top of page
  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Arrivederci Europe

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

2022-23 Season

Conference League

Round of 16

March 16, 2023

AZ Stadion, Alkmaar

AZ Alkmaar Lazio 2-1

Lazio lose and say goodbye to Europe for this year

The teams

Maurizio Sarri is more concerned about Sunday’s derby than this game and even though he puts in Ivan Provedel instead of Luis Maximiano, in defence Mario Gila's in the middle and, finally, Luca Pellegini on the left. Toma Basic is in midfield and Matteo Cancellieri on the right.

The match

The beginning of the game follows the same script as the first leg at the Olimpico. AZ manoeuvres slowly from behind attracting the pressing from Lazio to then surprise the Biancocelesti with rapid passes forward in the gaps created by the Lazio pressure. This worked tremendously in Rome and it looks like it's working in Holland too, until the 21st minute.

Long pass from Alessio Romagnoli over the Alkmaar defence, Mattia Zaccagni reaches the ball, goes forward and once near the box he passes to Felipe Anderson. The Brazilian controls the ball, looks up, and shoots. 1-0 for Lazio.

The lead lasts until the 28th minute. Jesper Karlsson on the left finds some space and advances towards the Lazio box. He shoots from 25 metres, the ball seems to go straight to Provedel but then sways away and beats the Lazio goalkeeper. 1-1.

Second half

Lazio try to do something in the second half but lack any real determination. Pellegrini has a go in the 52nd minute from 35 metres but his shot is saved by Matthew Ryan. Tijiani Reijnders hits the woodwork in the 55th minute and seven minutes later Alkmaar make it two. Karlsson to Vangelis Pavlidis outside the box, great shot, nothing Provedel can do.

AZ go for Lazio’s jugular and create numerous chances for the 3-1. Provedel is miraculous a few times and the woodwork saves the Biancocelesti in the 64th minute (Jens Odgaard) and in 75th (Reijnders). All Lazio can muster is an attempt from Pedro (in for Zaccagni) deflected by a Dutch defender.

Poor European Campaign

With the exception of the first 60 minutes of the first game against Feyenoord, Lazio played pretty poorly for the whole of this season’s European campaign. They were a little bit unlucky in that they never had an easy match, with maybe the exception of Cluj, plus the refereeing was terrible in some games.

Perhaps the lack of depth in the squad can be to blame, but it is also a mentality issue. The team did not play with the necessary intensity that European games require. That certainly was what they lacked when Lazio lost 5-1 against Midtjylland, which was the defining moment. From then on qualification was all uphill and without Ciro Immobile it became even more difficult. The consequent relegation to Conference League plus this early exit came without King Ciro. In Serie A Lazio have managed without him but not in Europe.

The only consolation is that while the other Italian teams fighting for a Champions League qualification are still in the European competitions, Lazio will be able to concentrate solely on the Campionato. Last year this proved to be fundamental as the team improved tremendously once they had just one competition to concentrate on. We can only hope.

Official SS Lazio photo

Who played for AZ Alkmaar

Ryan, Sugawara, Goes (86' Beukema), Hatzidiakos, Kerkez, Clasie, Mijnans, Reijnders, Odgaard (86' Lahdo), Pavlidis, Karlsson (86' van Brederode).

Substitutes: Verhulst, Owusu-Oduro, Yusuf Barasi, Lahdo, Vanheusden, Buurmeester, de Jong, M. de Wit, Meerdink.

Manager: Jansen.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel, Marusic, Gila, Romagnoli (58' Casale), Pellegrini (69' Lazzari), Milinkovic-Savic (58' Luis Alberto), Vecino, Basic, Cancellieri, Felipe Anderson (78' Romero), Zaccagni (58' Pedro).

Substitutes: Maximiano, Magro, Patric, Floriani M., Cataldi, Marcos Antonio, Bertini.

Manager: Sarri

Referee: Juj (Slovenia)

Goals: 21’ Felipe Anderson, 28’ Karlsson, 62’ Pavlidis

Bookings: Kerkez, Vecino, Pellegrini


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page