Opposition supporters show unusual solidarity as Rome derby ends 1-1

ROME (AP) – A 1-1 draw in the Rome derby was a fitting result among the unusual solidarity between fans usually at war in Lazio and Rome on Sunday after the death of a prominent fan.

Both ends of the Stadio Olimpico have paid tribute to Fabrizio “Diabolik” Piscitelli, former chief “ultras” of Lazio, shot dead last month in an unsolved murder.

Roma scored a penalty in the first half, Aleksandar Kolarov, and Luis Alberto called Lazio after the break.

Despite the suffocating humidity, the game was very entertaining and included six carpentry shots: four from Lazio (Lucas Leiva, Ciro Immobile, Joaquin Correa and Marco Parolo) and two from Rome (both from Nicolò Zaniolo).

 

The Rome sanction was due to new, stricter handball rules.

Edin Dzeko saw Sergej Milinkovic-Savic raise his arm and touch the elongated limb to win the pick of Kolarov, the former half-side of Lazio.

Luis Alberto’s goal came with a scorching shot through a crowded area.

The result will probably leave both sides frustrated.

Lazio, champion of the Italian Cup last season, will mourn the missed opportunities after so often scoring. While Rome tied twice in their first two games with new coach Paulo Fonseca.

Rome underwent a complete overhaul after a restless season that included the resignation of former captain Francesco Totti from his management position and the departure of Daniele De Rossi for Boca Juniors.

The police were on alert for fan strain after the assassination of Piscitelli and the ensuing controversy over a public burial. But there has been no immediate report of clashes or serious violence.

Many fans of Lazio wore shirts with the inscription “Diablo” to honor the nickname of Piscitelli, “Diabolik”.

Lazio supporters waved a large banner with a picture of Piscitelli before the start and Roma supporters responded with smaller banners saying: “Rest in peace, Fabrizio” and “Fly high! Ciao Diablo”.

The “northern curve”, the extreme north, where the Lazio supporters sit, remained silent during the first period, protesting the club’s decision not to express its condolences for the death of Piscitelli, who had a long criminal record.

Lazio players were asked not to celebrate below the “north curve” to respect the fans’ protest and Luis Alberto kept his distance despite his goals.