top of page
  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

August 20, 2009: Lazio IF Elfsborg 3-0 Europa League Playoff Round

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Easy


Lazio destroy Elfsborg and now the Europa League group phase is just around the corner



Source Wikipedia

The season so far


The previous season Lazio won the Coppa Italia beating Sampdoria on penalties in the final. They hence qualified for the Super Coppa where they would meet the mighty Inter who had easily won the scudetto.


The Biancocelesti had changed managers. The relationship between President Claudio Lotito and Manager Delio Rossi had worsened during the season so Lazio decided on a change: Davide Ballardini, who had done well at Cagliari and Palermo.


Before the start there were contractual problems with Goran Pandev, Cristian Ledesma and Lorenzo De Silvestri.


Lazio had spent quite a lot of money for their then standards to keep Pandev, but he refused to renew his contract. In the meantime, he claimed he was injured. He really wanted to go back to Inter and he pushed Lotito for a sale. The issue with Ledesma was similar. There were arguments over the renewal of the contract and the Italo-Argentinian also had a contract with Inter waiting for him. De Silvestri too had an dispute with Lotito over the renewal of his contract. All three were not allowed to play with the team nor even train with squad. De Silvestri would eventually be sold to Fiorentina, Pandev and Ledesma took Lazio to court in order to dissolve their current contracts.


So, Ballardini started the season without these three players but joining Lazio was Julio Cruz, the legendary Inter striker.


In the Supercoppa Lazio surprisingly beat Inter 2-1. An incredible feat considering the might of the Nerazzurri.


Before the start of Serie A, Lazio had to play a Europa League preliminary round against Swedish team IF Elfsborg.


The match: Thursday, August 20, 2009, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


Lazio started strongly and immediately a Mauro Zarate shot was only just wide. He tried again in the 9th minute but this time the Swedish goalkeeper blocked comfortably. In the 13th minute Elfsborg hit the woodwork with Denni Avdic. The Biancocelesti continued to attack and scored in the 24th minute. Aleksandar Kolarov, from the far left side close to the corner flag, instead of crossing shot at goal thus surprising Ante Covic. 1-0 for Lazio.


In the 36th minute Zarate scored one of his classic goals. Just like he had done in the derby and against Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia final, Maurito got the ball on the left, dribbled past a couple of players and then from outside the box shot at goal aiming for the far post. 2-0 for Lazio. A minute later Cruz had a chance to make it three on a Cristian Brocchi assist but his shot went wide.


In the second half Fernando Muslera had to save a couple of dangerous shots from Helgi Danielsson but Lazio made it three in the 69th minute. Zarate saw Stefano Mauri moving into the box on the left and sent a lob to him over the Swedish defence. The Lazio midfield player stopped the ball with his chest and volleyed it in.


Elfsborg tried to give themselves a chance for qualification but Sebastiano Siviglia saved a Stefan Ishizaki shot on the line and a final attempt from Avdic went wide.


Lazio almost in the Group stage of the Europa League.


Who played for Lazio


Muslera, Lichtsteiner, Siviglia, Cribari, Kolarov, Brocchi, Baronio, Matuzalèm (58’ Dabo), Mauri (85’ Diakité), Cruz, Zarate (75’ Eliseu)

Substitutes: Bizzarri, Radu, Foggia, Rocchi

Manager: Ballardini


Who played for IFS Elfsborg


Covic, Karlsson, Lucic, M. Andersson, M. Florèn, Danielsson, Svensson (74' J. Floren), Ishizaki, Moback, Jawo (74' Johansson), Avdic.

Substitutes: Wulff, Likstrom, Bajrami, Hult, Mohammed Briar.

Manager: Haglund.


Referee: Mc Donald (Scotland)


Goals: 24’ Kolarov, 36’ Zarate, 69’ Mauri



What happened next


Lazio lost the second leg 1-0 but the three-goal advantage was enough to proceed to the group stage where they played against Red Bull Salzburg, Villareal and PFK Levski Sofia. After losing the first match against the Austrians they won two in a row but defeats in Spain and Salzburg meant that Lazio had to say goodbye to Europe.


The Biancocelesti started the season very well with two wins in the first two games. But for a third win Lazio would have to wait until December (Lazio Genoa 1-0). Ballardini was hated by the fans and not particularly loved by the players either. Lazio really missed the two rebel players but Mauro Zarate was not performing well either. He tended to ignore all his teammates and try to do everything himself, and obviously this was not working. By the end of the year Lazio were only three points above the relegation zone.


In the winter market transfer, Lotito made three fundamental signings: defenders Giuseppe Biava from Genoa and André Dias from São Paulo plus centre forward Sergio Floccari from Genoa. Floccari's impact was a breath of fresh air for the team and he scored three goals in his first two matches for the club. Lazio ended the first part of the season in 15th place with a 5-point cushion on the drop zone.


But in the next four games Lazio only managed two draws and were now third from bottom. Bye bye Ballardini, welcome Edy Reja.


