By Joe Avicolli
Roma have secured a definite second place finish for the 2014/15 campaign following an intense 2-1 victory over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico on Monday.
Rudi Garcia’s men needed a victory against their arch rivals in order to guarantee themselves direct qualification into the Champions League group stage for next season and will now end their campaign in the number two spot regardless of the result in their final match against Palermo on May 31. The Giallorossi were dominated by the Biancocelesti in most aspects of play throughout the game but managed to hold on and scored two late goals towards the end of the heated battle for the win.
The Lupi took the lead in the 73rd minute with an electrifying goal from Juan Iturbe, who poked the ball into the net after receiving a pass from Victor Ibarbo inside the box. The Aquilotti managed to score an equalizer through Filip Djordjevic just minutes later in the 81st minute, though that was soon cancelled out after Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa netted a stunning game winning header in the 85th minute. According to LegaSerieA.com, Lazio had much more possession than Roma after keeping hold of the ball for 59% of the time compared to the Giallorossi’s 41% of possession throughout the game. Garcia’s squad also lacked in passing accuracy as only 47% of their passes were successful compared to the Biancocelesti’s 65% pass completion rate. Lazio defender Santiago Gentiletti had the most successful passes in the game with 57 and had a pass completion rate of 73%.
Reports from WhoScored.com show that Roma landed two out of their total six shots on target while Lazio were able to put just three out of their total 16 shots on goal. Aquilotti midfielder Antonio Candreva took the most individual shots with a total of six, though only one troubled the goalkeeper, while the Giallorossi player with the most shots was Alessandro Florenzi who had two, with none landing on target. Santiago Gentiletti had the most touches in the clash with 84, while the Lupi men closest to him were Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi who had 44 touches each during the game. Gentiletti also had the most recovered balls in the match with 25 but was closely followed by Kostas Manolas who had 24 balls recovered throughout the 90 minutes. The Lupi had double the amount of corners as their opponents with eight, while Lazio had just four. Both Roman clubs slightly favored their right wings when it came to launching their attacking plays, with Garcia’s men making 41% of their offensive runs down the right wing and Stefano Pioli’s making 39% of their attacks down the same side. WhoScored.com named Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa as man of the match with an 8.5 rating thanks to his game winning goal and decisive play on the pitch for Roma.
The capital city club will be playing their final game of the campaign against Palermo at home on May 31 and will surely be able to relax now that they have secured a place in the Champions League next term.