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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Dire end to dire season

Game 38, Serie A

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Sassuolo 1-1

 

Awful match, but a lot of emotion before the game, thanks to Sven Goran Eriksson, and after with the fans bidding farewell to Felipe Anderson


Official SS Lazio photo

Before the game

 

A few months ago Lazio’s most victorious manager Sven-Goran Eriksson announced that he had terminal cancer. Since then he has been invited by his former clubs for a round of applause and even got the chance to be head coach for Liverpool for a Reds Legends game against Ajax. Today he was in Rome and received a hero’s welcome. “Thank you so much for everything, it's wonderful to see so many people. I remember fantastic years, I had a great time. I have never had such a strong team and I have never won so many titles. It's a memory for life”, he said to the fans before the game.


Official SS Lazio photo

The team

 

Last game for Lazio for Felipe Anderson and possibly also for Luis Alberto, but just like in Milan the previous week, they both started from the bench as did Ciro Immobile and Matteo Guendouzi. The team was virtually the same as against Inter with the exception of Alessio Romagnoli coming in for Nicolò Casale and Elseid Hysaj substituting Patric, injured.

 

First half

 

Hysaj had a chance almost immediately when Mario Gila found the gap in the Sassuolo defence for the Albanian who in front of the goalkeeper took too long and by the time he shot he had Alessio Cragno within centimetres and could not beat him. 

 

The game was dire and boring. Lazio tried to attack but badly. In the 31st minute Nicolò Rovella for Luca Pellegrini in the box on the left, cross in the middle, Daichi Kamada tried a volley which Cragno parried into corner.

 

A few boos were heard at the end of the first 45 minutes.

 

Second half

 

In the 53rd minute, Igor Tudor sent in Felipe Anderson and Guendouzi for Matias Vecino and Rovella to insert a little bit of energy into the team, and for a few minutes it seemed to work.

 

In the 60th minute free kick for Lazio, Mattia Zaccagni took a shot which Cragno completely mistimed and the ball went into the net.

Official SS Lazio photo

It did not last long. In the 66th minute freekick for the visitors, Kristian Thorstvedt crossed into the box, Romagnoli got a touch but backwards and Mattia Viti equalised on the far post.

 

Sassuolo almost went ahead in the 74th minute when Samuele Mulattieri had a chance but was anticipated by Hysaj. Tudor thus sent in Immobile and Manuel Lazzari for Taty Castellanos and Pellegrini. In the 76th minute Guendouzi had a chance but his shot was easily saved by Cragno. In the 85th, Romagnoli cleared, the ball went into the air towards the Sassuolo penalty area, Immobile  skillfully got hold of it  but his weak shot was saved by the keeper. Two minutes later on the counter attack, Armand Laurienté had a chance but his shot went wide.

 

At this point Lazio played it safe and, much to the disgust of the crowd, took home the point they needed for next year’s Europa League.

 

After the game

 

Felipe Anderson was given a lap of honour in his last match for Lazio. He has decided to go back home and will now play for Palmeiras. Speaking to the crowd he said “I want to thank you because from day one you welcomed me, not only as a footballer but first as a boy and now as a man. I thank you because you have given me much more than what football could give me. Always Forza Lazio”. He leaves after 326 appearances, 149 of these consecutive. He is 11th in the all time games for Lazio, behind Vincenzo D’Amico and above Cristian Ledesma.


Official SS Lazio photo

Who played for Lazio

 

Provedel, Marusic, Romagnoli, Gila, Hysaj, Vecino (53' Felipe Anderson), Rovella (53' Guendouzi), Pellegrini (76' Lazzari), Kamada, Zaccagni (90' Pedro), Castellanos (76' Immobile).

Substitutes: Mandas, Renzetti, Luis Alberto, Isaksen, Gonzalez, Cataldi.

Manager: Tudor

 

Who played for Sassuolo

 

Cragno, Erlic, Viti, Ferrari, Missori (87' Pedersen), Lipani (82' Racic), Obiang, Thor, Doig (75' Toljan), Volpato (75' Laurientè), Mulattieri (82' Pinamonti).

Substitutes: Scacchetti, Bajrami, Ceide, Kumbulla, Boloca, Abubakar, Tressoldi, Defrel

Manager: Ballardini

 

Referee: Tremolada

 

Goals: 60’ Zaccagni, 66’ Viti

 

Booked: Volpato, Kamada, Guendouzi, Zaccagni

 

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