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Roma 1 Lazio 3: Visitors inflict damaging defeat on Giallorossi to all but hand title to Juventus — with Keita Balde netting twice in win

Simone Inzaghi's men strengthen hold on fourth place put home side are now nine points off top with four remaining

LAZIO earned the sweetest of derby victories by effectively ending any hopes Roma had of challenging for the title.

Simone Inzaghi appears to have the Indian sign over the Giallorossi, having recently knocked them out of the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

Lazio players and staff celebrate derby win with manager Simone Inzaghi

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Lazio players and staff celebrate derby win with manager Simone Inzaghi

And this defeat leaves the hosts nine points behind Juventus, with just four games remaining.


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The leaders had drawn 2-2 at Atalanta and a win would have reduced to gap to six points — with the Bianconeri still to come to Roma.

However, they blew the chance when given a slight sniff.

Balde Keita started off the scoring with early opener for Lazio in Rome derby

AP:Associated Press
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Balde Keita started off the scoring with early opener for Lazio in Rome derby

Daniele De Rossi bobbles home the equaliser from a controversial penalty

AP:Associated Press
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Daniele De Rossi bobbles home the equaliser from a controversial penalty

Balde Keita netted an early opener in fourth derby of the season as Lazio after 12 minutes — firing low past Wojciech Szczesny.

The Biancocelesti have performed above expectations this season after a turbulent summer.

Inzaghi stepped in after Marcelo Bielsa’s 48-hour stint as boss and has led the club to a Coppa Italia final and Europa League-qualification via the league.

Dusan Basta celebrates after putting Lazio back ahead during Rome derby

EPA
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Dusan Basta celebrates after putting Lazio back ahead during Rome derby

Francesco Totti came off the bench but failed to inspire Roma to derby victory

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Francesco Totti came off the bench but failed to inspire Roma to derby victory

And they were comfortably the better team in the first 45 minutes.

However, despite their lacklustre showing, Roma were given a lifeline when Kevin Strootman won a controversial penalty.

Captain for the day, Daniele De Rossi, stepped up and kicked the ball into the ground, but was lucky to see his effort bobble into the bottom corner.

But the second half started in the same way as the first and Lazio re-took the lead through a Dusan Basta strike from the edge of the box.

Balde Keita slots home right at the end to complete the derby victory

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Balde Keita slots home right at the end to complete the derby victory

Roma players look dejected after losing the second of four derbies

AP:Associated Press
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Roma players look dejected after losing the second of four derbies

Roma threw on Francesco Totti, but the inspirational 40-year-old icon couldn’t help his side.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic showed why he is so highly-sought after with a brilliant performance for Lazio.

With any title hopes evaporating, Roma pushed forward — only to be caught out on the break right at the death.

Senad Lulic drove forward and set up Keita, who calmly slotted past Szczesny to cue pandemonium from Inzaghi and his coaching staff.

Balde Keita was the hero of the day for Lazio as they stunned Roma with 3-1 win

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Balde Keita was the hero of the day for Lazio as they stunned Roma with 3-1 win

Balde Keita celebrates with the Lazio supporters after superb derby performance

AP:Associated Press
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Balde Keita celebrates with the Lazio supporters after superb derby performance

There was still time for the inevitable red card, as Antonio Rudiger was sent off for a shocking challenge.

Despite insisting before the match it would not be his final derby, this could be a sad way for the legendary Totti to bow out against his fiercest rivals.

But, spare a thought for De Rossi, who is set to finish as a runner-up in Serie A for the EIGHTH time without ever lifting the trophy.

Roma star Francesco Totti scores scorching volley in training