AS Roma earned a solid 2-0 win against neighbouring rivals Lazio to keep in pace with Serie A leaders Juventus.
The goals came courtesy of Lazio defensive errors in the second half.
Defender Wallace essentially handed Roma the lead in the 64th minute when he tried to dribble his way out of defence but got dispossessed by Dutchman Kevin Strootman, who chipped over helpless Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti.
Another error helped Roma double their lead 13 minutes later, when Radja Nainggolan caught Marchetti napping with a low shot from 35 metres that bounced twice as it entered the net at the goalkeeper’s unguarded near post.
There were ugly scenes at Staio Olimpico an unsightly scuffle involving players and officials from both teams after the first goal, sparked when Strootman squirted water at the Lazio substitute Danilo Cataldi who grabbed the Dutchman’s shirt by the collar. Strootman was booked, while Cataldi shown a straight red card.
There was also controversy in the first half when Roma’s Bruno Peres appeared to be tripped on the edge of the penalty area by Lucas Biglia. The referee initially awarded a free-kick to Roma, then pointed to the penalty spot on the advice of the goal-line official, before changing his mind again to his initial decision.
Lazio, who were technically the home side in the Stadio Olimpico, have not won any of their last seven meetings against Roma – a streak that stretches back to the 2013 Coppa Italia final.
Roma’s Curva Sud area was also empty as their hardcore supporters continued a long-running stay-away campaign in protest at security measures which they say have destroyed their fan culture.
With the win against Lazio, Roma stayed second in Serie A on 32 points, level with Milan and four behind leaders Juventus. Napoli, Lazio and Atalanta are a further four points behind.