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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Lazio wins in dramatic fashion

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

2022-2023 Season

Game 1

August 14 2022

Rome, Stadio Olimpico

Lazio Bologna 2-1

Marvellous comeback from Lazio. Down to 10 men from the early minutes of the game and losing 1-0 from a Marko Arnautovic penalty, the Biancazzurri managed to overturn the result thanks to yet another goal from Ciro Immobile and a Bologna own goal prompted by Manuel Lazzari.

The teams

Maurizio Sarri decides to play with the same 11 that played in the first halves of the more recent pre-season friendly games. Nicolò Casale is out suspended and Pedro injured. Bologna has a 3-4-1-2 formation with Roberto Soriano backing Marko Arnautovic and Nicola Sansone.

Shocking start

Lazio start off in control of the game and have a shot with Toma Basic after only 20 seconds. Bologna are ready for the counter attack. After 4 minutes it looks like Luis Maximiano saves a ball using his hands outside the penalty box. The referee, Luca Massimi, is called by the VAR a few minutes later and after having a quick look at the on-field monitor, waves a red card in the face of the Portuguese goalkeeper, much to the incredulity of the Lazio fans and players.

Too harsh? Maybe, if you are a Lazio fan. It did not look as if it was a clear goal scoring opportunity but from a textbook point of view a red card was a possibility. The ref obviously took it.

A shock start for Lazio. Sarri takes off Basic to put Ivan Provedel in goal and Lazio changes from 4-3-3 to 4-4-1 with Mattia Zaccagni and Felipe Anderson on the wings but instead of being on the attacking line, they move back to midfield.

Immobile has a chance in the 13th minute but Lukasz Skorupski saves his shot. On the following corner Alessio Romagnoli has another opportunity but heads the ball directly into the hands of the Bologna goalkeeper.

At this point Bologna take over and Lazio starts to pull back. Provedel saves the Biancocelesti in the 20th minute when former Lazio player Lorenzo De Silvestri finds himself all alone in front of goal but the new Lazio signing shows why Lazio invested in him.

Meanwhile Adama Soumaoro starts the competition “how many fouls does it take to be booked”. He is quickly joined by Andrea Cambiaso. Sansone, on the other hand, wants to take the competition one step further and see if he can get a red card directly. However, Massimi does not want to play and decides that a yellow card for Sansone is more than enough.

Penalty for Bologna

In the 35th minute here comes another game changer. Romagnoli heads the ball to Zaccagni in the penalty box. The former Verona player is slow to clear the ball and allows Sansone to anticipate him just in time to be kicked by Zaccagni. For the ref it's a penalty, a decision confirmed by VAR.

Justified? It looked more like Sansone threw himself onto the Lazio player looking for an impact. But Zaccagni should have been wiser.

Arnautovich takes the penalty and it's 1-0 for Bologna. He also gets a yellow card because of excessively exaggerated and provocative celebrations under the Lazio fans.

Ten men each

In the 40th minute the referee finally decides that if Soumaro really wants a yellow card why should he be so cruel and deny him one and at the fourth attempt the Bologna defender is finally booked.

Lazio are in shock and with one minute to go to the end of the first half Bologna almost make it two with Sansone but his shot is wide.

In the four minutes of added time the match changes. In the second minute Lazzari does an Alberto Tomba and is possibly fouled on entry to the penalty box. Protests from Lazio and from all over the world but the referee is not convinced. In all fairness, not enough in it really for a penalty. At this point Lazzari goes into a trance, gets the ball in Lazio’s half, dribbles past one Bologna player, another, another, another and then is finally fouled by Soumaro. The French player is proclaimed the winner of the “how many fouls does it take to get a double booking” competition and is sent off.

Both teams are now down to ten men and it’s a whole new ball game. Kevin Bonifazi takes Sansone’s place at the beginning of the second half.

Lazzari unstoppable

While everybody is expecting a Lazio assault, it’s Bologna that take control early in the second half but are never dangerous. Cambiaso is booked at last by the referee in the 53rd minute and will try to get sent off for the rest of the match but he just can’t convince Massimi who already had a winner in Soumaro.

Chance for Lazio in the 62th minute but Jerdy Schouten deflects Zaccagni’s shot into a corner.

Three changes on the field: Soriano and Charalampos Lykonogiannis are substituted by Michel Aebischer and Denso Kasius for Bologna; for Lazio Luis Alberto takes Danilo Cataldi’s place.

Five minutes later Lazio equalizes. Lazzari decides it’s time for another foray into Bologna's half, enters the penalty box and takes a shot, Skorupski deflects the ball onto De Silvestri who puts it into his own net and it's 1-1.


Lazio believe they can turn this around and take control. Adam Marusic’s attempt in the 76th minute is comfortably saved by the Bologna keeper and another slalom from Lazzari sees the Lazio defender’s subsequent shot go wide. Sinisa Mihajlovic sends in Musa Barrow substituting Nicolas Dominguez hoping for a miracle but it is not to be.

The goal is on its way. Bologna cannot get rid of the ball just outside the penalty box, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic passes the ball to Immobile who with only Skorupski to beat makes it 2-1.

There are 11 minutes to go but the game is virtually over. Bologna does not have any energy left and the only thing that is worth noting are the substitutions: in come Matteo Cancellieri (excellent last ten minutes), Matias Vecino and Elseid Hysaj for Felipe Anderson, Milinkovic Savic and Lazzari for Lazio and Emanuel Vignato instead of Cambiaso for Bologna.

Lazio deservedly, despite a terrible referee and an uphill start, pocket the three points.

Official SS Lazio Photo

Who played for Lazio

Maximiano, Lazzari (83' Hysaj), Patric, Romagnoli, Marusic, Milinkovic-Savic (83' Vecino), Cataldi (65' Luis Alberto), Basic (8' Provedel), Felipe Anderson (83' Cancellieri), Immobile, Zaccagni.

Substitutes: Adamonis, Gila, Radu, Kamenovic, Marcos Antonio, Bertini, Romero, Moro

Manager: Sarri

Who played for Bologna

Skorupski, Soumaoro, Medel, Lykogiannis (64' Kasius), De Silvestri, Dominguez (74' Barrow), Schouten, Soriano (64' Aebischer), Cambiaso (86' Vignato), Sansone (46' Bonifazi), Arnautovic.

Substitutes: Bardi, Bagnolini, Angeli, Orsolini, Raimondo, Motolese, Amey, Urbanski, Mbaye

Manger: Mihajlovic

Referee: Massimi

Goals: 8' Arnautovic (pen), 68' De Silvestri (og), 79' Immobile

Bookings: Sansone, Arnautovic, Soumaoro, Cambiaso, Lazzari, Aebischer, Immobile

Sent off: Maximiano, Soumaro (double yellow card)


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