Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Roma beat Lazio 2-0 in heated derby

Published:Monday | December 5, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Roma's Kevin Strootman celebrates after scoring during a Serie A match between Lazio and Roma at the Rome Olympic stadium yesterday. Roma won 2-0.

ROME (AP):

A defensive blunder helped decide a heated Rome derby, but many fans weren't there to see it due to a protest.

Lazio's Brazilian defender Wallace gifted the ball to Kevin Strootman, who scored Roma's opener midway through the second half, and Radja Nainggolan then doubled the lead for a 2-0 win yesterday.

Roma's celebrations were not as loud as usual because the club's most ardent supporters stayed away from the match in protest at Plexiglas security barriers introduced at the start of last season in their area.

Normally filled with supporters waving huge banners, lighting flares and singing, half of the "curva sud" - southern end - of the Stadio Olimpico was left empty.

"It's ugly to see," said Strootman, who scored with a delicate chip shot over Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti. "The fans who did come were very helpful to us, and these were three very important points. Hopefully, the others will come to the next matches because we need our fans."

The victory moved Roma back into second place, four points behind Juventus, who beat Atalanta 3-1 on Saturday.

AC Milan are level on points, with Roma in third after coming from a goal down to beat visiting Crotone 2-1.

In the next round, Roma host Milan.

After Strootman's goal and an extended celebration, words appeared to be exchanged as Roma's players walked back onto the pitch alongside Lazio's bench.

Strootman appeared to toss water from a bottle at Lazio's Danilo Cataldi, who reacted by tugging the neck of Strootman's shirt as the Netherlands midfielder walked away.

That prompted both benches to get involved, leading to a general melee.

Cataldi, who had been on the bench, was red carded, while Strootman was shown a yellow.