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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

July 29, 2020: Lazio Brescia 2-0

Updated: Jun 26

Lazio win last home game and Immobile edges nearer Golden Boot


A routine home win with goals by Correa and European top scorer Immobile



Official SS Lazio photo

The season so far


The previous season Lazio had finished 8th under Simone Inzaghi. The Biancocelesti however had triumphed in the Coppa Italia. On May 15 they had beaten Atalanta 2-0 to lift the cup for the 7th time.


This year Inzaghi had stayed on with a few changes to the squad. The main players arriving were: Slovak defender Denis Vavro (F. C. Copenhagen), Spanish winger Jony (Malaga), midfielder Manuel Lazzari (SPAL) plus young Dutch forward Bobby Adekanye (former Liverpool).


Leaving Lazio were Serbian defender Dušan Basta after five good years (retiring), Brazilian Wallace (Braga), midfielder Milan Badelj (Fiorentina) and Romulo (Genoa - end of loan) plus two Portuguese youngsters Bruno Jordão and Pedro Neto (Wolverhampton). The sale of the latter would later be regretted as he turned out to be a useful winger. The former, despite his promising name, has not made it.


Lazio so far had a wonderful season. After an up and down start (2 wins, 2 defeats and a draw in the first five games) the Biancocelesti had improved. The turning point had been a 3-3 home draw against Atalanta when Lazio came back from 0-3 down in the last 20 minutes. They then won 8 consecutive games. They were gaining consensus as the favourites for the title.


On December 22 in Riyadh Lazio won the Italian Supercoppa beating Juventus 3-1 and lifting their 5th title.


In Europa League things had not gone so well and Lazio were eliminated in the group stage with Celtic, Cluj and Rennes after 2 wins and 4 defeats. One of the problems, and this would raise its ugly head later on, was that Lazio's new signings were disappointing, so Lazio did not have enough strength in depth.


Anyway in Serie A Lazio seemed unstoppable, and were only one point behind Juventus, but then disaster struck and the Covid-19 crisis hit the world. On February 29 Lazio beat Bologna 2-0 at home but then would not play again until June 24, in surreal empty stadiums. Lockdown, social distancing, masks, documentation just to go shopping took over, and football and life in general were put on hold.


The league returned on June 24 but Lazio did not seem themselves and lost 3-2 away to Atalanta, despite leading 2-0. Lazio then won the next two (Fiorentina and Torino) but had then collapsed and lost the following three (Milan, Lecce and Sassuolo). There followed a 0-0 away draw at Udinese and a 2-1 away defeat at Juventus, the match which was supposed to be a title clash but obviously no longer was. Lazio were now 4th, the Scudetto dream had totally gone but now even a Champions League slot was at risk. Fortunately then Lazio beat Cagliari 2-1 at home and thumped Verona 5-1 away to clinch Champions League football.


Today’s match was the last home game but obviously there were no fans to say goodbye to. The main objective, apart from a final win, was to get Ciro Immobile to score so he could try to reach a record number of goals and win the European "Golden Boot". He was on 34 in Serie A (37 in total) while Gonzalo Higuain had scored 36 league goals in 2015-16.


Brescia were newly promoted as they had won Serie B the previous year under Eugenio Corini. This year the "Leonessa" had struggled and changed manager three times; Corini (1-11), Fabio Grosso (12-14), Corini again (15-22) and Diego López (23-38). The Biancazzurri from Lombardy were already doomed to a return to Serie B after only 6 wins, 6 draws and 24 defeats (including Lazio 1-2). Their top scorers were Antonio Donnarumma and Ernesto Torregrossa with 7 while a disappointing Mario Balotelli was on 5. Brescia also had a young Sandro Tonali in the squad, he would of course go on to play for Milan and Italy.


The match: Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


An end of season match with not much to say, in an empty stadium but with the incentive for Lazio to get Ciro Immobile to score some goals. The opponent seemed ideal, already relegated and playing with their third keeper.


The game was dominated by Lazio from the start. Brescia however played with pride, were well organized and the keeper had a superb game. They gave Lazio a scare in the 10th minute when Ernesto Torregrossa had a free header from a corner but put it just over the bar.


