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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Lazio go top of Group F

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

2022-23 Season

Europa League Group Stage

Group F, Game 5

October 27, 2022

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Rome, Stadio Olimpico

Lazio Midtjylland 2-1

Photo by Simon Basten

Lazio come back from behind to beat Midtjylland and lead the Group F of the Europa League.

The teams

Maurizio Sarri opts for the usual turnover and this time he goes a little further, also due to the injuries of Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto. In come Mario Gila and Elseid Hysaj, as they usually do for Europa League games, but so do Toma Basic and Marcos Antonio, plus Matteo Cancellieri who is in the starting eleven for the first time this season and therefore for Lazio in general. Will he play centre-forward or will Sarri put him on the right? We just have to wait and see.

The match

Cancellieri starts as centre-forward with Felipe Anderson on the right as Lazio begin with a good rhythm. No sign of the passive mentality of the match in Denmark.

Despite the more positive approach, Lazio go a goal down almost immediately. In the 8th minute Gila, in his own half, makes a terrible pass in an attempt to play it over Gustav Isaksen and reach Adam Marusic. He literally passes the ball straight to the Dane who heads it back to a teammate. Marcos Antonio tries to remedy the situation but the ball reaches Isaksen who turns swiftly and shoots. Great shot, great goal, 1-0 for Midtjylland.

A terrible shock for Lazio who must win this game at all costs to have any chance of passing to the knockout stage in first place, hence avoiding the play off against a 3rd placed team coming down from the Champions League Groups.

But Lazio are in trouble. The Danes have control of the ball and Lazio are unable to interrupt it. Long periods of possession and endless passes by Midtjylland frustrate both the players, as well as the fans.

In the 14th minute Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has a good chance. But his volley is too high. Basic’s shot six minutes later is only just out and in the 33rd minute Felipe Anderson’s shot is well saved by Jonas Lossi. At this point Cancellieri is moved to the right and Felipetto goes back to the centre of the attack.

In the 36th minute Lazio finally manage to break the spell they are under and shrug off all their doubts and difficulties. Mattia Zaccagni on the left does his usual trick, dribbles past a defender and moves towards the box. Once inside, ball to Felipe Anderson with his back to the goal. Felipetto controls and passes to Milinkovic-Savic who with a precise low shot equalises for Lazio.

For the first time in this double tie with the Danes, Lazio take control, are more aggressive and start to be consistently dangerous. Milinkovic-Savic’s shot in the 45th minute is saved into corner by Lossi.

Second half

Midtjylland have by no means surrendered and they prove it early in the second half. After three minutes, Edward Chilufya gets away from Hysaj and Cancellieri on the left and passes the ball to Paulinho who crosses into the box. Romagnoli loses Anders Dreyer who heads the ball onto the crossbar. The former Milan skipper then clears but the ball goes to Chilufya who tries a scissor kick that just misses, hitting the side netting.

But this is another Lazio. Zaccagni charges towards goal on the left, ball to Felipe Anderson in the box but he is slightly too far forward and cannot control it. Zaccagni gains possession again and shoots. Slight deflection and the ball hits the top of the crossbar.

In the 53rd minute five substitutions: two for Midtjylland – Pione Sisto and Mads Thychosen for Chilufya and Valdemar Andersson – and three for Lazio. Out go Marcos Antonio, Basic and Cancellieri and in come Danilo Cataldi, Matias Vecino and Pedro.

It takes the Spaniard just five minutes to put Lazio ahead. Felipe Anderson on the left to Vecino, ball to Zaccagni who has the freedom to run towards the baseline. Low cross inside the box, Vecino makes no contact, Pedro does and scores. 2-1 for Lazio!!!

Lazio have a chance to make it three in the 65th minute. Vecino for Felipe Anderson who sprints into the box. His shot is saved by Lossi.

Lazio pull back a bit to try and exploit the speed of their forwards. Midtjylland however have lost control of the match. In the 73rd minute Luka Romero replaces an exhausted Zaccagni. Finally some playing time for the 17 year-old.

In the 77th minute Pedro to Milinkovic-Savic but the ball is just wide. Pedro scores in the 80th minute but he is judged offside by VAR. Two minutes later Nicolò Casale takes Gila’s place, Nicholas Dyhr and Juninho replace Paulinho and Emiliano Martinez for the Danes.

Midtjylland try to put some pressure on the Lazio defence but the Biancocelesti run no serious risks. Romero delights the fans with a few runs and skills immediately becoming a fan favourite. In the dying seconds of the game Lossi denies Pedro his double.

Good win for Lazio who now top Group F on goal difference. One match to go.

A quick word on the ref. I thought professional fouls were supposed to be booking offences. I suspect Daniel Stefanski was absent or distracted when they explained that concept.

Official Lazio photo

Who played for Lazio

Provedel; Hysaj, Gila (82' Casale), Romagnoli, Marusic; Milinkovic-Savic, Marcos Antonio (55' Cataldi), Basic (55' Vecino); Felipe Anderson, Cancellieri (55' Pedro), Zaccagni (73' Romero).

Substitutes: Maximiano, Magro, Radu, Luis Alberto

Manager: Sarri

Who played for Midtjylland

Lossi; Andersson (53' Thychosen), Dalsgaard, Sviatchenko, Paulinho (82' Dyhr); Martinez (82' Juninho), Charles (61' Kaba), Evander; Isaksen, Dreyer, Chilufya (53' Sisto).

Substitutes: Olafsson, Ugboh, Gartenmann, Kouakou, Byskov, Nibe, Ortiz.

Manager: Capellas.

Referee: Stefanski

Goals: 8' Isaksen, 36' Milinkovic-Savic, 58' Pedro

Bookings: Romagnoli, Andersson, Gila, Vecino, Juninho, Sviatchenko


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