Lazio’s Victory Overshadowed By Racist Chanting

Lazio beat Roma 2-0 in a controversial Rome derby in the Coppa Italia, first leg semi-final last night.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ciro Immobile scored in each half, however Lazio’s victory was overshadowed by racist chanting and a boycott by Roma’s fans, which meant much of the Stadio Olimpico was empty.

The two sides meet again in the second leg at the beginning of April to decide who faces Napoli or Juventus in the final. Lazio took the lead after 30 minutes when Felipe Anderson sprinted down the right and found Milinkovic-Savic to fire into the roof of the net.

The second and you could say decisive goal came late in the second half, after Keita Balde Diao got away from his marker on the right and slipped the ball to Immobile to score from close range.

However, the occasion was overshadowed as Roma defender Anthony Rudiger was repeatedly subjected to racist chanting from Lazio fans during much of the first half, prompting the stadium announcer to warn that the match would be interrupted if it continued. It sickens me that we still see racism in football, the game should be united – no matter what colour or religion you are. I understand that is a fiery derby, you just can’t defend that kind of behaviour.

The Stadio Olimpico is shared by both teams. but many Roma fans refused to attend due to protests at partitions which have been built, even though authorities had lowered them as a compromise measure. Last night’s victory makes it a first win in eight games for Lazio against their local rivals.