Lessons from Serie A: Lazio edge past 10-man Roma in derby
Kieran Beckles looks back at another action-packed weekend of Italian football, including Lazio's 2-1 derby win at Roma
Rome derby marred by red card
Fifa’s International Football Association Board met last week and decided to further review the option of scrapping the so-called ‘triple punishment’, when an player concedes a penalty, receives a red card and a suspension. And Roma manager Luis Enrique may well have an opinion to offer after Maarten Stekelenburg was sent off for bringing down Lazio’s Miroslav Klose after nine minutes at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday. It left Enrique’s side with a seemingly insurmountable task after Hernanes dispatched the spot-kick to give the visitors a first-half lead – but Roma responded as Fabio Borini levelled. However, the prospect of Roma salvaging a point was extinguished when Lazio skipper Stefano Mauri netted the winner. The win leaves Edoardo Roja’s Lazio in third place and 10 points clear of their bitter city rivals.
Ibrahimović’s 14-minute hat-trick
Zlatan Ibrahimović is in ominous form. The journey to southern Italy and Palermo’s hostile Stadio Renzo Barbera usually makes for one of Serie A’s trickiest assignments. But Milan’s enigmatic Swedish striker, who returned from suspension at the weekend, turned on the style and opened the scoring after 21 minutes with an elegant left-footed finish. The 30-year-old then finished a sweeping Milan counter-attack to add a second shortly after, and his 14-minute hat-trick was completed when he steered a curling shot past Emiliano Viviano. On Tuesday night, Europe’s two in-form strikers will meet at Arsenal, with the neutral hoping Robin van Persie and Ibrahimović make it a European night to remember. But the Gunners face an even more difficult task after Milan’s Ibrahimović inspired them to a 4-0 win on Saturday to ensure the San Siro outfit travel to London brimming with confidence.
Midweek internationals hamper Juve’s title bid
Juventus manager Antonio Conte bemoaned the midweek internationals as the Turin outfit limped to a 1-1 draw with Chievo at the Juventus Stadium. The result leaves Juve three points behind Scudetto rivals Milan, but Conte’s side do have a game in hand. The second-placed side knew what was required after Milan had won Saturday’s early kick-off. And the home side took the lead in the 19th minute when Paolo De Ceglie punished Chievo for their failure to clear Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick. But the 27-time Serie A champions were pegged back, despite having numerous chances to double their lead, when Boukary Drame equalised with 15 minutes remaining. Conte was under no illusions as to the cause of his side’s lacklustre performance, admitting that having 10 players representing their national sides in midweek was a negative influence on their title bid.
Goal of the weekend: Siena’s Emanuele Calaiò
This week’s goalaccio comes from Siena’s vice-captain Emanuele Calaiò. Facing fellow relegation candidates Cagliari at Stadio Artermio Franchi, Siena eased to a comfortable 3-0 victory to give their bid to remain in Italy’s top flight a timely boost. The pick of the goals came from Calaiò, who chested down a cross-field pass and unleashed a ferocious shot which arced beautifully into the top corner. Siena are now four points clear of 17th place Lecce, with seven points separating 11th and 17th in Serie A.