Lazio won the Derby della Capitale on Sunday 1-0 to thanks to the deciding goal by Mattia Zaccagni in the second half. However, AS Roma played with ten players from the 33rd minute of the first half after defender Roger Ibanez got a red card after receiving two yellows in the first part of the match. That incident was a deciding moment of the game and showed once again a lack of discipline in Jose Mourinho's team, one that could just be their downfall. The Portuguese coach was not on the bench as he's suspended for two games after receiving his third red card of the season against Cremonese.
Roma's nerves are costing them a lot this year as the Giallorossi arrive at the tnternational break in fifth place, one point behind AC Milan, who lost on Saturday against Udinese. Maurizio Sarri's side, after this crucial win, are well positioned in the top four, five points ahead of their city rivals. Considering they are the only team fighting for the top four not involved in the European cups, they can really hope to finish as high as second second in the league after Napoli.
MATTIA ZACCAGNI MAKES THE STADIO OLIMPICIO ERUPT! 🔵 🦅 pic.twitter.com/R0ax4u8nj3— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 19, 2023
Roma, on the other hand, should now focus more on the Europa League as they will play in the quarterfinals against Feyenoord and potentially the semifinals against the winner of Bayer Leverkusen vs. Union Saint-Gilloise. On the other side of the bracket, Manchester United will face Sevilla and Sporting CP will play against Juventus. It's clear that the Giallorossi have good chances to play their second European final in a row after winning the first edition of the UEFA Conference League last season.
Mourinho's team is in the mix for the Champions League race that see five teams involved for three spots, and potentially Juventus as well considering they appealed against the 15-point deduction after the financial scandal and should receive an answer in the next month. It's a very tight race that will probably have a lot of unexpected results on the way with all these teams (apart of Atalanta and Lazio now) that are also involved in the European cups. Roma are also suffering with their lack of discipline as the Derby della Capitale showed again. Apart from the red card, defenders Gianluca Mancini, Marash Kumbulla and midfielder Bryan Cristante will miss the next clash against Sampdoria due to their suspensions.
After the break, with eleven Serie A games left, Roma need to have a clear strategy to achieve the maximum. Winning the Europa League would be an incredible success for both Mourinho and the club, who only last year won their first UEFA trophy in their history. Adding to that, winning the trophy would also guarantee them qualification to the next edition of the Champions League group stages, regardless of what will happen in the league. That's why Roma should really focus on their European campaign as it's probably their best chance to get a Champions League spot with their Serie A form looking more concerning.