Lazio came out on top of an eventful Rome derby on Sunday, winning 3-2 to turn around a poor recent run of results and inflict a second league defeat of the season on Jose Mourinho.
Goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Pedro and Felipe Anderson gave Lazio a tight win over their local rivals at a raucous Stadio Olimpico which saw two teams attack each other for 90 minutes.
Maurizio Sarri’s side were winless in three league matches heading into the weekend but now sit sixth on 11 points, five behind Serie A leaders AC Milan and just one behind fourth-placed Roma, who twice pulled goals back through Roger Ibanez and Jordan Veretout.
“We needed a derby win to help us move forward and take on the coming matches,” said Milinkovic-Savic.
“I like scoring in the derby, it’s already the third time that I’ve done it and I hope to keep on doing it.”
Lazio got off to a rapid start in front of their home fans, Milinkovic-Savic racing onto Anderson’s cross from deep and just beating Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio to the ball to put the hosts ahead in the ninth minute.
Nine minutes later Lazio doubled their lead through former Roma man Pedro, who slotted home a brilliant first-time finish from the edge of the area following a lightning break led by Ciro Immobile while Roma players pleaded for a penalty for what they saw was a foul on Nicolo Zaniolo from Elseid Hysaj.
Roma were on the ropes but they responded four minutes before the break through Ibanez, who flicked home a perfect header from Veretout’s corner to bring the away side back into the game.
Mourinho’s team now had their tails up and started the second half strongly, but got caught on the break again for Lazio’s third, with Immobile doing brilliantly to first to send both Gianluca Mancini and Patricio packing and then roll in Andersen for the decisive finish.
– Dybala misses Chelsea –
Veretout pulled Roma to within one again in the 69th minute following what looked a very soft penalty was awarded for a foul on Zaniolo, who four minutes later almost levelled the scores following a superb run and shot saved by Pepe Reina, but they couldn’t get the point Mourinho felt they deserved.
“The referee and VAR weren’t up to the standards of a match of this level. From 2-0 it could have been 1-1, the referee made a mistake on the field and VAR made a mistake… they all made a mistake,” Mourinho said to DAZN
“My team was the better one… the second and third goals are counter attacks and the second goal is also one in which the team was waiting for a penalty. We played, we tried, we dominated.”
Juventus will have to face Chelsea in the Champions League without Paulo Dybala after the Argentina forward limped off with a thigh injury early in their 3-2 win over Sampdoria.
Dybala opened the scoring with nine minutes on the clock at a wet Allianz Stadium, with Leonardo Bonucci and Manuel Locatelli netting the other goals to move Juve ninth on eight points, but soon afterwards the 27-year-old left the field in tears after the latest in a long line of injuries.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side host European champions Chelsea on Wednesday and the coach said Dybala and centre-forward Alvaro Morata, who also exited with a thigh problem towards the end of the match, would be out of action until after the next international break which runs from after next weekend’s matches to October 15.
“Dybala and Morata definitely won’t be available for Chelsea and Torino (on Saturday),” Allegri told reporters after the match.
Fiorentina bounced back from midweek defeat to Inter Milan with a battling 1-0 win at Udinese which moved them into fifth on 12 points, four behind league leaders AC Milan.
Promoted Empoli are threatening the European places after beating Bologna 4-2 to win their second match on the bounce and climb up to eighth, while Salernitana remain rooted to the bottom of the league with a single point after losing 1-0 at Sassuolo.