Thursday, February 26, 2015

26 February 2006 - Like A Nigel Tufnel Amp, Roma Goes To Eleven

On 26 February 2006, AS Roma set an Italian record by winning their eleventh consecutive league match. Even better for the Giallorossi, they set the record against bitter derby rivals Lazio at the clubs' shared stadium, the Stadio Olimpico.

The streak started on 21 December 2005 with a 4-0 home win over Chievo. Roma were sitting eighth in the Serie A table at the time, but had risen to fourth by the time they faced Lazio in the Derby della Capitale. For their part, Lazio were hopeful of ending Roma's winning run, having earned a 1-1 draw against their rivals earlier in the season. They drew further optimism from the fact that Roma captain and talisman Francesco Totti, who had scored eight goals in the run's previous ten matches, was unable to play due to injury.

As it turned out, however, Roma didn't need him. With Totti watching from the stands, Brazilian winger Amantino Mancini (pictured) provided the creative spark, first delivering a corner that his fellow Brazilian, midfielder Rodrigo Taddei, tapped into the net to put the visitors ahead in the 31st minute. In the second half, Mancini danced the ball into the Lazio box before laying it off for midfielder Alberto Aquilani to slot home in the 63rd minute. The home side were unable to penetrate the Roma defense, which held on for their eighth clean sheet of the streak.

The victory broke the previous Italian record of ten consecutive wins, set by Juventus in the 1931-32 season, then matched once by Bologna (1963-64) and twice by Milan (1950-51, 1989-90). Roma's record would not last as long, however, as Inter smashed it the next season, winning 17 straight. Coincidentally, Inter were the ones to end Roma's winning streak at 11 with a 1-1 draw on 5 March 2006.

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