Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pedro gave Roma a 2-0 victory over Lazio in the Derby della Capitale in Serie A on Saturday, all but ending the Aquile’s Champions League hopes.
Armenia international Mkhitaryan rounded off after Edin Dzeko had shown great strength to break into the box, and Pedro then secured victory with a wonderful individual effort as the Giallorossi were worthy winners at the Stadio Olimpico.
Lazio were reduced to 10 men late on as Francesco Acerbi was sent off, and their ambitions of breaking into the top four appear extinguished by their bitter rivals.
A tense start saw neither team able to fashion a clear chance, but Lazio soon went into the ascendancy and saw the better of the early opportunities.
The dangerous Manuel Lazzari skipped past Bruno Peres down the right and cut in to find Luis Alberto, but a well-timed Rick Karsdorp block prevented him from finishing.
Meanwhile, Roma goalkeeper Daniel Fuzato pulled off a fine save to deny the Spaniard again after Sergej Milinkovic-Savic had dispossessed Roger Ibanez and found him in space.
At the other end, Dzeko pulled a Peres cross just wide, whilst Lazio immediately pushed forward and had the ball in the net, although Muriqi had moved too quickly and was ruled offside.
Shortly before the interval Roma broke the deadlock after a quick Stephan El Shaarawy counter allowed him to release Dzeko. The Bosnian striker forced his way past Francesco Acerbi to the byline and cut the ball back for Mkhitaryan to coolly side foot home.
Roma made a positive start to the second half and came close through Bryan Cristante brought an El Shaarawy cross down on his chest and volleyed just over the bar.
The Giallorossi were dominating the second half and Dzeko came close to doubling their lead as he met a Mkhitaryan flick and fired inches past the far post.
Lazio were struggling to create anything of note, with Ciro Immobile winning a dangerous freekick but seeing the resulting delivery sail over his head in the box.
The Biancoceleste’s best chance came midway through the second half as Immobile met a Lazzari cross with a deft backheeled volley, forcing Fuzato to tip around the post.
Fuzato was called into action again as Lazio raced through on the counter, with a fortunate touch releasing Immobile. The goalkeeper forced him wide and produced a good block as he sought to cut back.
Lazio were made to rue their misses as Roma extended their lead late on through a magnificent Pedro strike. The substitute picked the ball up in a deep position and mazed his way towards the box before firing in from range.
Roma continued to push for more and both Cristante and Dzeko came close to adding to Lazio’s misery, before the Aquile were reduced to 10 men as Acerbi was shown a second yellow card for a pull on the latter.