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Football

Di Canio sets up victory for Lazio


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Di Canio celebrates his goal as Lazio beat city rivals Roma

ROME, Italy -- Paolo Di Canio made a fairytale return to the Rome derby when he scored one goal and set up another in Lazio's 3-1 victory over arch rivals Roma.

Di Canio, who returned to the club he supported as a boy this summer, put Lazio ahead in the 29th minute when he sprinted between defenders Philippe Mexes and Christian Panucci to volley Fabio Liverani's long ball into the net.

But Roma equalised midway after 69 minutes when poor defending allowed Antonio Cassano to nod home a Panucci cross at the near post.

Five minutes later, however, Di Canio chipped a loose ball to winger Cesar and the Brazilian rifled a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Striker Tommaso Rocchi bagged Lazio's third in the 85th minute when he broke the offside trap, rounded the goalkeeper and steered the ball home.

"I didn't think it would be this great. I didn't believe we could control the match in that way," said Di Canio.

"I was worried but my team mates kept me calm. With this shirt on, you don't need to be frightened of anything.

"It's a double pleasure, because people kept telling me: 'You're old, you won't be able to stay on your feet'," added the 36-year-old, who took a 75 percent pay cut to return to the club.

The result ended a run of 10 derbies without a win for Lazio, stretching back to March 2000 when goals by Pavel Nedved and Juan Sebastian Veron gave them a 2-1 victory.

The win also lifted Lazio to 12th place in Serie A on 20 points, three fewer than eighth-placed Roma.


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