Immobile had his first chance in the 14th minute when his shot from the edge of the box went just wide.


Lazio took the lead after 17 minutes. This time Immobile was the assist provider for Joaquin "El Tucu" Correa. After a one-two the Argentine danced past a few defenders and hammered in from close range. Lazio 1 Brescia 0.


Lazio were in complete control and had several more chances to score. Luis Alberto aimed for the low left-hand corner but Lorenzo Andrenacci somehow got there and saved into corner. Then Jony put in a perfect cross for an Immobile header but again the "Rondinelle" keeper flew to his left and denied the Lazio striker. Halftime Lazio 1 Brescia 0. Lazio cruising but still had not managed to get Immobile on the scoresheet.


The second half was similar with Lazio constantly forward but Brescia playing hard to break down.


Luis Alberto put Immobile one-on-one with the keeper but he curled it agonizingly close to the post. The visitors defended well and despite Lazio's pressure were stubbornly determined not to concede more.


In the 83rd minute however came what all Laziali were waiting for. Correa returned the favour to Immobile and teed him up with only the keeper to beat and this time King Ciro made no mistake. Lazio 2 Brescia 0 but maybe more importantly Immobile at 35 goals (one more than Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich).


Only at this point did Brescia seem to fall apart and Lazio had several more chances. On one Bobby Adekanye went alone but his shot was parried by Andrenacci and on the rebound Luis Alberto almost cracked the crossbar with a thundering strike. Then Immobile almost got a brace but was again denied by a good save. Final score Lazio 2 Brescia 0.


Three points, a last home win, an Immobile goal and heading for Champions League. All that was needed now was full stadiums again to bring back real football.


Who played for Lazio


Strakosha, Patric, Luiz Felipe (84' Vavro), Acerbi (87' Bastos), Lazzari (56' Marusic), Milinkovic-Savic, Parolo, Luis Alberto, Jony (56' Lukaku), Correa (84' Adekanye), Immobile

Substitutes: Proto, Guerrieri, Armini, Cataldi, D. Anderson, A. Anderson, Moro

Manager: S. Inzaghi


Who played for Brescia


Andrenacci, Sabelli, Papetti, Gastaldello (77' Semprini), Mateju, Spalek, Viviani, Tonali, Zmrhal, Ayè (88' Ndoj), Torregrossa

Substitutes: Alfonso, Cistana, Chancellor, Mangraviti, Ghezzi

Manager: Diego López


Referee: Massimi


Goals: 17' Correa, 83' Immobile


What happened next


A week later Lazio lost the last match of the season 1-3 in Naples. Lazio's goal however was scored by Immobile. This meant he reached 36 league goals, a Serie A record shared with Gonzalo Higuain. He also won the prestigious Golden Boot award ahead of Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo.


Lazio finished 4th (on same points as Atalanta 3rd). A season of what might have been had it not been for the Covid-19 crisis. Lazio were never the same again after the interruption but in the end had the satisfaction of a return to Champions League football after 13 years and having their star striker as Italy and Europe's top scorer.


Brescia went down to Serie B and have not been up since. Going down with them were SPAL and Lecce. The Scudetto was won by Maurizio Sarri's Juventus.



Lazio 2019-2020

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie A

38

24

6

8

79

Coppa Italia

2

1

0

1

4

Europa League

6

2

-

4

6

Super Coppa

1

1

-

-

3

Total

47

28

6

13

92

Top five appearances (complete statistics)

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 (complete statistics)

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 Manuel Lazzari


Manuel Lazzari was born in Valdagno (Vicenza), on November 29, 1993.


He started his football career in nearby Vicenza. He was in their youth sector from 2006-2010.


He then joined Montecchio (Vicenza) in Serie D. He played 29 league games and scored 1 goal.


In 2011 he moved to Delta 2000 (Porto Tolle-Rovigo) in Serie D. He played a total of 35 games for the "Rodigini" with 3 goals.


