Roma - Lazio 1-0, or: Non è giusto non è giusto non è giusto

It wasn't attractive. It wasn't even that kind of performance that's pretty good even if it isn't attractive (also known as Ranieri's career). It was downright bad. Lazio made Roma suffer for large parts of the game, and nothing is more excruciating that than the kind of psychological damage a derby can bestow on a team's fans. But with one shin kick, everything changed. A week of nervous anticipation, an hour of nervous game time, all exorcised in one moment (THE POWER OF CASSETTI'S SHIN COMPELLS YOU!). I thought Perrotta could become an unlikely hero before the game, but it would be an even unlikelier hero, and Cassetti's joy is so pure, so genuine that I want to forgive all past sins and dilly-dallying and proclaim eternal love to him. His celebration was cathartic, if spectacularly poorly planned: heading towards Curva Sud, he destroys everything in path while wearing the facial expression of a child, and finishes it off with a proclamation of love for his wife. Be still my heart, be still.


Of course, no derby win could happen without the save. That save. It was a fantastic save the likes of which are seldom seen, and the knowledge that there wasn't a laziale in the world who wasn't throwing his or her arms to the sky in celebration prematurely makes it one of the most memorable derby memories of this generation. Julio Sergio has weaknesses as a goalkeeper, but the way he's played ever since given the chance makes Spalletti look neglectful or just foolish for ignoring him for so long. Even if I think Doni is a good goalkeeper when not hampered by injuries, I also believe Ranieri is making the right choice to stick with Julio Sergio this winter. Ranieri was, perhaps unfairly, ignored in the post derby analysis, where Lazio's advantage was repeated so often it became canon, but in reality their dominance only lasted 45 minutes. After the half time switches, Roma regained balance in midfield. It didn't translate into Roma having the same kind of control as Lazio had had previously, but it stifled Lazio's game plan and leveled the game. That's what allowed two isolated events decide the game, and it shouldn't be forgotten.

Yesterday was also the long awaited return of Curva Sud as we remember it, full of life and humor. Sfottò. I already linked to Spangly Princess, for a good overview of what happened on the stands. But striscioni and stendardi aside, the funniest thing we file under 'involuntary humor': this is Guido De Angelis, a Lazio profile calling the game for his radio listeners:
Nooo no no non è giusto, non è giusto, non è giusto (Nooo no no it's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair). If yesterday was wrong, I never ever want to be right.