An inspired Tammy Abraham fired Roma into the Europa League spot with a brace against Lazio in a 3-0 derby win.
Roma took the lead in the opening minute when Abraham stabbed home from close-range. He was in the right place at the right time to pounce on a loose ball from a dangerous inswinging corner that Thomas Strakosha failed to clear.
The England international doubled the hosts’ lead a little over 20 minutes later when he finished off a well worked Roma move, firing the ball in at the back post. Henrikh Mkhitaryan slipped a ball through to Rick Karsdorp who had made a great overlapping run, and managed to find Abraham at the back post for the goal.
Lorenzo Pellegrini stretched Roma’s lead to three in spectacular fashion, guiding a free-kick into the top-right corner from 30 yards out.
Lazio tried hard in the second period to break down the well structured Roma defence, but it proved to be too difficult as they hardly troubled Rui Patricio for the remainder of the game.
The hosts managed to see out the 3-0 lead and take maximum points off their rivals.
TALKING POINT – ROMA BLOW LAZIO AWAY ON DERBY DAY
Jose Mourinho’s side needed a result in their quest for European football, and they delivered while claiming bragging rights over their rivals in the process. They started the day in seventh in Serie A, one spot off a Europa Conference League place and a point behind Lazio who occupied the Europa League position in fifth. This result meant Roma leapfrogged their rivals into fifth, currently in position to qualify for the Europa League with eight games remaining.
Champions League football seems out of Roma’s reach, but everyone associated with the Italian side will be beaming with pride on Sunday evening after breezing past their rivals in spectacular fashion.
MAN OF THE MATCH – TAMMY ABRAHAM (ROMA)
The former Chelsea striker equalled his best goalscoring season of 15 goals with his contribution to Roma’s win over Lazio, netting twice in the first half. Both efforts were dispatched in typical strikers’ fashion, in the right place at the right time for the first, and slamming home the second at the back post.
He’s had a dream first season in Serie A under Mourinho, and was the difference between the two sides on Sunday. It wasn’t only his goalscoring prowess that made the difference, but the role he played as Roma’s focal point going forward, with the majority of play going through him.
ROMA: Patricio 7, Mancini 7, Smalling 7, Ibanez 7, Karsdorp 8, Mkhitaryan 8, Cristante 6, Sergio 6, Zalewski 7, Pellegrini 8, Abraham 9*
Subs: Vina 6, Bove N/A, Veretout N/A
LAZIO: Strakosha 5, Hysaj 5, Felipe 6, Acerbi, Marusic 5, Milinkovic-Savic 6, Leiva 4, Alberto 5, Felipe Anderson 4, Immobile 6, Pedro 5
Subs: Lazzari 5, Cataldi 6, Romero 5
1’ – GOAL! ROMA 1-0 LAZIO (ABRAHAM): What a start! Abraham is in the right place at the right time just a few yards from goal to stab home a loose ball into an empty net from an early corner!
22’ – GOAL! ROMA 2-0 LAZIO (ABRAHAM): Abraham smashes home a well worked Roma move at the back post to double the hosts’ lead! Mkhitaryan slips a ball through to Karsdorp on the right who had made a great overlapping run and managed to find Abraham at the back post, who had a majority of the goal to aim at. 2-0!
40’ – GOAL! ROMA 3-0 LAZIO (PELLEGRINI): Sensational strike from Pellegrini! It’s a free-kick from a long way out, and he bends it right into the top corner. That is special!