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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Another missed opportunity

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

2022-23 Season

Game 20

January 29, 2023

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Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Fiorentina 1-1

Lazio squander the possibility of reaching second place

The teams

Maurizio Sarri confirms the squad that beat Milan, probably because Fiorentina play in a similar way. Ciro Immobile is back from his injury but is on the bench. The Viola must come out of a negative period and for this match Manager Vincenzo Italiano opts for a 4-3-3 formation and plays Nicolas Gonzalez from the start.

The match

Fiorentina immediately take control while Lazio are content with just letting the Viola keep possession. In the beginning it looks as if the tactic works. In the 8th minute corner kicked by Luis Alberto, the ball is between Nikolas Milenkovic and Nicolò Casale and it’s the Lazio defender who reacts quicker sending the ball past Pietro Terracciano. 1-0 for Lazio.

Lazio basically do very little more for the rest of the first half. Fiorentina, despite controlling play for most of the first 45 minutes do even less. A couple of wide shots early on, Anton Barak in the 13th minute and Gonzalez in the 17th, but not much else.

In the 25th minute Luis Alberto steals the ball from Luca Ranieri but once he is in the box he shoots high. Luka Jovic has a half chance in the 28th minute but his shot is saved by Ivan Provedel. In the first minute of injury time Adam Marusic to Felipe Anderson on the left of the penalty box, ball in the centre for Pedro, but pressed by two defenders his shot is high.

That is it for a pretty boring first half.

Second half

Fiorentina replace Christian Kuoamé with Riccardo Saponara during the interval, and the Viola start the second half more determined than ever. In the 46th minute Giacomo Bonaventura has a chance but his shot is weak and Provedel saves. There is nothing he can do though in the 49th minute. Nico Gonzalez collects the ball on the left, he moves towards the centre of the field, passes to Bonaventura who gives him the ball back. He is just outside the box and when he sees a gap he shoots. A splendid curving ball that allows Fiorentina to equalise.

Lazio, as usual when in difficulty, start to lose control of the game from a psychological point of view and get nervous. Marusic intercepts a ball on the right in the 53rd minute and shoots, but the ball is just wide. Six minutes later there is a confused action in front of the Lazio penalty box with the Biancocelesti unable to clear the ball and the Viola unable to go forward, by chance the ball reaches Gonzalez on the right who shoots but this time it's too high. A minute later Lazio could score. Mattia Zaccagni moves towards the centre of the pitch and passes the ball to Felipe Anderson on the right just inside the box. The Brazilian’s effort is a mix between a return pass to Zaccagni and a shot, and the ball goes out.

Between the 63rd and 71st minute Sarri revolutionises the team. In come Marcos Antonio, Mattias Vecino, Ciro Immobile and Manuel Lazzari, out go Danilo Cataldi, Luis Alberto, Pedro and Elseid Hysaj. Felipe Anderson leaves the centre of the attack and moves to the right wing.

Fiorentina also change a couple of players. Out go Gonzalez and Bonaventura, in come Jonathan Ikoné and Romìnado Mandragora.

In the 66th minute a great chance for Fiorentina. Dodò crosses from the right, Jovic is in a perfect position but his header is saved by Provedel.

Lazio try to take control of the game. In the 75th minute Felipe Anderson to Immobile but the King’s shot is wide. In the 83rd minute Sergej Milinkovic-Savic chips a ball to Immobile on the right inside the box, but Ciro cannot get a good impact on the ball.

Last two substitutions for Fiorentina in the 85th minute. In come Julio Igor and Arthur Cabral for Jovic and Ranieri.

Fiorentina have two big chances to score in injury time. In the fourth minute Milinkovic-Savic loses the ball in midfield, Igor goes past another Lazio defender and finds himself outside the box but central. Ball to Saponara on the left who comes into the box, feigns a cross, and shoots, Provedel saves into corner. From the corner Barak heads the ball towards the goal, it becomes an assist for Milenkovic, in the right place at the right time, but his tap in hits the top part of the crossbar.

Fiorentina deserved the draw and played much better than Lazio. They almost won it too. The Biancocelesti were not able to capitalise on the early goal and played rather badly. Not enough quality and not a good game by Zaccagni, Felipe Anderson and Pedro.

The only good news is that Immobile is back, hopefully fitness will come soon.

Official SS Lazio photo

Who played for Lazio

Provedel; Marusic, Casale, Romagnoli, Hysaj (71' Lazzari); Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi (63' Marcos Antonio), Luis Alberto (63' Vecino); Pedro (71' Immobile), Felipe Anderson, Zaccagni.

Substitutes: Maximiano, Adamonis, Patric, Gila, Fares, Basic, Bertini, Cancellieri, Romero.

Manager: Sarri

Who played for Fiorentina

Terracciano; Dodò, Milenkovic, Ranieri (85' Igor), Biraghi; Barak, Amrabat, Bonaventura (73' Mandragora); Gonzalez (73' Ikonè), Jovic(85' Cabral), Kouamè (46' Saponara).

Substitutes: Cerofolini, Sirigu, Terzic, Venuti, Martinez Quarta, Duncan, Amatucci.

Manager: Italiano.

Referee: Colombo

Goals: 8’ Casale, 49’ Gonzalez

Booked: Kouamè, Zaccagni, Saponara, Amrabat, Immobile


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