Lazio vs. Roma: 6 Things We Learned
Lazio triumphed in the Derby della Capitale on Sunday in Rome, beating city rivals Roma 3-2 at a drenched Stadio Olimpico.
As usual, Roma snatched the lead when Erik Lamela—who has now scored seven times in his last six games for the Giallorossi—rose highest to head home a Francesco Totti cross.
But as always, Zdenek Zeman's tactics allowed Lazio to come back into the match. Antonio Candreva, Miroslav Klose and Stefano Mauri made sure the Biancocelesti surged into a 3-1 lead.
Roma struggled to ever come back from this, having gone down to 10 men when Daniele De Rossi was needlessly sent off. Miralem Pjanic made it interesting with a late blockbuster effort, but Vladimir Petkovic's men held on to take the spoils in an enthralling encounter.
Here are the six things we learned.
When It Rains, Zeman's Roma Lose
Zdenek blamed the rain as his side crumbled in the Derby della Capitale.
It's not the first time this has happened, after Parma won by the same scoreline against the Giallorossi a few weeks back, in the pouring rain.
"The team played well, but once the pitch became impossible to play on then we had to stop, because we are incapable of playing the long ball game," stated Zeman.
Against Parma and now against Lazio, Zeman claimed that the match should not have continued.
"Against Parma and now Lazio, the referee has allowed play to go on, though I did not see the right conditions to play," said a furious Zeman.
Miroslav Klose Is Still One of Europe's Best Strikers
Miroslav Klose continues to churn out outstanding performances for the Biancocelesti, scoring again in the derby, to the delight of the Ultras.
The German international reacted quickest when a Hernanes shot stopped abruptly by a puddle of water, smashing past Mauro Goicoechea.
Klose always comes alive when the ball is sent into the penalty area, proving his worth despite entering the final years of his career. After all, strikers of his ilk are a dying breed.
Antonio Candreva Hits a Ball as Well as Anybody in European Football
Antonio Candreva is in scorching hot form for Lazio and will soon be pushing for a start in Cesare Prandelli's Italy side.
The right-sided midfielder is deadly from distance, having already unleashed a rocket against Milan earlier in the season.
This time, from an even further distance, Candreva's cleanly struck free kick was too hot to handle for Mauro Goicoechea, who palmed the ball into the back of the net.
Candreva's technique is to be admired and it would be interesting to see where he would rank in most people's eyes for deadliest long-range shooters.
Zeman's Defence Is Not to Blame, It's the Philosophy
Zdenek Zeman's Roma concede an awful lot of goals.
The Giallorossi have shipped 23 in 12 matches—the joint worst with Pescara and Chievo in Serie A.
I would be wrong to pinpoint Roma's defenders individually though, as there have actually been some excellent individual performances by them thus far. Marquinhos, the Brazilian, has been excellent in particular, especially as he is only 18 years old.
Zeman's philosophy is to play short, sharp passes and build the attack from the back. So, in essence he demands that an attack consists of multiple passes.
"We play close passing and quick movement, so don’t really know how to play that type (long ball) of football," said Zeman.
If Roma are to improve their defensive record then they need to start making sure the situation is right to play a short pass. Too often, Roma find themselves in trouble due to conceding possession in this way.
Daniele De Rossi Is Not Worth His Wages
Daniele De Rossi was awarded a new contract by Roma, signing a five-year deal earlier in the year and taking his wages up to €10 million per season.
De Rossi's form has been relatively poor and his performance in the derby has only exaggerated the feeling of resentment from the fans that he is not earning his extortionate wages.
De Rossi was sent off for punching Stefano Mauri and will be subsequently omitted from Cesare Prandelli's Italy squad due to his misconduct.
During his suspension, De Rossi must realise his debt to the club and drastically raise the level of his performances.
Zeman Is Lucky to Have a Friend in Baldini
Zdenek Zeman is fortunate to have such a close ally in Franco Baldini who absolutely believes in his philosophy.
It also helps the Czech coach that his predecessor, Luis Enrique, only lasted a year, meaning that Roma will be desperate for some stability at the club and that Zeman will get a little more patience than he deserves.
Roma are the fourth biggest spends in terms of wages in Serie A—almost €30 million more than fifth place, Lazio. Roma were also the second biggest net spenders in Serie A during last summer's transfer window, after Juventus.
This proves that no matter what the philosophy is, Roma are grossly underachieving with Zeman and without his friend Baldini, he might be at risk of being sacked before Christmas.