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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

A season to remember

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

2022-23 season

Game 38

June 4, 2023

Stadio Castellani, Empoli

Empoli-Lazio 0-2

With the win at Empoli, the Biancocelesti secure second place and together with the qualification for the Super Coppa and Champions League, reach their third seasonal objective.

The team

Maurizio Sarri for the last match of the season decides it's time for Luca Pellegrini to start from the beginning. Elseid Hysaj is, as a consequence, moved to the right and Manuel Lazzari is on the bench. In attack Pedro takes the place of an out of form Mattia Zaccagni. Patric plays instead of Nicolò Casale. Lazio need to win to secure a second place finish.

Before the game, Ivan Provedel was awarded the trophy for the best Serie A goalkeeper of the season.

First half

The Biancocelesti have their first chance in the 2nd minute after Pedro steals the ball off Alberto Grassi. One two Luis Alberto-Ciro Immobile and the Spaniard goes for the shot, well saved by Guglielmo Vicario.

A good rhythm right from the word go but apart from that first shot nothing much happens for about 20 minutes. The teams seem to have difficulty in finding the right key to open the defences.

Lazio has a second chance in the 24th minute with Pedro whose shot from outside the box does not create any worries for Empoli. Ten minutes later Hysaj crosses from the left and finds Immobile at the centre of the box. His header is saved into corner by Vicario. In the 38th minute there is a free kick for the Biancocelesti just outside the penalty box on the left but close to the byline. Luis Alberto, as logic would have it, looks as if he is going to cross into the middle, instead he passes the ball centrally but outside the box to Patric, big shot, Vicario saves. In the 41st minute Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Immobile again on the left, Ciro goes into the box and shoots, Vicario is nothing short of miraculous and sends the ball into corner.

What about Empoli? Defence, defence, defence.

Second half

Corner for the Biancoclesti in the 48th minute. Luis Alberto crosses, Alessio Romagnoli heads the ball in for Lazio’s first goal of the evening. The second consecutive goal from a corner!!!! A miracle, we never score from corners!!!!

Empoli substitutes Liam Grassi with Henderson in the 56th minute and in the 63rd out goes Pedro and in comes Zaccagni.

In the 66th minute, on the left, again, Zaccagni to Immobile back to Zaccagni who runs into the box and from a difficult position shoots. Vicario saves. More substitutions around the 70th minute. In come Casale and Danilo Cataldi and out go Romagnoli and Matias Vecino. Empoli substitutes Roberto Piccoli and Filippo Bandinelli with Mattia Destro and Nicolas Haas.

In the 82nd minute an Immobile shot is saved extremely well by the Empoli goalkeeper. Ciro is getting into form and one can see it. Good news for Roberto Mancini for Italy’s upcoming Nation League Finals.

Two more substitutions for Empoli in the 83rd: Samir Ujkani for Vicario and Martin Satriano for Jacopo Fazzini.

In the 89th minute Empoli go close to equalising. Corner from the right, Milinkovic-Savic clears, Nicolò Cambiaghi is ready for the volley from outside the box, excellent shot, great save by Provedel. Cambiaghi immediately after gets a second yellow for a foul on Zaccagni.

In the second minute of injury time, Milinkovic-Savic passes to Zaccagni on the left. The Italian forward on the edge of the box moves central and passes the ball to Immobile. King Ciro sees Luis Alberto arriving on the scene to the left, ball to the Magician, big shot, Empoli 0 Lazio 2.

A minute later there are 60 seconds of glory for youngster Marco Bertini who has been part of the team for the entire year as well as playing with the Primavera.

Lazio manage to reach second place in the Campionato, a feat achieved only three other times before: 1936-37, 1994-95 and 1998-99. Furthermore the 21 clean sheets equals the Serie A record and Lazio have the second best defence of the Campionato. A great year, a season to remember.

Official SS Lazio photo

Who played for Empoli

Vicario (83` Ujkani), Stojanovic, Walukiewicz, Luperto, Cacace, Grassi (57' Henderson), Bandinelli (75' Haas), Akpa Akpro, Fazzini (84' Satriano), Cambiaghi, Piccoli (75' Destro).

Substitutes: Perisan, Pjaca, Tonelli, Renzi, Ismajli, Vignato, Parisi.

Manager: Zanetti.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel, Hysaj, Patric, Romagnoli (71' Casale), Pellegrini, Milinkovic-Savic (90'+3' Bertini), Vecino (72' Cataldi), Luis Alberto, Felipe Anderson, Immobile, Pedro (63' Zaccagni).

Substitutes: Maximiano, Adamonis, Lazzari, Radu, Gila, Basic, Marcos Antonio, Cancellieri, Gonzalez.

Manager: Sarri

Referee: Massimi

Goals: 48’ Romagnoli, 90+2’ Luis Alberto

Bookings: Akpa Akpro, Cambiaghi, Milinkovic-Savic, Vecino

Sent off: Cambiaghi


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