In the meantime, Pandev had won his case against Lazio and joined Inter as a free agent. Ledesma instead lost his. With the arrival of Reja, all was forgiven and Ledesma was back on the pitch.


In Reja’s first match, Lazio won at Parma but things then precipitated with just one point in the next four games. At Cagliari, Lazio managed to win and also beat Siena the week after.


After the game against Siena, Lazio really improved. They won at Bologna after being 2-0 down, lost an unfortunate derby, but beat Genoa away the week after. With three games to go to the end of the season Lazio needed only three points to secure survival in Serie A. And they took them at Livorno with a game to go.


Prior to this match there was the game against Inter. Apparently, Roma supporters thought that Lazio had a genuine chance to beat the Nerazzurri, who were fighting for the scudetto with the Giallorossi. All Lazio fans however knew that there would be no contest against the strongest team in Serie A, and that was exactly what happened. But for the media and Roma fans, Lazio let Inter win. A ridiculous accusation that many still claim to this day, forgetting that the Nerazzurri went on to win the Champions League a month later, and therefore Lazio really did not stand a chance.


Stephan Lichsteiner and Stefano Mauri were the players with most appearances (43), Rocchi was the leading goal scorer (10).


Lazio 2009-10

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

11

13

14

39

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

4

Europa League

8

3

-

5

12

Super Coppa

1

1

-

-

2

Total

49

16

13

20

57

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

Lichtsteiner

43

33

2

7

1

Mauri

43

34

2

6

1

Muslera

42

36

2

3

1

Kolarov

41

33

2

5

1

Zarate

41

31

2

7

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

Rocchi

10

6

1

2

1

Floccari

9

8

1

-

-

Zarate

8

3

1

4

-

Kolarov

5

3

1

1

-

Mauri

4

3

-

1

-

Cruz

4

3

-

1

-

Let's talk about Francelino Matuzalém


Francelino da Silva Matuzalém, better known as Matuzalém, was born in Natal in Brazil on June 10, 1980. He began his career with Esporte Clube Vitoria but after a brief stay with Bellinzona in Switzerland he was signed by Parma in co-ownership with Napoli. He joined the Azzurri who were in Serie B and helped them reach promotion but the second year was rather disastrous and Napoli immediately returned to the second tier. At this point Parma bought the other half and sent him to Piacenza. He was Piacenza's first ever foreign player and that year they avoided relegation thanks to a great season by Matuzalém. In 2002 he signed for Brescia and stayed for two years playing with Roberto Baggio in his last two years of active football.


In 2004 he was sold to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. He stayed for three years, became captain, and won the championship twice (2004-05, 2005-06) and the Super Cup once (2005).


In July 2007 he triggered the FIFA article 17. The article basically states that any player who signed a contract before the age of 28 can buy himself out three years after the deal was signed. The player must communicate that he will use the article within 15 days from the last game played, must not sign for a team in the same championship for at least 12 months and must pay a fee to the club he is leaving based on criteria such as how long is left in the contract and his wages. Shakhtar demanded 25 million euros or they would seek legal action. The case was settled in 2009 and Matuzalém had to pay 12 million euros to his old club.


In 2007 he signed for Real Saragozza but could not avoid their relegation. He only played 14 games due to injury.


In 2008 he joined Lazio on loan with an option to buy. He stayed for four seasons appearing in 93 games with four goals. He won a Coppa Italia 2008-09 and scored Lazio’s first goal in the victorious Super Coppa final against Inter in 2009 in Beijing.


He was also the protagonist of one of the most important Lazio derby wins. The Biancocelesti had not beaten Roma for two and half years and before the match Francesco Totti had made fun of this situation. The Giallorossi had scored early but Lazio equalised in the second half on a penalty that had also seen Simon Kjaer sent off. The Biancocelesti had several opportunities to turn the game around but were very unlucky with posts and chances missed by a whisker. With 30 seconds left in the game, Hernanes passed to Matuzalem who without looking lobbed the ball in the box. It landed perfectly in the path of Miro Klose who put it into the net for the incredible joy of all Laziali worldwide.




In the summer of 2012 Matuzalem arrived five days late for the start of the pre-season training. As punishment he was excluded from the squad and in January sold to Genoa. On February 3, 2013, a nasty and reckless foul on Cristian Brocchi ended the Lazio player’s career and certainly gained him no points with Lazio or the fans. He stayed another year in Liguria before moving to Bologna in 2014 where he contributed to the Rossoblu’s promotion to Serie A. He then went for six months to Verona and another six to Miami FC but played very little. In 2016 he joined Monterosi in Serie D and quit football 2 years later.


He then studied to become a coach.


Matuzalém gave a good contribution to Lazio in his four years, but fans do not really remember him with pleasure.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

2008-09

17

14

3

-

-

2009-10

24 (3)

18 (1)

-

5 (1)

1 (1)

2010-11

23

22

1

-

-

2011-12

29 (1)

21 (1)

2

6

-

Total

93 (4)

75 (2)

6

11 (1)

1 (1)

Sources


Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page