Three takeaways from Lazio 0-0 AS Roma: Draw that suits nobody highlights questions over Lupi’s wingbacks

In a heated Derby della Capitale, neither Lazio nor AS Roma were able to snatch a win that would have given them a much-needed boost following a slow start to the season.

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Lazio and AS Roma played out a tense 0-0 draw in the Derby della Capitale in Matchday 12 of Serie A on Sunday, with neither team able to take the initiative at the Stadio Olimpico.

With just a single point separating the two clubs, in favour of Roma, it was a heated affair but lacked quality in the final third, resulting in the first goalless draw in the derby since April 2018.

Bryan Cristante had an early goal for Roma chalked off after straying offside, whilst Lazio midfielder Luis Alberto struck the post, but neither team did enough to claim the win.

Stalemate helps neither team

It has been a season to forget so far in the capital, with both Roma and Lazio having to recover from slow starts in order to challenge for a European spot. Whilst the two rivals are now beginning to find form, the goalless draw does little for either in their efforts to climb the table in Serie A.

In truth, neither side did enough to deserve a victory and the stalemate had all the hallmarks of two nervy teams looking to avoid defeat rather than push forward for the win.

Yet, the match was there for the taking and after AC Milan, Napoli, and Atalanta had all dropped points in surprising fashion in Matchday 12, a victory was all the more imperative.

Roma’s troubles on the wings

Giallorossi coach Jose Mourinho has built his team to employ a 3-5-2 formation with heavy emphasis on attacking wing-backs to set up Romelu Lukaku and Paulo Dybala in attack, but he is being let down by his wide options.

Leonardo Spinazzola is simply not the same player that shone at Euro 2020 prior to a serious achilles tendon injury at the tournament, and offered yet another sub-par performance on the left. Meanwhile, Rick Karsdorp returned from the cold after a falling out with Mourinho but is wildly inconsistent, having been unable to rediscover his excellent form displayed in 2021.

AS Roma defender Leonardo Spinazzola holds off Lazio midfielder Matteo Guendouzi (@OfficialASRoma)

Nicola Zalewski also appears to have lost his way this term, whilst Rasmus Kristensen has done little to suggest Roma couldn’t have found better options than a man who struggled to retain a place in a Leeds United side doomed for relegation from the Premier League last year.

Whilst some of the Lupi’s transfer business over the past two years has been shrewd, it appears they still have a blind spot on the flanks.

Derby to forget for attackers

AS Roma forward Paulo Dybala in action (@ASRoma_Brasil)

A match that promised plenty of attacking flair failed to live up to the hype, with Roma pair Lukaku and Dybala unable to truly test Ivan Provedel, whilst Lazio‘s frontline fared little better.

Biancoceleste captain Ciro Immobile was lively on his 250th league appearance for the club but was marshalled well by Gianluca Mancini, whilst Pedro never got going against his former team.

Indeed, both defences were solid and organised, which is more than can be said for many of their respective matches this season. However, the derby was crying out for some creativity or a moment of magic, and perhaps it’s failure to arrive is symptomatic of the difficult year being experienced on both sides of the capital’s divide.

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