Wed, May 27, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Roma beat Lazio to secure second

AP, ROME

AS Roma secured direct entry into the UEFA Champions League group phase with a 2-1 win over SS Lazio in a heated Serie A derby on Monday that featured three late goals.

French defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa decided the match with a header following a free-kick in the 85th minute — his first goal of the season.

Roma took the lead in the 73rd minute when Juan Manuel Iturbe chipped in from within the box, but Lazio substitute Filip Djordjevic equalized in the 82nd with a header.

With one round remaining, second-placed Roma moved four points clear of third-placed Lazio, who have a three-point advantage over SSC Napoli their opponent this weekend.

Lazio need at least a draw at Napoli to secure third position and qualify for the final Champions League playoff round in August.

Roma celebrated as if they had won the league, piling on top of each other, with captain Francesco Totti putting on a celebratory T-shirt.

Despite the presence of 1,700 police officers in and around the stadium, two fans were bloodied in knife attacks outside the stadium before kickoff, the ANSA news agency reported.

There were also reports of clashes between Lazio supporters and police officers outside the stadium after the match, with tear gas used.

In a sign of protest after insults from the club’s US president, James Pallotta, Roma fans did not produce any pre-match choreography.

Instead, the hardcore “ultra” fans in the southern curve of the stadium held aloft a banner that read: “No choreography today for our dignity: a real president doesn’t insult his people.”

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