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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

February 22, 2018: Lazio Steaua București 5-1

Updated: Feb 22

Lazio Force 5


An Immobile hat-trick and goals from Bastos and Felipe Anderson take Lazio to the next round of Europa League




Official SS Lazio photo

The season so far


The summer transfer window had seen the arrivals of Adam Marusic, Felipe Caicedo, Liverpool legend Lucas Leiva and Manchester United legend Nani. Goodbye Wesley Hoedt, Lucas Biglia and Keita Balde.


The season kicked off to a good start. Lazio managed to beat Juventus 3-2 in the Italian Super Cup with a goal in the dying seconds from youngster Alessandro Murgia. Doubles from Ciro Immobile and Paolo Dybala had made the game 2-2.


In Campionato, despite a goalless draw at home against Spal in the opening game, Lazio were doing quite well. Big victories (6-1 against Sassuolo and 5-1 away to Benevento) plus the surprise win in Turin against Juventus with Thomas Strakosha saving a penalty at the last second.


This was the first season with the introduction of the VAR, the video assistant referee, which should have brought fewer mistakes from the referees. Should, because starting from the derby in November, Lazio were certainly not helped by the new system. The Roma penalty was very doubtful (Lazio lost), the penalty given to Fiorentina the next game was non-existent (and Lazio drew), the penalty not given to Lazio against Torino was massive and the sending off of Immobile ridiculous (Lazio lost). The limit was reached against Milan in January. Milan’s first goal came off a handball, but nobody noticed. This cost Lazio several points which could have allowed them to be much higher up.


After ten games Lazio were third with Juventus, behind Napoli and Inter while at the end of the first half of the season they lay 4th. They went through a spell of three bad games from the match against Milan and by February 19 they were still 4th. Lazio’s objective was, as usual, a place in the next season’s Champions League.


In Coppa Italia Lazio passed the quarter finals and had still to play the second leg of the semi-final against Milan at home. The first game was a goalless draw.


In Europa League Lazio sailed through the group stage winning the first four games and securing a place in the knockout round early. In the round of 32 Lazio was paired with Steaua București, or FCSB as they are known now. Lazio lost 1-0 in Romania but had a lot of chances to score. It was not going to be easy, but there was optimism for the return match.


The match: Thursday, February 22, 2018, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


Lazio started the game very strongly and after a missed chance in the 6th minute with Immobile (Felipe Anderson for Ciro who shot high in front of Andrei Vlad) but a minute later Lazio were already ahead. Senad Lulic on the left crossed in on the far post. Ciro stopped the ball with his chest and sent it under the crossbar.


Steaua had an immediate chance to equalise but Constantin Budescu’s shot was too high. Lazio should have made it two with Marco Parolo in the 18th minute. Great pass from Lulic, but Parolo, unmarked in front of the goalkeeper, kicked the ball on Vlad’s chest. Almost as bad as Immobile a minute later. Splendid assist from Felipe Anderson in the box to Ciro, unmarked, but his shot went into the stratosphere. Third squandered chance in the 21st minute. Leiva for Immobile who dribbled past the goalkeeper but shot wide.


Lazio had to substitute Martin Caceres due to injury and in came Bastos. In the 34th minute a Felipe Anderson shot from outside the penalty box was lifted over the crossbar by Vlad. Corner for Lazio. Luis Alberto took it, splendid header from Bastos to give Lazio the 2-0 and momentary qualification.


In the 43rd minute Lazio made it three. Again Felipe Anderson on the left, ball to Immobile who clinically scored with a shot on the far post. Steaua now needed to score two goals to go to the next round.


Could things get worse for the Romanians? Yes. Long run by Felipe Anderson in the 51st minute who once in front of the goal, outside the penalty box but central, decided to take a shot, impossible for Vlad to save. 4-0.


Steaua had a chance three minutes later when Lulic made a mistake clearing. He passed the ball to Florinel Coman who quickly shot towards the goal only to hit the woodwork. Lulic tried to make up for his mistake but was unable to convert a great assist from Immobile in the 56th minute.


In the 71st the final work of art. Another Felipe Anderson foray into the box, ball to Immobile who faked a shot, goalkeeper and defender fell for it (literally), and Ciro slowly deposited the ball into the open goal. Magnificent.


In the end some glory also for Steaua. Great ball from Coman to Harlem Gnohéré, the Frenchman’s shot bounced off Strakosha, hit the Steaua player and went in. 5-1 game over.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Guerrieri, Marusic, Milinkovic-Savic, Nani

Manager: S. Inzaghi


Who played for Steaua București


Vlad, Benzar, Gaman (61' Balasa), Planic, Morais, Nedelcu (46' Filip), Teixeira, Man, Budescu, F. Tanase (46' Coman), Gnohéré.

