AS Roma earned the bragging rights in the Rome derby in Serie A as they beat city rivals Lazio who were reduced to ten men late in the game.
The win saw the hosts seal their Europa Conference League qualification and extended their unbeaten record at home to six matches. For the visitors who have already qualified for the Europa League, the loss effectively ended their slim chances of a top-four finish and gave their rivals the bragging rights in the city for the time being.
Both teams began the game in good fashion, but it was Lazio who controlled proceedings in the early stages of the match, although they couldn’t truly trouble Daniel Fuzato in the Roma goal.
They found the back of the net though in the 35th minute through Vedat Muriqi, but the goal was ruled out by VAR ruled for offside, before the hosts then broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute through Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Armenian, who has now scored in three consecutive matches, took his season’s tally in the league to 12 with a cool finish from the centre of the box to give his side the lead just before the break.
Roma doubled their lead after the break via a brilliant long-range strike by Pedro, 12 minutes from time. The substitute came on in the 72nd minute, replacing Stephan El Shaarawy to score his first derby goal for Roma and his sides’ second for the night.
Moments after Pedro’s goal, the visitors were reduced to ten men after Acerbi received his second yellow of the game for a bad tackle in the 87th minute. The reduction in numbers killed his side’s morale and eventually condemned them to their first derby loss at the Olimpico since 2017.
The game was Paulo Fonseca’s last home game in charge of Roma and ensured that the Portuguese, who will be replaced by Jose Mourinho next season, bowed out in style.
Roma are back in action on Spezia in their last game of the Serie A season while Lazio play Torino next before facing Sassuolo in their last game of the season.