Rome (AFP) – 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 to 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.
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.
There were some moments of worry for the Serb, who was taken out by Patricio after reaching the ball and was surrounded by his teammates as Lazio fans celebrated, but he eventually got back up from his dazed state to carry on.
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.
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.
Roma 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 Reina.
Immobile then had two great chances to seal the three points quick succession in the final 15 minutes, first firing into the side netting before failing to make contact with Anderson’s low cross from close range, but it made no difference to the final result.
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.