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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Vecino strikes again

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Game 8, Serie A

Sunday October 8, 2023

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Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Atalanta 3-2

Thanks to the men coming in from the bench, the Biancocelesti beat Atalanta for the first time at home in almost seven years

Official SS Lazio photo

The team

Maurizio Sarri was forced to play without Ciro Immobile due to injury, therefore, compared to the game at Celtic Park, in came Taty Castellanos plus Adam Marusic, Nicolò Casale, Matteo Guendouzi and Nicolò Rovella. The manager is rotating a lot more players at the start of this season thanks to a better overall squad quality.

First half

Five minutes and Lazio scored. Corner for the Biancocelesti, usual dangerous cross on the front post from Luis Alberto, a number of players tried to head the ball but missed, surprising Charles De Ketelaere who kneed it into his own goal.

Lazio were not content with the lead and pressed Atalanta for a second goal which arrived in the 11th minute. Splendid long ball from the centre of the pitch to the right from Mattia Zaccagni, Felipe Anderson sprinted to get there first and did so. Excellent pass to the centre of the box and Castellanos did not miss the open goal possibility. 2-0 for Lazio and first goal for his new club for Taty.

Official SS Lazio photo

The Biancocelesti had two more chances to make it three. In the 15th minute Luis Alberto took a free kick, the ball was deflected and arrived perfectly for Casale but his volley hit the goalkeeper. In the 18th minute Guendouzi received the ball from Felipe Anderson on the centre right, big whack, crossbar!!!

That is it Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve shown how good we are, now we will sit back and wait until the end of the game. This is exactly what happened. The Biancocelesti, devastating so far, moved back a little and allowed Atalanta to get back into the game. A sign of what was to come arrived in the 25th minute when, following a Matteo Ruggeri cross from the left, Mario Pasalic was able to head the ball in solitude but could not get a good impact and his header went wide. Almost identical situation in the 33rd minute. Another Ruggeri cross in the box allowed Ederson to comfortably head the ball past Ivan Provedel.

Lazio completely asleep. It did not look good for the Biancocelesti.

Second half

During the interval Giampiero Gasperini substituted Pasalic with Teun Koopmeiners and Atalanta continued from where they left off. De Ketelaere on the right in the 49th minute, “sombrero” over Elseid Hysaj, big whack, Provedel saved into corner.

Sarri realised that his team was in physical difficulty (it was also very hot) and in the 55th minute out went Zaccagni and Luis Alberto for Pedro and Matias Vecino. Five minutes later Gianluca Scamacca was substituted by Ademola Lookman.

In the 64th minute the Bergamaschi equalised. Cross from the left (again) by Koopmeiners, the ball beat Marusic and Sead Kolasinac headed it in.

Two more substitutions: Daichi Kamada for Guendouzi and Luis Muriel for De Ketelaere.

Lazio in clear difficulty now and Atalanta tried for the kill. Muriel has scored a thousand times against the Biancoclesti, it looked like only a matter of time.

But then Sarri made two decisive changes to the team in the 77th minute. In came Gustav Isaksen and Danilo Cataldi and out went Felipe Anderson and Rovella. This, together with Pedro and Kamada, gave new life to the Biancocelesti who started to gain ground. Pedro in great form was giving headaches to the defenders on the left, Isaksen with his speed and dribbling started doing the same on the right.

In the 83rd minute Marusic crossed into the box from the right, Castellanos headed the ball towards the middle, in came Vecino who with an acrobatic volley scored Lazio’s third. A great goal.

Atalanta were unable to get back into the game and Lazio controlled the match to the end.

Great win for Lazio. The last time they had beaten Atalanta at home in Serie A was on January 15, 2017. A long time ago.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel, Marusic, Casale, Romagnoli, Hysaj, Guendouzi (64' Kamada), Rovella (77' Cataldi), Luis Alberto (56' Vecino), Felipe Anderson (77' Isaksen), Castellanos, Zaccagni (56' st Pedro).

Substitutes: Sepe, Mandas, Lazzari, Gila, Patric, Pellegrini.

Manager: Sarri

Who played for Atalanta

Musso, Scalvini, Djimsiti, Kolasinac, Zappacosta (81' Bakker), De Roon, Ederson, Ruggeri (81' Holm), Pasalic (46' Koopmeiners), De Ketelaere (70' Muriel), Scamacca (60' Lookman).

Substitutes: Carnesecchi, Rossi, Palomino, Bonfanti, Zortea, Hateboer, Adopo, Miranchuk

Manager: Gasperini.

Referee: Orsato

Goals: 5’ De Ketelaere (og), 11’ Castellanos, 33’ Ederson, 63’ Kolasinac, 83’ Vecino

Booked: Ruggeri, Vecino


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