The recent Lazio-Roma Italian Cup derby has left Lazio fans ecstatic and Roma fans despondent, thanks to a disruptive approach from both teams and a lack of offence leading to a measly 7-2 shots on goal. Despite the victory, the winners settled for a lowly 43.2-meter ground centerline, with the defeated lot settling for a slightly better 52.8-meter. Controversy erupted after the match, with Roma’s manager, Mourinho, accusing referee Orsato of excessive interference. However, with fouls relatively low for such a nerve-jangling match — 9 to 11 — questions arise over Mourinho’s claims.
Both Corriere dello Sport and La Gazzetta dello Sport have criticised Mourinho for his team’s lacklustre performance. “This is bad…hard to digest,” laments Corriere dello Sport. The paper criticises the Roma side for their lack of shots on goal, taking their first shot only at the 86th minute, despite tactical changes and an aggressive game against a rookie goalkeeper. “Rightful defeat, objective lost. No alibis,” they sum up. La Gazzetta dello Sport echoes this disappointment, noting that Roma resorted to constantly throwing forwards in the crisis, much like Mourinho’s strategy during his tenure at Inter Milan, but this time the quality just wasn’t there.
On the other hand, Roma player Mancini divided opinions. Corriere dello Sport hails him as a positive symbol for the team, awarding him a score of 6.5. “As an absolute ruler of the penalty area in the first half, he was the best of his team, like a true captain. It’s a shame he lost his nerves after the final whistle, resulting in an expulsion decided by Orsato,” the newspaper reported. Meanwhile, La Gazzetta dello Sport awarded him a full 1.5 points less at 5, criticising his inability to control himself. “Partly a 7 performance, but his provocations, collecting a yellow card and then a red for insults after the 90-minute mark, are unnecessary. But why?” asked the sports daily.