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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Almost

Coppa Italia, Semi-final, Second Leg 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Juventus 2-1


Lazio go two up to level the double-legged Coppa Italia semi-final, but a Juve goal ends the dream


Official SS Lazio photo

The team

 

Ivan Tudor at the last moment lost Daichi Kamada through injury so space in midfield for Matteo Guendouzi and Danilo Cataldi. Patric, not 100%, was benched in favour of Nicolò Casale. Many Biancocelesti players injured this year, it has not been a lucky season.

 

First half

 

After the first ten minutes in which the teams controlled and studied each other, the game opened up unexpectedly. We use the latter word because everybody expected an easy match for Juventus and certainly nobody expected a goal from a Luis Alberto corner. Instead this is exactly what happened. In the 12th minute Taty Castellanos headed the ball in from a magical corner kick.


Official SS Lazio photo

At this point the game was wide open. Lazio needed just one goal to tie the match and Juve, who thought that just being defensive would be enough, now had to do something. In the 23rd minute Adrien Rabiot just outside the box centre-left, lobbed a ball over the Lazio defence for Federico Chiesa. Low cross in the middle, Dusan Vlahovic anticipated Mario Gila but did not get a great impact on the ball, the dangerous shot was however marvellously saved by Christos Mandas with his foot.

 

The game was blocked as neither team wanted to risk anything, but in the 44th minute the Biancocelesti should have been 2-0 up. Perfect pass from Luis Alberto in the box on the left, Danilo slipped and Castellanos was all alone in front of Perin but he shot at the keeper. A real pity.

 

Second half

 

In the interval Tudor was forced to take off Mario Gila and put in Patric.

 

Juve started off well but in the 49th minute another game changer. Felipe Anderson saw a gap and passed to Luis Alberto who immediately gave a good ball to Castellanos just outside the box. Bremer lost his footing and Taty with a clinical shot gave Lazio the double lead.


Official SS Lazio photo

At this point the Bianconeri started playing and Lazio, very tired, began to have problems in defence. In the 56th minute Rabiot gave a splendid ball to Weston McKennie in the box on the left, low cross for Vlahovic who was anticipated by Adam Marusic in front of the goal line. A minute later Rabiot to Vlahovic in the area on the right, low shot, just wide.

 

In the 53rd minute Felipe Anderson, who received a bad knock in the first half, was forced to be substituted. In came Matias Vecino to give more cover to Lazio’s midfield. A few minutes later out went Andrea Cambiaso and in came Timothy Weah.

 

For about ten minutes neither team was dangerous. The fear of conceding a goal took over. Lazio were very tired and Juventus probably needed fresh ideas. In the 81st minute there were four substitutions: Nicolò Rovella and Ciro Immobile for Cataldi and Castellanos on one side, Arkadiusz Milic and Kenan Yildiz for Vlahovic and McKennie on the other.

 

The move was decisive. In the 83rd minute cross from the left to Weah in the box on the right, low ball to the centre and Milik scored that vital goal for Juventus.

 

Game over. Lazio did not have anything left in the tank before the goal, so any chance to overturn the score was impossible. Juve controlled the rest of the game and reached the final.

 

A pity for Lazio. They gave everything they had and more, and would have deserved the final.

 

Who played for Lazio

 

Mandas, Casale, Romagnoli, Gila (46' Patric), Hysaj, Guendouzi (83' Pedro), Cataldi (81' Rovella), Marusic, Felipe Anderson (61' Vecino), Luis Alberto, Castellanos (81' Immobile)

Substitutes: Sepe, Renzetti, Pellegrini, Isaksen, Gonzalez

Manager: Tudor

 

Who played for Juventus


Perin, Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro, Cambiaso (70' Weah), McKennie (81' Yildiz), Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic, Chiesa (90'+1' Alcaraz), Vlahovic (81' Milik)

Substitutes: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, Iling-Junior, Miretti, Rugani, Djalò, Nicolossi Caviglia

Manager: Allegri.


Referee: Orsato

 

Goals: 13' Castellanos, 49' Castellanos, 82' Milik

 

Booked: Locatelli (J)

 

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