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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Guendouzi, here, there and everywhere

Coppa Italia, Round of 16

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Genoa 1-0

A goal and a fantastic performance by the Frenchman helps Lazio to reach the Coppa Italia quarter finals

Official SS Lazio photo

The team

Everybody was expecting a huge turnover of players for this Coppa Italia game, but instead Maurizio Sarri only made a few minor changes. In came Luca Pellegrini and Elseid Hysaj for Adam Marusic and Manuel Lazzari, and Taty Castellanos was chosen as centre-forward. Not that there was an awful amount of choice seeing the numerous injuries that are plaguing the squad lately.

First half

Lazio scored immediately. In the fifth minute Pellegrini broke a Genoa play, moved down the left wing, looked up (something Lazzari hardly ever does), and passed the ball towards the centre where Matteo Guendouzi with a slow but precise shot gave the Biancocelesti the lead.

In the 11th minute Mario Gila fumbled a Pellegrini pass and allowed Mateo Retegui to go off on the right. Once in the box he attempted a shot, no problem for Ivan Provedel. In the 18th minute, Berkan Kutlu dribbled past Gila and crossed low in the box, Patric failed to make contact, chance for Retegui who shot the ball out of the stadium. In the 27th minute Gustav Isaksen had to leave the game due to injury, substituted by Felipe Anderson. Three minutes later Castellanos to Guendouzi on the right who saw Pedro advancing on the other side of the pitch. Low ball to him, perhaps a little too far forward, the Spaniard tried a volley that Nicola Leali parried. In the 42nd minute Patric to Hysaj on the right. The Albanian International advanced and passed to Felipe Anderson just inside the box who, seeing that there was nobody available for a pass, tried his luck, but the ball went wide.

Second half

In the 50th minute Castellanos to Pedro on the left, cross from near the byline, Taty fell back to head the ball just as Felipe Anderson was doing the same going forwards. Big clash of heads, fortunately they were both able to continue. In the 61st minute long ball from Alan Maturro to Retegui who was able to beat the Lazio defenders for speed and run towards Provedel. Gila managed to avoid any danger with a perfectly tackle into corner.

In the 65th minute Patric was forced off due to injury and was substituted by Marusic who was placed alongside Gila at the back, an unusual position for the Montenegro International. Also for Lazio, in came Ciro Immobile and out went Castellanos. A few minutes earlier Maturro and Filip Jagiello were substituted by Ridgeciano Haps and Ruslan Malinovskyi. In the 69th minute in came George Puscas and Koni De Winter for Retegui and Radu Dragusin.

In the 72nd minute Pellegrini crossed from the left, great header from Felipe Anderson, ball just wide. In the 80th, Daichi Kamada on the counterattack, ball to Ciro Immovile, shot, Leali saved. Immediately after the Japanese was substituted by Toma Basic and Nicolò Rovella by Danilo Cataldi. Genoa also made one last substitution: Seydou Fini for Alessandro Vogliacco. Fini is an interesting player, just 17 years of age.

Two minutes later Guendouzi on the counterattack, quick pass to Immobile who gave a splendid assist to Basic who had the time to decide what to do with the ball in front of the goalkeeper. His shot was weak and Leali blocked.

Nothing more happened in the match, Lazio are through to the quarterfinals where they will meet Roma or Cremonese (to be played on January 3).

Fantastic game from Matteo Guendouzi. He put energy, quality, defence and attack in his performance.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel, Hysaj, Patric (65` Marusic), Gila, Pellegrini, Guendouzi, Rovella (80` Cataldi), Kamada (80` Basic), Isaksen (27` Felipe Anderson), Castellanos (65` Immobile), Pedro.

Substitutes: Sepe, Mandas, Lazzari, Ruggeri, Kamenovic, Gonzalez, Sana Fernandes.

Manager: Sarri

Who played for Genoa

Leali, Vogliacco (80` Fini), Dragusin (69` De Winter), Matturro (61` Haps), Hefti, Kutlu, Jagiello (61` Malinovskyi), Thorsby, Martin, Galdames, Retegui (69` Puscas)

Substitutes: Calvani, Sommariva, Sabelli, Fini, Papadopoulos, Arboscello, Pittino.

Manager: Gilardino.

Referee: Sacchi

Goal: 5’ Guendouzi

Bookings: Galdames (G), Fini (G), Pellegrini (L)


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