5 things we learned from the Rome derby

21 November 2017 03:44

Roma edged a tight Eternal City derby over rivals Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday night.

Here we take a look at five things we learned from a match which could have a crucial impact on the Serie A title race.

Eusebio Di Francesco continues to surprise

Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco is defying his critics.
Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco is defying his critics (AP)

Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco continues to surprise. When the relatively inexperienced Di Francesco replaced Luciano Spalletti at the end of last season, many pundits predicted a slide in his side’s fortunes. But the 48-year-old is proving himself an increasingly adept tactician – and restoring the belief that the good times could be about to get even better.

Lazio challenge despite derby defeat

Nani, from Manchester United reject to Serie A winner? (EMPICS Sport)

Local bragging rights apart, Lazio have little cause to be too downhearted. They continue to challenge at home and abroad under the leadership of Simone Inzaghi – and they can expect their fortunes to improve even further once Felipe Anderson has made a full return from injury, and ex-Manchester United man Nani settles into the side.

Alisson is the business

Alisson is getting rave reviews for Roma (EMPICS Sport)

Roma are backed up by one of the best keepers in the business. Their capture of Brazilian keeper Alisson for around £5million in February last year raised some eyebrows – after all, the now-25 year old was a virtual unknown outside his native country. But he continues to grow in stature and exudes calm at the back of his side’s sturdy defence.

Edin Dzeko keeps Roma title bid on track

Roma v Chelsea – UEFA Champions League – Group C – Stadio Olimpico
Dzeko: heading for the Ballon D’Or? (PA)

Edin Dzeko might not have hit the mark this time around, but it was not for want of trying as he continues to underline his status as one of the most in-form strikers in the business. It is little wonder Dzeko is on the 30-player shortlist for this year’s Ballon D’Or – and that his continued good form is crucial to Roma’s title hopes.

Serie A battle remains tight affair

Some say it is the title that no one wants to win – others that it is shaping up to be one of the most exciting Serie A run-ins in years. While pace-setters Napoli and Juventus remain slight favourites, both Eternal City clubs can consider they have every chance of figuring in the title mix-up – with Di Francesco’s men in particular ideally placed.

Source: By Roddy Brooks