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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Umpteenth black out proves almost fatal

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

2022-23 season

Game 35

May 12 2023

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Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Lecce 2-2

Lazio have yet another black out but manage to draw the game in the dying minutes

The team

Maurizio Sari has trouble at midfield. Danilo Cataldi will be out of action until the end of the season and Matias Vecino is also out injured. As a consequence the midfield is the same as the one tried out against Milan with Luis Alberto, Marcos Antonio and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Manuel Lazzari is chosen in place of Adam Marusic.

The match

Lazio have immediate difficulty in playing against a well-organised Lecce who immediately find the key to make the Biancocelesti’s life difficult. Just like the game at the Stadio del Mare, Lecce overloads the midfield with players and Lazio cannot find any solutions. To add to this is also the Biancocelesti 's poor form. Marcos Antonio does what he can, but he still needs to learn.

Nothing much happens until the 21st minute. Lameck Banda crosses from the left, the ball is contested by Nicolò Casale and Lorenzo Colombo but neither can get a decent header. The ball hence goes to the other side of the box and Elseid Hysaj has the advantage over Alexis Blin who however manages to get a leg in front just as Hysaj is about to clear. The Albanian kicks the Giallorosso and it's a penalty for Lecce. Gabriel Strefrezza takes the spot kick but shoots wide.

Lazio react, finally, and start to play better. In the 34th minute Luis Alberto sees Ciro Immobile’s usual movement towards the penalty box, ball to the King and it's 1-0 for Lazio. A classic goal from Immobile, we’ve seen it time and time again.

At this point Lazio try to put the game to sleep and in the 43rd minute almost make it two. Milinkovic-Savic wins a tackle against Samuel Umtiti, Luis Alberto runs towards the box, ball back to the Serb who turns around and shoots. Great save by Wladimiro Falcone.

With just seconds to go to the end of the two minutes of added time, Morten Hjulmand makes a long pass to Valentin Gendrey on the right. The Frenchman moves forward and sees his compatriot Rémi Oudin running towards the centre, low ball to him, Marcos Antonio is out of position, Oudin controls the ball and sends it past Ivan Provedel. Lazio - Lecce 1-1.

Second half

Lazio begin the second half as badly as they played the first and Lecce score again in the 51st minute. Strefezza runs with the ball to the edge of the box and passes it to Oudin who anticipates Lazzari and scores again.

Lazio are in total confusion and not exactly helped by Sarri who in the 56th minute substitutes Felipe Anderson with Pedro and Hysaj with Luca Pellegrini. Whereas on the left wing Lazio are far stronger, on the right Pedro does not have the necessary characteristics the Brazilian has to support Lazzari. And Lazio’s difficulties in creating any chances get even worse.

In the 68th minute Lecce take off Banda and Colombo and in come Federico Di Francesco and Assan Ceesay. In the 72nd Sarri finally throws in Toma Basic and out goes Marcos Antonio.

The midfield is better balanced and Lazio start to create chances. In the 74th minute Milinkovic-Savic crosses from the right, Immobile misses a very difficult header and the ball goes just wide. In the 76th minute Mattia Zaccagni wins a ball and passes to Immobile. The Lazio centre forward goes into the penalty area, dribbles past Federico Baschirotto and shoots. Another great save from Falcone.

Three more substitutions for Lecce between the 77th and 82 minute. In come Simone Romagnoli, Joan Gonzalez and Porir Helgason, out go Gendrey, Strefezza and Blin.

In the 87th minute Zaccagni crosses into the box, Antonino Gallo tries to clear, the ball goes up in the air and falls to Pedro’s feet. The Spaniard stops, turns around and shoots, but Falcone is well placed. In the 92nd minute, a quick corner, one two Luis Alberto-Pellegrini, the Spaniard sees Pedro outside the box and passes the ball to him. Pedro shoots and hits the post. In the 94th minute Pedro crosses into the box, Romagnoli tries to clear but only as far as Milinkovic-Savic who heads it in, wrong footing Falcone, for Lazio’s equaliser.

Lazio play very badly but manage to clinch a well deserved draw.

A note on the referee. Lazio always has problems with Fabio Maresca. Banda, already booked, should have been sent off in the first half for another very bookable foul. Lecce wasted about half an hour in the second half with continuous stoppages and taking far too long to do even the most routine things. The six minutes of injury time were way too little. As usual, when it rains on Lazio, it pours.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel, Lazzari, Casale, Romagnoli, Hysaj (58` Pellegrini), Milinkovic-Savic, Marcos Antonio (73` Basic), Luis Alberto, Felipe Anderson (58` Pedro), Immobile, Zaccagni.

Substitutes: Maximiano, Adamonis, Gila, Radu, Patric, Marusic, Fares, Bertini, Cancellieri, Gonzalez.

Manager: Sarri

Who played for Lecce

Falcone, Gendrey (77` Romagnoli), Baschirotto, Umtiti, Gallo, Blin, Hjulmand, Oudin (Helgason), Strefezza (77` Gonzalez), Colombo (67` Ceesay), Banda (67` Di Francesco).

Substitutes: Bleve, Brancolini, Pongracic, Askildsen, Tuia, Ceccaroni, Persson, Maleh, Cassandro, Pezzella.

Manager: Baroni.

Referee: Maresca

Goals: 34` Immobile, 45`+2' Oudin, 51` Oudin, 90`+4` Milinkovic-Savic

Bookings: Lazzari, Banda, Oudin, Pellegrini, Falcone, Blin, Milinkovic-Savic, Gonzalez


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