Substitutes: Stanciolu, Popescu, Ovidiu, Momcilovic, C. Tanase.

Manager: Dica.


Referee: Vincic (Slovenia)


Goals: 7’ Immobile, 35’ Bastos, 43’ Immobile, 51’ Felipe Anderson, 71’ Immobile, 82’ Gnohéré



What happened next


In the next Europa League round Lazio were drawn against Dynamo Kyiv. In the first leg, at home, Lazio drew 2-2 but were then able to win in Ukraine. In the quarter-finals they faced Red Bull Salzburg and won the home game 4-2. In Salzburg Lazio went one up in the second half and were ready to book flights for the semi-final venue. Unfortunately the Biancocelesti went into a prolonged black out and lost 4-1. A wasted opportunity.


In Coppa Italia Lazio lost on penalties against Milan. It was one of those ties that if there had not been a penalty shoot out the teams would still be playing to this day. Lazio had their chances in both ties but so did Milan.


In Campionato, Lazio recovered from the three consecutive defeats and kept their fourth place, fundamental for a place in the next season’s Champions League. With three games to play, Lazio had a four-point lead over Inter in 5th place but Immobile was injured. They drew the first game at home and Inter reduced the deficit to two points. In the penultimate game Lazio had to win against struggling Crotone but only managed to draw. So did Inter, and the final game at the Olimpico against the Neroazzuri was decisive.


With 12 minutes to go to the end of the game Lazio were winning 2-1, but Inter managed to score two goals in 4 minutes and Lazio had to settle for Europa League. A big blow.


Lazio 2017-18

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

21

9

8

89

Coppa Italia

4

2

2

-

5

Europa League

12

7

2

3

26

Super Coppa

1

1

-

-

3

Total

55

31

13

11

123

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

Strakosha

53

38

4

10

1

Leiva

50

36

4

9

1

Lulic

50

35

4

10

1

Milinkovic-Savic

48

35

4

8

1

de Vrij

47

36

3

7

1

Immobile

47

33

4

9

2

Luis Alberto

47

34

3

9

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

Immobile

41

29

2

8

2

Milinkovic-Savic

14

12

-

2

-

Luis Alberto

12

11

-

1

-

Felipe Anderson

8

4

1

3

-

de Vrij

7

6

-

1

-

Let's talk about Bastos


Bartolomeu Jacinto Quissanga, better known as Bastos, was born in Luanda on November 23, 1991. He started playing football with Petro Atletico in his home town and with his club won a Taca de Angola (the national cup) in 2012 and a Supertaca de Angola (Super Coppa) a year after.


Noted for his abilities, strength and speed, in 2013 he signed with Rostov in the Russian League. He stayed in Russia until 2016 and had a key role in Rostov’s first Russian Cup win in 2014.


Lazio signed him in 2016. He was not used all of the time, but Lazio rotated their defenders a lot during the season. He also had a few injury problems. In some games he was superb but he had the bad habit of having moments when his concentration was not 100%. He stayed with Lazio until the beginning of the 2020-21 season. Simone Inzaghi preferred the return of Wesley Hoedt to keeping Bastos for another year. Not the brightest decision by Lazio’s former manager.


Bastos therefore signed for Al-Ain Saudi in 2020 but a year later he went back to Rostov on loan. When Russia invaded Ukraine, FIFA announced that all foreign players in Russia could suspend their contracts with their clubs until June 30, 2022 and sign with a club outside Russia. Bastos had reached an agreement with Arminia Bielefeld, but the German Football Association stopped all players coming from Russia and Ukraine playing in Germany. As a consequence in September 2020 Bastos signed for Al-Ahli Saudi.


Bastos played 94 games for Lazio (68 in Serie A, 10 in Coppa Italia, 2 in Champions League and 14 in Europa League) and scored 9 goals (6 in Serie A, one in Coppa Italia and 2 in Europa League).


Bastos also has 54 caps with Angola and scored two goals. He participated in the 2013 and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

2016-17

14

11

3

-

2017-18

28 (5)

21 (4)

1

6 (1)

2018-19

28 (1)

18 (1)

5

5

2019-20

22 (3)

16 (1)

1 (1)

5 (1)

Aug-Oct 2020

2

2

-

-

Total

94 (9)

68 (6)

10 (1)

16 (2)

Sources


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