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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

My name is Luka

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

2022-23 Season

Game 14

November 10, 2022

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Rome, Stadio Olimpico

Lazio Monza 1-0

Teenager Luka Romero takes Lazio to victory in a very complicated match.

The teams

Maurizio Sarri plays with his usual mid-week type of line up so in come Marcos Antonio, Matteo Cancellieri and Elseid Hysaj. Mattia Zaccagni is injured, Ciro Immobile is on the bench but can no way play 90 minutes yet following his injury, Luis Alberto is not 100%. Monza have lost two consecutive games and it would seem they do not stand a chance, but Lazio’s game against Salernitana should serve as a warning.

The match

In the fourth minute a great run by Felipe Anderson, ball to Cancellieri who charges into the penalty box on the left but is soon surrounded by Monza players so is forced to look for somebody to offload the ball to. He passes it back to Felipe Anderson who sees Sergej Milinkovic-Savic outside the box. The Serb’s shot goes just over the crossbar.

Wonderful goal by Andrea Petagna in the 13th minute as he back-heels a good low cross from Andrea Colpani. However he is offside. Just.

The game is somewhat boring since Monza control the ball most of the time but have difficulty finding any gaps in the Lazio defence. The Biancocelesti on the other hand are having trouble creating anything worth mentioning. Milinkovic-Savic seems a bit subdued and without his creativity everything is left up to Felipe Anderson and Pedro, but one wonders who could actually score.

In the 27th minute Manuel Lazzari is forced off the field due to injury. In comes Adam Marusic. A big blow to Lazio as Manuel was creating havoc on the right, but not assisted much by Cancellieri, too timid in his approach to the game.

In the 36th minute another colossal chance for Matias Vecino. Alessio Romagnoli to Vecino who sees Felipe Anderson run into space on the left. Ball to him and Felipetto flies towards the box. Once inside he passes the ball towards the centre and Vecino, unmarked, just inside the box, puts the ball wide. In the game against Salernitana Vecino missed two huge chances and Lazio lost. This was a chance that Lazio really should have capitalised on.

Three minutes later, box to box from Colapani who once just outside Lazio’s area, sees a gap and shoots. Wide.

Second half

Lazio desperately need a spark so during the break Sarri substitutes Cancellieri with Luka Romero.

In the 59th minute the first substitutions for Monza: out Giulio Donati and Jose Machin, in Marlon and Nicolò Rovella.

Lazio do improve slightly as far as intensity is concerned, but there is a lack of quality in midfield. So in the 61st minute in come Toma Basic and Danilo Cataldi for Vecino and Marcos Antonio. This will prove to be the decisive move.

Cataldi takes a corner in the 64th minute, Milinkovic-Savic is unable to connect from a favourable position, Nicolò Casale heads the ball towards Basic who tries an acrobatic shot but it's weak and comfortably saved by Michele Di Gregorio.

The force is strong with this one

In the 69th minute, a Basic-Felipe Anderson one-two. The Croat runs down the left and puts in a great low cross that finds Pedro who promptly shoots. Di Gregorio saves but loses control of the ball. Romero, transforms himself into Immobile and scores. 1-0 for Lazio.

It is his first goal for Lazio. He is the second youngest Lazio player to score a goal in Serie A after Alessandro Capponi who in 1936 scored the winning goal against Lucchese. He is the youngest Argentinian to score a goal in Serie A (previously it was Paolo Dybala). He is the first player born in 2004 to score in Serie A.

Luka Romero was the youngest player ever to play a Liga game (15!!!!) and the youngest to score in the Spanish top League. He may not be the new Messi, as he is considered by some, but he certainly has talent, ambition and is hungry. Lazio hold him in high regard, not just the club but also the players. One can see the difference in the team's attitude with Romero on the field compared to Cancellieri. Despite his age, Lazio players have no reservation in passing the ball to the Argentinian even in difficult situations. The same cannot be said when it comes to the Italian player.

Lazio in control

Having finally scored, Lazio take control of the game. Monza do not have the energy to come back. In come Gianluca Caprari, Christian Gytkjaer and Andrea Carboni, out go Colpani, Petagna and Armando Izzo.

Cataldi could make it two in the 82nd minute. Felipe Anderson dispossess Matteo Pessina and finds Danilo just outside the box in a perfectly central position. His shot is weak and Di Gregorio saves. Immobile comes on in the 87th minute in place of Pedro. Let’s hope he can play the full 90 minutes against Juventus on Sunday.

Monza push hard in the final minutes but are incapable of creating much. Lazio win a very difficult game thanks to Romero and join Milan in second place.

Official Lazio photo

Who played for Lazio

Provedel; Lazzari (27' Marusic), Casale, Romagnoli, Hysaj; Milinkovic, Marcos Antonio (60' Cataldi), Vecino (60' Basic); Cancellieri (46' Romero), Felipe Anderson, Pedro (86' Immobile).

Substitutes: Maximiano, Adamonis, Radu, Gila, Kamenovic, Luis Alberto, Bertini.

Manager: Sarri

Who played for Monza

Di Gregorio; Izzo (79' Carboni), Donati (58' Marlon), Caldirola; Ciurria, Machin (58' Rovella), Ranocchia, Carlos Augusto; Colpani (72' Caprari), Pessina; Petagna (69' Gytkjaer).

Substitutes: Cragno, Sorrentino, Barberis, Valoti, Birindelli, Ferrarini, Antov, Bondo, D’Alessandro, Vignato.

Manager: Palladino.

Referee: Santoro

Goal: 69’ Romero

Booked: Donati, Casale, Marusic


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