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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins


Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Game 5, Serie A

Saturday, September 23, 2023

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Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Monza 1-1

Lazio put in poor performance and can consider themselves lucky to come away with a point

Official SS Lazio photo

The teams

Lazio had played a tiring and draining Champions League game mid-week so some turnover of players was expected this evening. The game against Atlético Madrid had given enthusiasm with a 95th minute equaliser by the keeper but had also consumed mental and physical energy.

In the end Muarizio Sarri made four changes; Elseid Hysaj for Luca Pellegrini at left back, Matteo Guendouzi and Danilo Cataldi instead of Matías Vecino and Daichi Kamada in midfield plus Gustav Isaksen for Felipe Anderson up front on the right.

Monza had defender Luca Caldirola suspended and Gianluca Caprari out injured.

Lazio played in their classic 4-3-3 while Monza replied with a 3-4-2-1.

First half

Monza immediately had acres of space on the counter attack and had several dangerous forays. After seven minutes Andrea Colpani approached the area undisturbed and set up Lorenzo Colombo on the right side of the area, the forward however blasted the ball over the bar.

Lazio were in difficulty but in the 12th minute took the lead courtesy of a penalty. Mattia Zaccagni beat his man Patrick Ciurria on the left and raced into the area but was pulled down, foul and penalty, maybe a bit generous. Ciro Immobile took the spotkick and sent a low powerful shot one way and the keeper the other. Lazio 1 Monza 0.

In the 17th minute Monza equalised but it was disallowed for offside. It was a great move however and showed how easily Monza could open up Lazio's defence. A collective move involving Dany Mota, Colpani, Ciurria who sent in a low cross which was turned towards the goal where Mota tapped it in, but beyond Lazio’s last man. No goal but a warning sign for Lazio.

Monza insisted and in the 22nd minute from a cross from the left Ciurria had a free header but put it wide.

In the 36th minute Monza deservedly equalised. It was Ciurria again who went down the right and crossed low into the goal mouth where Mota missed it but Roberto Gagliardini was behind him and sent a low shot into the corner. Lazio 1 Monza 1.

Lazio tried to attack but were predictable and systematically blocked by the Brianzoli's defence who then easily overturned the play giving their midfielders all the space and time to counterattack.

Monza almost took the lead just before halftime. In the first minute of injury time Ciurria yet again beat Hysaj and crossed for Mota's diving header which whistled past Ivan Provedel's right post.

Half time score Lazio 1 Monza 1. A confused, slow Lazio being outplayed by a sharp, quick and well-organised Monza at the moment.

Second half

There were no changes during the break. There was little change in the match pattern either, Lazio going forward but sterile, Monza alive and threatening.

In the 50th minute the Biancorossi went close again with a cracking, low, long range shot by Gagliardini which shaved the post.

In the 53rd minute Luís Alberto tried his luck from the long range and his shot had the power but not the precision.

In the 55th minute Sarri had seen enough and made three substitutions; Luca Pellegrini in for Hysaj, Vecino for Guendouzi and Anderson for a subdued Isaksen.

A minute later Lazio were finally dangerous but only thanks to Monza messing up defensively. Trying to pass their way out from the back, Carboni blundered and gave the ball straight to Anderson who immediately teed up Immobile, slightly on the right but in front of goal, Ciro's shot however bounced before coming back off the post. Unlucky.

In the 69th minute Monza too looked to the bench and put on some fresh legs; experienced Danilo D'Ambrosio for Armando Izzo and young Vignato for Mota.

Then it was mainly all Monza. First Provedel stretched and parried a Colpani curler and then in the 73rd minute Georgios Kyriakopoulos' low, left footed drive from outside the area was tipped into corner by the Lazio keeper. In the 75th minute Monza scored but again it was ruled out for offside. After a prolonged attack the ball fell to Pablo Marin in a crowded area, he belted a left foot which was brilliantly parried by Provedel, the ball then came off Carboni and ended up in the back of the net. Fortunately the linesman's flag was up, although this time the offside was much less clear.

In the 76th minute Lazio tried to liven things up replacing Cataldi with Nicolò Rovella and Zaccagni with Pedro but the Biancocelesti were unable to change gear. Monza responded eight minutes later throwing on former Lazio Jean-Daniele Akpa Akpro for Colpani and Mirko Maric for Colombo.

Lazio's only chance again came from a Monza mistake in defence. In the 87th minute, D'Ambrosio's back pass to keeper Di Gregorio was too short and was pounced on by Immobile, however the ball was nearer the byline on the left side of the area and when Ciro tried to cut in towards the centre he was anticipated by De Gregorio who dived at Ciro's feet and got a hand to the ball.

After five minutes of stoppage time, in which again it looked as if the more likely team to score was Monza, the referee put Lazio out of their misery. Final score: Lazio 1 Monza 1.

A disappointing draw but it could have been worse. Lazio were lucky to get a point against a superior visiting team who were probably kicking themselves for not taking full advantage of Lazio’s lacklustre performance.

Lazio were without ideas, sluggish and did not play as a team, with far too much space between the various blocks; defence, midfield and attack. They also have to come to terms with the fact that Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has gone for the golden camel eggs and is no longer there on the endless high balls and crosses. A lot of work to do for Sarri at Formello before Wednesday's mid-week match against Torino.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel, Marusic, Hysaj (55' Pellegrini), Patric, Romagnoli, Guendouzi (55' Vecino), Isaksen (55' F.Anderson), Cataldi (76' Rovella), Immobile Luís Alberto, Zaccagni (76' Pedro).

Substitutes: Sepe, Mandas, Casale, Kamada, Basic, Lazzari, Castellanos

Manager: Sarri

Who played for Monza

De Gregorio, Izzo (69' D'Ambrosio), A.Carboni, Pablo Mari, Gagliardini, Kyriakopoulos, Pessina, Ciurria (78' Birindelli), Colombo (84' Maric), Dany Mota (69' Vignato), Colpani (84' Akpa)

Substitutes: Lamanna, Sorrentino, Gori, Donati, F.Carboni, Cittadini, Pepin, Pereira, V.Carboni, Bondo

Manager: Palladino

Referee: Abisso

Goals: 12' Immobile (pen), 36' Gagliardini

Bookings: Izzo (M), Mota (M), Rovella (L), L.Alberto (L).


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