Never Live in Fear, I'm Too Out of My Mind

After five derby wins in a row, three of them claimed by a Roma on the verge of disarray, there's a certain logic to Lazio getting one back just as Roma have finally embarked on a journey to excellence. In a sense, we'd gotten too much to lose so it felt obvious that the desperate ones won the day. But then again, in a much larger sense, I've never before felt such ease in getting over a derby loss. We're heading places, they aren't. In that sense, we've never had as little to lose in a derby.

I'm entirely the wrong person to write about the game itself, for the simple reason if it being a derby and it's hard to remember more than about a fifth of it well. In the beginning of the first half Roma were good, very good; towards the end of the same half less stellar, and I'll refrain from judging the second half too harshly due to the red card. Except to say this:

Luis Enrique is out of his mind. And I mean that in the best possible way.

At 1-1 and one player less on the pitch, most other coaches would be screaming out a safeword agreed upon in advance until their face turned red and they were in risk of popping an artery. Luis Enrique's entire response to the new situation in the game was a small rise of an eyebrow, and telling Pjanic to step five meters down into a more traditional midfield role. After the Inter game (that of the two defenders) I started thinking about if Luis Enrique might really too out of his mind to register the fear other coaches do. There's a certain kind of supreme confidence—or perhaps it's merely determined belief in a vision—about this unwavering reaction to difficulty that strikes me as both madness and genius. Again, this is a good thing.

I am fairly convinced that if any other coach we could conceive of was in the same situation as Luis Enrique was last night, the entire affair would have been a zero-sum game. Having given up a goal and a player, the rest would have been a horrible wait for the killing blow. As Roma played the situation last night, I still walked away content. For the belief in a way to win the game, for the audacity of actually going for it with full force, for the reminder that football can be more than 10 behind the ball. 

That said, the result is not an injustice. Luis Enrique and the players made Lazio work hard to earn their win, but they did. Above all Roma had no answer to Hernanes who was a hurricane, causing damage near well every time he attacked us. And with that said, let them celebrate this single, solitary win after losing five straights games. As every romanista knows by now, a laziale is a plagued creature with little sunshine. Their project is already dying, Roma's is merely in its initial phase. Go play somewhere, we're busy.