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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Magician’s touch

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

2022-23 Season

Game 29

April 8, 2023

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Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Juventus 2-1

A wonderful back heel pass from Luis Alberto gives Lazio a priceless win

The team

Maurizio Sarri decides to keep Danilo Cataldi on in place of Matias Vecino and to put Ciro Immobile in the centre of the attack for the first time since his return from injury. A difficult match, this season Lazio has already lost against Juventus both in Serie A and in Coppa Italia.

The match

Lazio start off well with quite a number of corners in the first few minutes. The Biancocelesti attack trying to find a gap in Juve’s defence, but Juventus have similar problems when they attack so the match is intense, lots of passes, but not a lot happens.

In the 5th minute Luis Alberto tries a shot from outside the box but Wojciech Szcesny saves comfortably. In the 10th and 12th minute Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has a couple of half chances but he heads both of them over the cross bar. Juventus resort to deliberate handballs to stop the Lazio attack, none of them booked.

In the 29th minute Felipe Anderson sends a high pass in the box for Immobile who, despite being covered by Alex Sandro, manages to acrobatically kick the ball towards the net, Szcesny saves.

In the 38th minute Mattia Zaccagni on the left wing moves slightly central and crosses into the box. Milinkovic-Savic puts a hand on the back of Alex Sandro who dives forward as if hit by a running train. The big Serb controls the ball and scores. The referee and VAR say it’s legitimate hence Lazio 1 Juve 0.

Juventus react immediately and have a corner. From the perfect cross by Angel De Maria, Bremer heads the ball, Ivan Provedel saves, Adrien Rabiot tries the tap in but Provedel saves again. There is nothing the Lazio goalkeeper can do on the third attempt and Rabiot equalises.

At the end of the first half there is a very dangerous tackle by Manuel Locatelli on Milinkovic-Savic. The Juve player is booked, but it should have been a red card. Juan Cuadrado should have been sent off after ten minutes for two bookable offences but has yet to be shown the yellow card.

Second half

Juventus start the second half a little more aggressively compared to the first but Lazio still have the majority of possession. Cuadrado finally gets booked in the 51st minute.

Two minutes later, Milinkovic-Savic to Felipe Anderson. Felipetto races down the right wing and in the meantime Luis Alberto does everything he can to attract the Brazilian’s attention since he is completely unmarked at the centre. Felipe looks as if he has not seen the Spaniard but as soon as he can he sends a low cross directly to Luis Alberto in the centre of the box. When the ball arrives, the Magician back heels it to Zaccagni who puts the ball past Szcesny for Lazio’s second goal. Brilliant intuition. Apparently they had tried this in training the day before.

Juventus increase pressure considerably on the Lazio defence that fall back and wait for the Bianconeri. In the 62nd minute Dusan Vlahovic heads the ball over the bar from an Alex Sandro cross.

First substitutions in the 63rd minute for Juventus. In come Leandro Paredes, Arkadiusz Milik and Federico Chiesa for Locatelli, Vlahovic and Filip Kostic. Shortly after, out go Ciro Immobile and Cataldi, in come Vecino and Pedro. In the 71st minute Danilo substitutes Cuadrado.

The pressure continues but the Lazio defence, not without difficulty, holds. In the 84th minute the biggest chance for Juve. Chiesa goes through the Lazio right wing like a hot knife in butter and crosses towards the centre of the box, Nicolò Fagioli volleys the ball over the bar.

Two last substitutions just before the end: Toma Basic in for Zaccgani and Fabio Miretti for Fagioli.

Lazio survive the final minutes and win the game. They have now beaten at least once Napoli, Milan, Inter, Roma (twice), Atalanta, Bologna, Fiorentina and Juventus, the top 9 in Serie A. Second place confirmed, third is now five points behind.

Lazio Official photo

Who played for Lazio

Provedel; Marusic, Casale, Romagnoli, Hysaj; Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi (69' Vecino), Luis Alberto; Felipe Anderson, Immobile (64' Pedro), Zaccagni (84' Basic)..

Substitutes: Maximiano, Adamonis, Pellegrini, Patric, Marcos Antonio, Cancellieri, Romero, Radu, Lazzari, Gila, Fares.

Manager: Sarri

Who played for Juventus

Szczesny; Gatti, Bremer, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado (69' Danilo), Fagioli (86' Miretti), Locatelli (63' Parades), Rabiot, Kostic (63' Chiesa); Di Maria, Vlahovic (63' Milik).

Substitutes: Perin, Pinsoglio, Bonucci, Rugani, Soulè.

Manager: Allegri (Marco Landucci was on the bench since Allegri was out with flu).

Referee: Di Bello

Goals: 38' Milinkovic-Savic, 42' Rabiot, 54' Zaccagni.

Bookings: Alex Sandro, Locatelli, Cuadrado, Provedel, Milinkovic-Savic, Miretti.


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