Totti double earns Roma draw against Lazio in Eternal City derby
Francesco Totti celebrated scoring a derby brace by taking a selfie on the pitch as Roma battled back from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against bitter rivals Lazio.
A dominant first-half display saw the Biancoleste take control with goals from captain Stefano Mauri and Felipe Anderson but Totti netted twice in the second half – followed by his unusual celebration – to spare blushes at the Stadio Olimpico.
The point was not enough to move Roma to the top of the Serie A table, but they maintain their nine-point cushion over Lazio.
A typically cagey opening was broken after 12 minutes when Lazio, who carried the slogan ‘Je Suis Charlie’ on their shirts in tribute to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks, had the first sight of goal.
A cross-field pass from Marco Parolo fell to Antonio Candreva on the left side of the area, and the midfielder quickly switched the ball to his right foot before firing across the box but his effort trickled wide of the right post.
Parolo then tried his luck eight minutes later with a dipping shot which was smothered by Roma goalkeeper Morgan de Sanctis.
However, Lazio made the breakthrough after 25 minutes and it was no less than they deserved. Anderson lifted the perfect delivery into the area for Mauri, who had timed his run to perfection to slot home from close range.
Just four minutes later the visitors were two goals to the good, thanks again to the Mauri-Anderson pairing. This time it was the captain who flicked the ball into the path of his team-mate, with the Brazilian finding the bottom-right corner with a delightful strike.
Roma had been nothing short of woeful so far but it was a far more aggressive side that emerged for the second half, and within three minutes of the restart they had pulled a goal back.
Substitute Kevin Strootman, one of two changes after the interval, made an immediate impact with a left-footed cross to the back post where an unmarked Totti was waiting to side-foot home for his first league goal since October 18.
And they could have been level after 52 minutes through a powerful left-footed drive from Iturbe which had to be pushed over the bar by Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti.
Mauri was denied the chance to restore Lazio’s two-goal lead after 58 minutes when his first-time shot rebounded off the right post.
And Totti brought the home fans to their feet six minutes later with the equaliser. Jose Holebas whipped a cross in to the far post, where the veteran forward was waiting to hook the ball into the net.
The captain’s celebration was an unusual one, taking a selfie on the Stadio Olimpic pitch using a phone handed to him by a member of Roma’s staff.
That goal appeared to knock the wind out of Lazio’s sails but Roma also seemed unhurried in their attempts to push for a winner and the game lost much of its fizz as the clock ticked down.
However, Lazio almost snatched the points in the dying seconds but a point-blank shot from substitute Miroslav Klose was pushed away in a desperate dive from De Sanctis.