Roma have only won Serie A three times in their history but are regularly expected to compete with sides towards the top of the table.
In recent years, their form against direct rivals has been under scrutiny, but every now and then they can topple teams who sat at the top of the tree just months before.
Here, Giallorossi Yorkshire looks into the times in the 21st Century when Roma have defeated the defending champions in Serie A on their first meeting of the subsequent season.
Former Roma head coach Luciano Spalletti – often a runner up during his time with the Giallorossi – led Napoli to a rare Scudetto in 2022-23 before vacating his post with them.
Spalletti’s replacement was the man he succeeded for his second spell at Roma, Rudi Garcia. However, things did not fit well for the Frenchman and he had been sacked before getting the chance to face his former employers.
Thus, Roma’s last fixture before Christmas 2023 was against Walter Mazzarri’s Napoli, a team remaining in transition.
It was far from a festive classic, with numerous bookings disrupting the Derby Del Sole’s flow. Yet there was a degree of entertainment in the circumstances of some of the stoppages.
Roma had not beaten Napoli since 2019, but finally ended that drought by claiming a 2-0 win with goals from Lorenzo Pellegrini and Romelu Lukaku. The visitors at Stadio Olimpico finished the game with nine men, which admittedly played into Roma’s hands.
By virtue of the result, Roma rose above the defending champions in the festive Serie A table.
Roma had finished as runners up to Juventus in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons under Garcia’s guidance, around the peak of the Old Lady’s powers during their streak of nine consecutive titles.
The second match of the 2015-16 season pitted them against the club they were trying to dethrone. Goals from Bosnians Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko – before a late consolation by Paulo Dybala – earned Roma a 2-1 win at home to Juventus, who finished the game with 10 men after a red card to Patrice Evra.
Unfortunately, a Dybala goal was the difference in the reverse fixture – by which point Spalletti had taken over from Garcia on the touchline – and rather than usurping Juventus in the final standings, Roma slipped one place further away from them and finished third.
Roma came agonisingly close to the Scudetto in 2010 after a Claudio Ranieri-inspired resurgence, but ultimately finished two points behind Inter.
The new season began with the two clubs locking horns in the Supercoppa Italiana, but Roma lost 3-1 in what remains their most recent outing in the showpiece event.
A month later, though, Ranieri’s side earned their first win of the Serie A season (at the fifth attempt) against Inter, thanks to Mirko Vucinic scoring in stoppage time.
Sadly, the win did not generate too much momentum for Roma’s season and they limped over the line to finish sixth (with interim coach Vincenzo Montella now at the helm), while Inter relinquished their title to rivals AC Milan.
Roma were having none of it when Lazio won Serie A in 2000. The success of their arch-enemies became a major fuel in the fire that inspired Fabio Capello’s side to earn the title for themselves the following season.
The first Derby Della Capitale of Lazio’s title defence was a victory for Roma – and a famous one at that. Indeed, this was the game in which Paolo Negro scored his infamous own goal to gift the Giallorossi a 1-0 win.
By the end of the season, Roma were a healthy six points above Lazio, but it could have been any value; the placing of their rivals was the last thing on their mind when they became Serie A champions themselves for a third time.