In 2012 he joined Giacomense (Masi San Giacomo - Ferrara) in Lega Pro 2nd. The Grigiorossi finished 11th and Lazzari played 24 games.


In 2013 he moved to a bigger club, SPAL, in nearby Ferrara. The "Estensi" too were in Lega Pro 2nd but in Lazzari's first season were promoted to Lega Pro. He played 30 league games under managers Leonardo Rossi (1-8) and then Massimo Gadda (9-34).


The following season the Ferraresi came 4th, first under Oscar Brevi (1-16) and then Leonardo Semplici (17-38). Lazzari played 29 league games.


The 2015-16 season saw SPAL promoted to Serie B, in first place under Semplici. Lazzari played a total of 35 games with 2 goals.


The following year SPAL performed the double jump and were promoted to Serie A, in first place. Lazzari played 39 league games and 2 in Coppa Italia.


So in 2017-18 Lazzari and SPAL were in Serie A. They managed to survive in 17th place. They won 8, drew 14 (including Lazio 0-0 in Rome) and lost 16 (including Lazio 2-5). Lazzari played 36 league games with 2 goals (Udinese, Genoa) and 2 games in Coppa Italia.


In 2018-19 SPAL did even better and finished 13th. They won 11 (including Roma home and away and Lazio in Ferrara), drew 9 and lost 18 (including Lazio 1-4 in Rome). Lazzari played 33 league games and 1 in Coppa Italia.


In the summer of 2019 his positive performances earned him a move to Lazio. In Rome he was to play under manager Simone Inzaghi. Lazio won the Super Coppa in December beating Juventus 3-1 and until March looked on course to winning the Scudetto. Then Covid-19 thwarted their hopes and they had to settle for 4th place. Lazzari had an excellent season with 32 league appearances, 1 in Coppa Italia, 6 in UEL with 1 goal (Celtic Glasgow) and 1 in the Super Coppa in Riyadh.


The following year Lazio finished 6th. Lazzari played regularly with 32 league games and 2 goals (Cagliari, Spezia), 2 in Coppa Italia and 5 in Champions League. He won his first derby in a 3-0 triumph on January 15.


In 2021-22 Lazio changed managers from Inzaghi to Maurizio Sarri. Lazzari still kept his place and played 31 league games with 3 goals (Empoli, Salernitana), 2 in Coppa Italia and 6 in UEL. Lazio finished 5th (UEL qualification). He also won his second derby 3-2 on September 26.


In 2022-23 Sarri stayed on and Lazio had a great season finishing (CL qualification). Lazzari played 28 league games ,1 in Coppa Italia and 7 in Europe (between Europa League and Conference League). He won his third and fourth derbies both 1-0.


Lazzari has won 3 Italy caps. He played 207 games for SPAL and 154 so far for Lazio


Lazzari is a defender/ midfielder. He is 1.74 and 67 kilos so not a physically strong player but very athletic. He plays mainly on the right wing whether starting at full-back or in midfield. He is a fast, dynamic and hardworking player. He is tireless up and down the field, either bursting out of defence or pushing down the flank looking for a shot or preferably an assist. When at his best he is unstoppable, the opposition often resorting to fouls resulting in bookings or sendings off (see Juan Cuadrado in Lazio vs Juve 2019). One weakness he can improve on is his final cross from the by-line, often executed with his head still down after one of his prolonged runs.


At Lazio he has had a positive four years. In the history books for now are his darting runs in the 2021 derby, resulting in Roma's Ibañez going to pieces and handing Lazio two goals in their 3-0 victory and also his cross for Senad Lulic, to score the second goal, in the 3-1 Supercoppa win over Juventus. Hopefully there is more to come.


Lazio career

Season

Total played (Goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Europa League

Conference League

Super Coppa

2019-20

40 (1)

32

1

-

6 (1)

-

1

2020-21

39 (2)

32 (2)

2

5

-

-

-

2021-22

39 (3)

31 (3)

2

-

6

-

-

2022-23

37

28

2

-

3

4

Total

155 (6)

123 (5)

7

5

15 (1)

4

1

Sources



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