Marco Borriello and Mirko Vucinic each converted second-half penalties as Roma won the Eternal City derby against Serie A leaders Lazio 2-0 this afternoon.
Borriello scored after the referee ruled that Stephan Lichtsteiner had deflected Fabio Simplicio's goalbound shot with his hand. Simplicio almost doubled the advantage when he hit the crossbar, only for Lazio's Pasquale Foggia to nearly equalise when his effort rebounded off the woodwork seven minutes from time.
Baptista then earned the second penalty after being brought down by Andre Dias inside the area. The outcome was Lazio's first defeat since 29 August and brought an end to saw their five-match winning streak come to an end. Lazio's lead at the top of the standings has been cut to two points because AC Milan won 3-2 at Bari today. Roma, meanwhile, have climbed to seventh in the standings.
Roma coach Claudio Ranieri dedicated the win to suspended Francesco Totti. The Roma captain scored in the team's midweek UEFA Champions League 3-2 victory at Basel but had to watch today's derby from his television set at home after picking up a red card last weekend.
We played with intelligence and the team is improving. We had problems at the start of the campaign but we are going in the right direction.
Claudio Ranieri, Roma coach
"We missed Totti and dedicate this victory to him and to those that were unable to play today," said Ranieri. "I am very happy because we've played a great game. My players were wonderful. After our victory away from home at Basle in the Champions League, now we've taken another away victory at Lazio."
Roma pushed Inter Milan until the final weekend last season and Ranieri was hailed for the job he did in his first year as the club's coach. The new campaign started very badly for Roma, however, and some fans were even calling for Ranieri to be sacked. He has turned Roma's season around and is extremely excited by the way his players are performing.
"I'm very happy for all the Roman fans that have stood by us in difficult times this season," said Ranieri. "We played with intelligence and the team is improving. We had problems at the start of the campaign but we are going in the right direction."
Lazio did not manage to test Roma goalkeeper Julio Sergio in the opening half as the visitors - without suspended captain Francesco Totti - dominated possession and forced home goalkeeper Fernando Muslera to make his first save in the 20th minute. At the other end, Hernanes' chested down Stefan Radu's cross but his volley went over the bar.
Midway through the first half, Daniele De Rossi laid the ball into the path of John Arne Riise and his 20-yard effort towards the centre of goal was met by a fine save from Muslera. Muslera was again involved on the half-hour mark, having to parry away Simplicio's shot from outside the area.
Roma coach Claudio Ranieri was forced to make his first substitution in the 39th minute with Leandro Greco replacing an injured Jeremy Menez. Greco was then denied an instant impact, having a goal disallowed after Borriello was called for offside.
On the stroke of half-time, Hernanes tried his luck from long distance but his effort went high and wide. Lazio coach Edy Reja brought in Mauro Zarate in place of Tommaso Rocchi after the restart. Il Biancoceleste first tested Julio Sergio in the 48th minute with the goalkeeper saving Cristian Ledesma's free-kick - but four minutes later Roma broke the deadlock.
Muslera got a touch on Borriello's strike towards the bottom right hand corner but it was not sufficient to stop the ball from going inside the net. Lazio responded with Floccari's powerful header from Lichtsteiner's cross going just over the bar.
In the 65th minute, Lazio almost equalised but Julio Sergio made a great save to clear Hernanes' close-range volley. With 13 minutes remaining, Roma were unlucky not to double their lead with Simplicio's strike rebounding off the bar.
Lazio had their best chance to equalise with Foggia's close-range effort finding the woodwork - and three minutes from time Vucinic 's spot-kick towards the far post beat Muslera.