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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

April 12, 2015: Lazio Empoli 4-0

Very easy

 

With three goals in the first half and one in the second, the Biancocelesti demolish Empoli and climb to second place

 



The season so far

 

Last season had not been good and Manager Vladimir Petkovic had been sacked half way through and replaced by veteran Edy Reja. The latter did not want to continue so Lazio had chosen Stefano Pioli for this year. A controversial decision. Pioli did not have an extensive CV but was considered to be a rising star.


As far as transfers were concerned, Lazio did their homework this year. New arrivals included right back Dusan Basta (Udinese), centre backs Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord) and Santiago Gentiletti (San Lorenzo), left back Edson Braafheid (free transfer), midfielder Marco Parolo (Parma) and centre forward Filip Djordjevic (free transfer). Danilo Cataldi had also returned from his loan to Crotone.


Leaving Lazio were André Dias who had retired, Giuseppe Biava who had decided not to renew his contract plus a number of minor players such as Gael Kakuta, Emiliano Alfaro, Brayan Perea and Helger Postiga.

 

Lazio struggled in the beginning. In the third fixture, away at Genoa, Gentiletti got seriously injured and the Biancocelesti had difficulty in replacing him. But then things started to work out and Lazio ended the first part of the season in fifth place, two points from third. More importantly, one could see that Felipe Anderson was in the form of his life and had been devastating in some matches.

 

So, at the end of the first half of the season Lazio were fifth, two points behind Napoli and Sampdoria, third.

 

In the first game of the second round of fixtures the Biancocelesti demolished Milan 3-1 but then lost two consecutive matches, away at Cesena and at home to Genoa. From then on, they started a run of seven consecutive wins that took them to third place, just one point behind Roma. Direct Champions League qualification was just a point away.

 

The match: Sunday, April 12, 2015, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

 

It took Lazio just four minutes to take the lead. Pedro Cavanda on the right crossed into the middle of the box and Stefano Mauri headed the ball in. Empoli tried a reaction but just hit the Biancoceleste wall. In the 31st minute Miro Klose from outside the box passed to the right again to Cavanda. Another perfect cross in the middle of the area and a header by the Goal Fisher made it two. In the 43rd minute Antonio Candreva from outside the box on the left decided to go for the shot, 3-0 for Lazio. Too easy for the Biancocelesti.

 

In the 53rd minute Klose stole a ball off Riccardo Saponara and ran towards the box, low cross to the middle for Felipe Anderson, Luigi Sepe parried, but Felipetto was there for the tap in and Lazio 4 Empoli 0.

 

After Massimo Maccarone, on a free kick, had allowed Etrit Berisha to shine too, the referee decided he wanted to become the protagonist and gave Diego Novaretti a second yellow for a non-existent foul. Empoli tried to reduce the deficit and went close, but Berisha made another great save on a Manuel Pucciarelli header.

 

Eighth win in a row for Lazio, Roma drew, so the Biancocelesti were now second.

 

Who played for Lazio

 

Substitutes: Strakosha, Guerrieri, Braafheid, Pereirinha, Ledesma, Onazi, Ederson, Keita, Perea

Manager: Pioli

 

Who played for Empoli

 

Sepe, Hysaj, Tonelli, Rugani, Mario Rui (66' Laurini), Vecino (55' Signorelli), Valdifiori, Croce (46' Zielinski), Saponara, Maccarone, Pucciarelli.

Substitutes: Pugliesi, Bassi, Somma, Barba, Dioussé, Brillante, Tavano, Mchedlidze

Manager: Sarri (Calzona on bench today)

 

Referee: Peruzzo

 

Goals: 4’ Mauri, 31’ Klose, 44’ Candreva, 53’ Felipe Anderson



What happened next

 

Lazio were re-overtaken and it was all down to the derby in the last but one match of the season to determine who would be second. Unfortunately, Lazio lost and in the last game a point was needed at Napoli to secure third place. Napoli, on the other hand, needed to win to overtake Lazio. At the end of the first half Lazio were winning 2-0, but in the second, Napoli equalised and were then awarded a controversial penalty. Gonzalo Higuain missed it, and towards the end Lazio scored with Eddy Onazi and Miro Klose to clinch the match and third place.

 

There were big celebrations. Lazio had played very well all year and possibly deserved even more than third place, but controversial refereeing decisions, especially in Lazio-Inter 1-2, plus exhaustion towards the end did not allow it to happen.

 

Lazio had a good run in Coppa Italia too. After beating Varese in December 3-0 (Abdoulay Konko, Djordjevic and Felipe Anderson), they won against Torino away 3-1 (Keita, Klose and Cristian Ledesma) and beat Milan at San Siro in the quarter finals thanks to a Lucas Biglia penalty. In the semi-final against Napoli Lazio drew the first leg at home 1-1 (Klose the scorer) and won in Naples 1-0 with a goal by Senad Lulic.

 

The final was at the Olimpico against Juventus. Lazio scored immediately with Stefan Radu but Juventus soon equalised. In the first half of extra time Djordjevic hit the woodwork twice with one shot and Juventus scored immediately after. Lazio were very unlucky.

 

The players with most appearances were Miroslav Klose and Marco Parolo (40). The German was obviously top scorer with 16 goals.


Lazio 2014-15

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

21

6

11

71

Coppa Italia

7

5

1

1

17

Total

45

26

7

12

88

Top 5 appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Klose

40

34

6

Parolo

40

34

6

Candreva

38

34

4

Felipe Anderson

37

32

5

de Vrij

35

30

5

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Klose

16

13

3

Parolo

11

10

1

Candreva

11

10

1

Felipe Anderson

11

10

1

Mauri

9

9

-

Djordjevic

9

8

1

Let's talk about Matias Vecino


Matias Vecino was born on August 24 1991 atCanelones in Uruguay. He started his professional career with Central Español where he played for a year before signing for Nacional in 2011. He stayed a couple of years, winning a championship in 2011-12.

 

In 2013 he signed for Fiorentina, but in his first six months he played very little, just seven appearances. He was therefore loaned to Cagliari for the rest of the season but still had limited playing time. In 2014 he was sent to Empoli, his first encounter with manager Maurizio Sarri. Empoli did very well, avoiding relegation with many months to spare. He returned to Fiorentina and in two seasons made 78 appearances with six goals.

 

In 2017 he signed for Inter. He played in Milan for five seasons, 127 games with 13 goals. Despite a few problems with manager Antonio Conte and a long injury, he won a scudetto in 2020-21, a Coppa Italia in 2021-22 and a Super Coppa in 2021.

 

In 2022 he signed for Lazio as a free agent, chosen personally by Sarri. He has made a good contribution to the Lazio cause with 77 appearances and 8 goals.

 

At International level he has 69 caps for Uruguay with four goals. He was part of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup squad and played the Copa America in 2021.

 

Vecino is an excellent player who can play in any role in midfield, including playmaker. He is a good header of the ball and has an excellent and powerful shot.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Europa League

Conference League

Super Coppa

2022-23

44 (4)

32 (2)

2

-

6 (2)

4


2023-24

33 (4)

24 (3)

2

6 (1)

--

-

1

Total

77 (8)

56 (5)

4

6 (1)

6 (2)

4

1


Sources







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