Serie A: Roma 1 Lazio 1
By Football News
A second half penalty from Francesco Totti earned Roma a share of the spoils in the Rome derby on Monday.
The successful spot kick in the 57th minute cancelled out a fine 17th minute strike from Lazio striker Hernanes in what was an eventful clash between the two arch rivals who were both looking to maintain their European aspirations.
Roma began the stronger as Erik Lamela tested Federico Marchetti in the first minute with a close range header having been picked out at the back post by Totti, only for the Lazio goalkeeper to comfortably hold on.
However, the hosts failed to capitalise on their early pressure and allowed Lazio back into the encounter, Antonio Candreva being picked out in space on the right before smashing an effort towards Maarten Stekelenburg, which the Dutchman palmed away for a corner.
The Biancocelesti made their dominance count on the 17-minute mark as Senad Lulic countered from a Roma corner.
He picked out the unmarked Hernanes in space in the middle of the pitch, and the Brazilian cut onto his left foot before launching an unstoppable effort past Stekelenburg from 25 yards.
Roma struggled to muster any real clear cut opportunities as Vasilis Torosidis fired from distance, with Marchetti untroubled by the effort from the Greek defender, while Candreva blasted his long-range free-kick over the bar as the visitors continued to press for a second.
Lazio held firm against their city rivals, but Marchetti was forced again into action in the last minute of the first half as Totti tested his compatriot from distance having been played in by Alessandro Florenzi following some good work by the Roma midfielder on the left.
Vladimir Petkovic's side had the opportunity to double their advantage just after the interval after Paulo Mazzoleni pointed to the spot following Marquinhos' handball. However, Hernanes failed to hit the target and saw his penalty go wide.
The Brazilian midfielder then conceded a penalty at the other end having brought down Miralem Pjanic as Totti stepped up and nestled his spot kick into the bottom corner just out of reach of Marchetti.
The visitors' task was made that much harder with 20 minutes remaining as Giuseppe Biava was handed his marching orders for a second yellow card.
Roma looked to make their numerical advantage count and perhaps should have gone in front with 10 minutes remaining, but Erik Lamela somehow turned Totti's corner over the bar from two yards.
The hosts pressed late on to secure the winner, Marchetti holding Totti's free kick five minutes from time, as the scores remained level and Lazio fail to close the gap on third placed AC Milan.
The draw means Lazio leapfrog Inter into fifth as Roma stay seventh.