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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Down the drain

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

2022-23 Season

Conference League

Round of 16

March 7, 2023

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Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio AZ Alkmaar 1-2

Mistakes, both in defence and in attack, condemn Lazio. It is going to be difficult to go through to the next round, but doable.

The team

Maurizio Sarri decides on a very limited turnover, just Patrick for Alessio Romagnoli. With Ciro Immobile out injured (again), Felipe Anderson is the trusted centre forward.

The match

The first chance comes after just two minutes. Mattia Zaccagni goes off on the left and crosses low in the box, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic shoots wide. Zaccagni repeats himself in exactly the same way in the 18th minute but this time Pedro scores. Lazio one up and in complete control.

At this point the game gets boring. Alkmaar have sterile possession, Lazio just watch and occasionally move forward. In the 26th minute Milinkovic-Savic outside the box on the right crosses to the other side for Pedro. His shot is saved by Matthew Ryan. Alkmaar’s first chance comes in the 31st minute. Milos Kerkez crosses from the left, Sven Mijnans shoots and hits the woodwork. A possible wake up call for Lazio? No. Milinkovic-Savic in the 45th minute loses the ball near the Lazio penalty box, Tijiani Reijnders passes to Jesper Karlsson on the left in the box, ball to Vangelis Pavlidis, 1-1.

Lazio react immediately. In the first minute of injury time, Milinkovic-Savic just outside the box, slightly right, shoots and hits the crossbar.

Second half

Nicolò Casale is replaced by Alessio Romagnoli in the interval. Lazio start the second half as they had finished the first. AZ Alkmaar have the majority of possession and Lazio cannot not get the ball off them. When the Biancocelesti have the ball, the Dutch are much more efficient in their pressing and Lazio simply cannot develop their usual game. Having said that, in the 52nd minute Luis Alberto to Felipe Anderson but his shot is too weak and is comfortably saved by the goalkeeper. Milinkovic-Savic has another go in the 59th but with the same result.

In the 62nd minute, Lazio are in trouble at the back, they manage to clear the ball but Pedro loses it, one-two Kerkez-Karlsson and it's 2-1 for AZ.

And now another match starts and it’s a missing chances saga. In the 73rd minute Luis Alberto on the edge of the box on the left tries to pass to Felipe Anderson but the ball is deflected and Ryan goes for the catch. He fumbles, Felipe Anderson is there ready for the kill but shoots too high. In the 76th, Milinkovic-Savic to Felipe Anderson on the right. The Brazilian moves towards the goal line and crosses in to Luis Alberto who kicks it against Clasie. In the 80th minute Zaccagni to Luis Alberto who passes the ball to Felipe Anderson just inside the box. The shot is wide. In the 82nd, a Luis Alberto corner is headed by Romagnoli towards Milinkovic-Savic who shoots. Wide, again. In the first minute of a way too short injury time, Mattias Vecino, who in the meantime has substituted Danilo Cataldi, shoots from outside the box, but it is comfortably saved by the keeper.

Game over. Lazio lose but should be kicking themselves for all the missed chances and the two goals conceded. There is still hope, but the ball has got to go in.

Official SS Lazio photo

Who played for Lazio

Maximiano, Lazzari, Patric, Casale (46' Romagnoli), Marusic, Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi (70' Vecino), Luis Alberto, Pedro (70' Cancellieri), Felipe Anderson, Zaccagni.

Substitutes: Provedel, Magro, Gila, Pellegrini, Hysaj, Marcos Antonio, Basic, Romero.

Manager: Sarri

Who played fo AZ Alkmaar

Ryan, Sugawara, Goes, Hatzidiakos, Kerkez (82' M. de Wit) , Clasie, Mijnans, Reijnders, Odgaard (82' Mihailovic), Pavlidis (82' Meerdink), Karlsson (82' van Brederode).

Substitutes: Verhulst, Owusu-Oduro, Yusuf Barasi, Lahdo, Buurmeester, Schouten.

Manager: Jansen

Referee: Nyberg (Sweden)

Goals: 18’ Pedro, 45’ Pavlidis, 62’ Kerkez

Bookings: Claise, Kerkez


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