whistle.

    Three minutes into the second half, Roma defender Marquinhos handled inside the area. But Hernanes, who had been perfect from the penalty spot previously this season, uncharacteristically placed a soft shot wide of the target.

    The miss energised Roma, who lost limping midfielder Daniele De Rossi for Mattia Destro in the 53rd. Three minutes later, Hernanes fouled Pjanic to set up Totti's penalty.

    It was Totti's 12th goal this season and 227th of his Serie A career, moving him within 47 of Silvio Piola's all-time record. Last month, Totti passed Swedish great Gunnar Nordahl to sit second on the all-time list.

    It was also Totti's ninth career goal in the Serie A derby, tying him for the record with Dino Da Costa and Marco Delvecchio. Da Costa has 11 derby goals, including Italian Cup matches.

    "This is the greatest record,'' Totti said. "I wanted this one more than all the others.''

    Totti had another chance in the 64th with a low free kick, after which Alessandro Florenzi missed two rebounds.

    Five minutes later, Lazio lost Biava.

    Lazio striker Miroslav Klose, making his first start after a long injury layoff, made little impact.

    "Unfortunately we threw away the first half - we just weren't able to get into the match,'' Totti said.

    "But the second half went better and the important thing was that we didn't lose.''

    SOURCE: AP


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