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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

February 2, 2020: Lazio Spal 5-1

Biancoceleste steamroller


Lazio destroy Spal thanks to braces from Immobile and Caicedo plus a goal by Adekanye



Official SS Lazio photo

The season so far


The previous season Lazio had been disappointing with an 8th place finish but they did win the Coppa Italia beating Atalanta 2-0 in the final.


Simone Inzaghi had been confirmed as manager and the new arrivals were Manuel Lazzari (Spal), Denis Vavro (Copenhagen), Jony (Malaga) and young Bobby Adekanye on a free transfer. Leaving Lazio were Wallace (loan to Braga), Milan Badelj (loan to Fiorentina), Romulo (end of loan so back to Genoa), Bruno Jordão and Pedro Neto (Woverhampton) and Alessandro Murgia (Spal). Dušan Basta had retired.


A slow start for Lazio. Until October Lazio had shown potential but also thrown away points here and there. They were not playing well either. Ciro Immobile was scoring a lot as usual but it was not working. Even the Europa League campaign had started badly.


At the end of the first half in the match at home against Atalanta, Lazio were losing 3-0. The season was practically a write off, and it was only October. But then something triggered in the players’ head. Lazio managed to draw the game and start a winning streak of eleven consecutive games, including a win in Milan against AC Milan for the first time since 1989, a crushing of Juventus 3-1, amazing last-minute wins against Sassuolo, Cagliari and Brescia, plus victory in the Super Coppa. The wins had been interrupted a week earlier by a draw in the derby.


The match: Sunday, February 2, 2020, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


It did not take long for Lazio to open their account against Spal. In the 3rd minute, Luis Alberto took a corner, Senad Lulic on the front post headed towards the second and Ciro Immobile volleyed the ball in.



In the 16th minute, Lucas Leiva to Immobile who passed to Felipe Caicedo. The Ecuadorian sent the ball to Luis Alberto and Lazio were on the counterattack. The Spaniard saw Lazzari approaching on the right and gave him a splendid ball. Lazzari ran into the box and shot. The ball hit the post and bounced back towards Caicedo who made it two for Lazio.


Source Lazio Wiki

Lazzari almost made it three in the 19th minute but Etrit Berisha managed to parry. Spal tried to reduce the deficit but Thomas Strakosha was magnificent on a shot by Lucas Castro in the 27th minute. In the 29th, an Immobile masterpiece. Again, on the counter attack, Lazzari to Immobile challenged by Kevin Bonifazi. King Ciro dribbled past the Spal defender and tried to get past Berisha too but the ball went too long. Berisha, out of his goal, tried to face him like a defender and Ciro could not get past him. But when he had a split second he sent a lob from an impossible angle and scored his second of the day. An incredible goal!!!



Spal still tried to attack and Federico Di Francesco unmarked in front of Strakosha hit the woodwork in the 31st minute. In the 38th, Stefan Radu to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic who managed to pass to Caicedo. Ball to Ciro who ran into the box on the left, looked up, pass back to Caicedo, 4-0.


Source Lazio Wiki

In the 48th minute Adekanye substituted Caicedo and the whole team began a mission: to let Bobby score his first goal in Serie A. A first attempt, two minutes later, with a splendid assist from Luis Alberto, was saved by Berisha. Then in the 58th minute, Milinkovic-Savic to Lazzari on the right. Usual run towards the box, low pass to the centre and Adekanye made it 5-0.



Lazio stopped playing and Simone Missiroli in the 65th minute went through the Biancoceleste defence with great ease and reduced the deficit. Immobile had a hat trick chance in the 87th minute but was denied by Berisha.


A show of strength by Lazio, Inter and Juventus were warned.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Proto, Guerrieri, Jorge Silva, Marusic, Parolo, Minala, D. Anderson, A. Anderson, Lukaku.

Manager: Inzaghi


Who played for Spal


Berisha, Bonifazi, Felipe (67' Zukanovic), Tomovic, Strefezza, Castro (75' Valdifiori), Missiroli, Dabo (70' Murgia), Reca, Floccari, Di Francesco.

Substitutes: Letica, Thiam, Vicari, Tunjov.

Manager: Semplici

 

Referee: Guia


Goals: 3’ Immobile, 16’ Caicedo, 29’ Immobile, 38’ Caicedo, 58’ Adekanye, 65’ Missiroli



What happened next


Lazio were playing beautifully, scoring lots of goals with Immobile on fire. They had reached top spot in Serie A with a win against Bologna and triumph seemed behind the corner. But then Covid stopped the world and when the Biancocelesti came back to play, bad form, injuries and the problem in substituting key players, Leiva and Lulic, broke everybody’s dreams.


However, they managed to secure 4th place and Champions League for the 2020-2021 season.


Immobile scored 36 goals in Serie A, equalling the Italian record set by Gonzalo Higuain. This was enough for him to win the European Golden Boot.


Lazio 2019-2020

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

24

6

8

79

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

4

Europa League

6

2

-

4

6

Super Coppa

1

1

-

-

3

Total

47

28

6

13

92

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

45

36

2

6

1

44

37

2

4

1

44

38

1

4

1

43

37

1

4

1

41

36

-

4

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

Ciro Immobile

39

36

1

2

-

10

9

-

1

-

9

9

-

-

-

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

8

7

-

1

-

Luis Alberto

7

6

-

-

1

Let’s talk about: Denis Vavro


Source Lazio Wiki

Denis Vavro was born on April 10, 1996 in Partizánske, Slovakia. He started his career with Žilina and debuted professionally on April 20, 2013. In 2017 he signed a five-year contract with Copenhagen. He became a very promising defender, strong, tall, good header of the ball, with a powerful shot. He attracted the attention of Lazio’s sport director Igli Tare and in 2019 he moved to Rome. In the plans he was supposed to be the right back in the Biancoceleste’s line of three defenders. He did not start too badly but Lazio were not up to par and he soon lost his place in the first eleven. When the Biancocelesti started moving up the table, Vavro was constantly on the bench. He played a lot in the Europa League, but Lazio were eliminated. He made 17 appearances that season and the feeling was that he was not a player for Serie A.

 

In 2020-21 he played just two games and in January moved to Huesca on loan. He returned to Rome but was out of the team until he made a couple of appearances in January. As soon as he started playing again, he was loaned back to Copenhagen in 2022 with an option to buy. He returned to form and the Danish club signed him definitely on July 6.

 

At international level, he has made 19 caps for Slovakia with two goals. He has made appearances for the Under 17s, Under 18s, Under 21s and was also part of the squad for Euro 2020.

 

He has always spoken badly about his time in Rome. Not playing caused him depression and, in his own words, he ended up hating Lazio. In Denmark he has proved to be a good player (Copenhagen even qualified for the Champions League round of 16 in 2023-24), but perhaps there was too much pressure and competition for him to shine in Rome.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

2019-20

17

11

-

6

2020-Jan 2021

2

1

1

-

2021-Jan 2022

2

1

1

-

Total

21

13

2

6

Sources




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