AS Roma and new coach Rudi Garcia could not have asked for a better start to the 2013-14 Serie A season. Roma have won their first three league games and were co-leaders with SSC Napoli headed into the fourth round of play. Yet all of that would not matter or feel irrelevant if it did not defeat Lazio on Sunday in the Derby Della Capitale. Luckily for Roma, they continued their great start with a 2-0 over their city rivals in a game where three things stood out and were key to victory.
The first key to victory goes to coach Rudi Garcia who in his first city derby did not get out coached or get caught off guard in terms of keeping balance to his team’s formation or play. Instead of starting new signing Adem Ljajic on the left wing in his front three forward line, he opted to go with another summer signing in Gervinho to start the game ahead of the Serbian. This served to help neutralize Lazio’s attack as Gervinho went ahead and sacrificed himself and helped carry out engaging in the dirt work of neutralizing Lazio attack in the first half.
This would help pay off in the second half as when Ljajic did come into the game, he was able to go after a tired Lazio defense that had been worn down by runs made by Alessandro Florenzi and Maicon. The second key to victory was the play of Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi. The play of these two, along with their leadership on the field of play, allowed Roma to carry out their gameplan without getting over anxious in this derby game. Their play and leadership allowed Roma to control the midfield battle and it was Totti’s pass which led to the first goal of the game scored by Federico Balzaretti.
The final key to victory was executing on scoring chances in the second half. As the game was entering the middle of the second half, Roma had clearly established a control of the game and all that was left was for them to score in order to seize the game completely. Balzaretti ended any potential agony and suffering on the part of Roma fans as he slammed home the first score in the 63rd minute. And then at the end with Lazio playing a man down, Adem Ljajic was brought down in the penalty area and he converted the subsequent penalty to seal the win for Roma and validate their great start.