Lazio beat their city rivals, Roma, to win the Coppa Italia for the sixth time with a narrow 1-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
Senad Lulic scored the winning goal, after he got onto the end of an Antonio Candreva cross that Roma goalkeeper Bogdan Lobont should have dealt with.
Lulic remarked of his goal, “This victory won’t be forgotten. I found myself there in the right moment. I dedicate this goal to my wife, who is pregnant.”
Roma then searched for an equaliser but were unable to produce one. Francesco Totti, the side’s talisman, saw his free-kick hit the crossbar after being deflected but that was as close as they came.
Lazio, who finished in seventh place in Serie A, are now able to qualify for the Europa League group stage after their victory. Roma actually finished one place higher than their rivals, but will miss out on European football after this defeat.
The match was a rather scrappy affair, and despite dominating the first half for long periods, Lazio were unable to make their dominance count.
Lulic scored in the 70th minute, meaning Roma had very little time to launch a comeback. Before that Stefano Mauri and Miroslav Klose combined to miss Lazio’s best chance, after the former nodded the ball down to the latter who couldn’t make contact from just three yards out.
On Wednesday the players and officials for the encounter met with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. This meeting was planned to qualm any disputes between the two heated rivals before the game.
Lazio president Claudio Lotito said of the meeting, “‘We decided to participate in today’s audience in a public way and not privately because of the need to be among the people, to show the fans a sign of humility and a message of calm and respect for your opponent.”