Lazio can’t afford another misstep after the European disappointment, the Portuguese is in the red in the balance of the derby games: of the last three he lost two
You talk about the Roman derby and, like a refrain, you hear yourself repeating that in the end the most probable result is always a draw. In order not to have to deal with a trail of poisons and controversies. Maybe this time it will go like this too, however – if you look at the previous ones – you realize that often the gossip does not adhere to reality. In fact, in the last five matches, this “convenient” X has never come out: Lazio have won three times and Roma twice. This is to say that the derby lends itself to a series of clichés. The most popular? It’s a match that rewards the underdog team. And even in this case, just do a history review, exactly the opposite happens: the strongest team almost always wins. In this case, fortunately, at least the last banality has been spared us. Simply because it’s really difficult to establish who is stronger today: Lazio or Rome? The gap in the standings is minimal, largely compensated by the different path in Europe: the Biancocelesti first lost the Europa League and then the Conference, while the Giallorossi are in full swing. These are the premises for a challenge which, if it is not borderline, is still worth a lot. For Lazio and Rome. And consequently, but perhaps above all, for Sarri and Mourinho, who find themselves facing a first crossroads. Here because.
Because Sarri absolutely cannot afford to lose. After the European disappointment, the overtaking of the cousins could open a fiery debate. Outside and probably inside. In fact, there are those who reproach the coach – regardless of the fact that the team is constantly playing without a center forward (a more unique than rare case) – of not being flexible enough, of not using second lines and so on. A party that finds easy shores, as we said, even within the club, to the point that exclusion from the Champions League could lead to any epilogue. Also to revisit the role and weight of the coach in strategic choices. It would be a mistake and a pity – strictly personal opinion – because Sarri indeed deserves to be more followed and satisfied, providing him with an even more competitive squad. But that’s another discussion.
But even for Mourinho it is a derby, if not decisive, very important. Because so far his balance in the derby is in the red: two defeats and one victory. And above all because the idea of a Rome 5 points behind its cousins, outside the Champions League area – and virtually in sixth place, considering Juve’s results on the field – could pollute the good atmosphere that has been created for the European journey. Nobody, mind you, would put Mourinho on the index. But if at the end of the season there is no satisfaction, from the championship or the Cup, the Special One could reflect on the future. In short – as Zeman said, and it’s not true – the derby is worth maybe three points. Never like this time, however, are three points worth triple.
March 19, 2023 (change March 19, 2023 | 09:13)
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