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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Lazio join Scudetto race

Game 22, Serie A

Sunday February 22, 1998


Stadio Olimpico

Lazio Inter 3-0


The Biancocelesti thrash 2nd placed Inter 3-0 with goals by Fuser, Boksic and Casiraghi.


Source Lazio Wiki

A big match in Rome this afternoon between 2nd and 3rd. Inter were Juventus' official challengers but could Lazio join the race too?


Just over 65,000 spectators on a sunny, February afternoon for this high table clash.

 

Lazio had played a Coppa Italia game on Thursday, but beating Juventus away should compensate for the energy consumed. Lazio were however without defender José Antonio Chamot and midfielder Matías Almeyda.

 

Inter were missing midfielder Diego Simeone and forward Alvaro Recoba.

 

The first shot of the game was a central effort by Diego Fuser, comfortably saved by Gianluca Pagliuca. Then, from a low Beppe Favalli cross from the left, Roberto Mancini dummied but Alen Boksic couldn't make decent contact with the ball.

 

The game was balanced but with some rough tackles. Alessandro Nesta went in hard on Ronaldo as did Paulo Sosa on Pavel Nedved.

 

In the 25th minute Lazio took the lead. On a long high cross from left Boksic nodded back into the middle at the edge of the box where Fuser took it forward with a knee, beat Salvatore Fresi and then chipped Pagliuca with a hugely effective left foot. Lazio 1 Inter 0.

 

Only three minutes later Lazio scored again. In the 28th minute Fuser floated a free kick into the area where Boksic used his physical prowess to outjump Bergomi and flick in a header. Lazio 2 Inter 0.

 

Inter's reaction was all in two shots from outside the area by Javier Zanetti and Ronaldo which did not worry Luca Marchegiani who was alert.


Half time Lazio 2 Inter 0.

 

Lazio not dominating by any means but looked sharper and had taken their chances well.

 

There were no immediate changes for the second half but then in the 54th minute Kanu came on for a quiet Djorkaeff.

 

Lazio had space on the break but Boksic shot wide when he could possibly have set up a better positioned Nedved.

 

Inter responded with a Francesco Moriero strike parried by Marchegiani and then Kanu miscued the rebound. In the 59th minute  the Nerazzurri changed a midfielder Benoit Cauet for another midfielder Zé Elias.

 

Inter's pressure rose and they had appealed for a penalty when Jugovic appeared to pull Ronaldo's shirt slightly in the area. For Mr. Collina there was not enough in it and the Brazilian had gone down too easily.

 

In the 67th minute Boksic went off to raucous applause and on came Pierluigi Casiraghi.

 

It was Inter's best moment. First they were unlucky when Moriero hit the bar with a superb volley from a Kanu assist and then Kanu himself was denied by Marchegiani who came off his line and diving low deflected the Nigerian's shot into corner.

 

Lazio lightened the pressure with Vladimir Jugovic but his shot, despite a clever build up was over the bar. Lazio also brought on Guerino Gottardi in the 75th minute for the more attacking orientated Mancini.

 

In the 84th minute, on a long hoof up field by Marchegiani, Fresi seemed to unfairly obstacle Casiraghi but play went on. Casiraghi known as "Tyson" was not pleased he pounced on Fresi just outside the area, the defender tried to dribble his way out but was dispossessed and Casiraghi raced into the area and scooped the ball over Pagliuca into the empty net. Lazio 3 Inter 0.

 

A lesson for Fresi, do not provoke or irritate Casiraghi.

 

The game was practically over but both sides had two more chances each. Ronaldo pulled a right foot wide and then curled a free kick just over the bar. For Lazio, Casiraghi had an ambitious lob from 40 metres  go wide and then a low left foot which shaved the post.

 

There was still time for Milanetto to be sent off in the 92nd minute for two yellows in quick succession, the second for ironically applauding the referee. Final score Lazio 3 Inter 0.

 

A convincing win for Lazio who had been clinical while Inter had suffered from Ronaldo's off day.

 

Lazio were now level with Inter in 2nd place, on 44 points. The leaders Juventus had lost 0-3 in Florence. The league table was becoming interesting.

 

Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Ballotta, Grandoni, Marcolin

Manager: Eriksson

 

Who played for Inter


Pagliuca, Fresi, Colonnese, Bergomi, Moriero, Zanetti, Paulo Sousa, Cauet (59' Zé Elias), Milanese, Ronaldo, Djorkaeff (54' Kanu)

Substitutes: Mazzantini, Sartor, Galante, West, Rivas

Manager: Simoni

 

Referee: Collina


Goals: 25' Fuser, 28' Boksic, 84' Casiraghi


Red card: 92' Milanese



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