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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Not pretty but effective

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Game 6, Serie A

Wednesday September 27, 2023

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Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Torino 2-0

Lazio beat Torino in a very tactical match thanks to Vecino and Zaccagni

Official SS Lazio photo

The team

Maurizio Sari made a few changes compared to the dismal draw against Monza. Manuel Lazzari was placed as right back, Nicolò Casale in defence, Nicolò Rovella as playmaker, Matias Vecino at midfield and Felipe Anderson on the right wing. Perhaps a more logical team due to the fact that Torino are very physical and tactical and Lazio have had a few problems in recent years against the Granata.

First half

Nothing. Absolutely nothing happened in the first half. A very tactical chess game with the pawns moved from side to side but the defences prevailed. The only real chance was for Duvan Zapata in the 6th minute. From a corner, former West Ham United Nikola Vlasic took a lame shot at goal, Ivan Provedel saw it at the last second but parried, ball to the Colombian who was unable to make any serious contact.

Two further chances, one each, would probably have been disallowed with the VAR. Casale on a corner in the 17th minute (but Ciro Immobile had probably touched the ball with his arm) and Zapata again in the 43rd but he was very likely offside.

In the 27th minute Torino were forced to substitute Alessandro Buongiorno with Saba Sazonov.

Second half

Having gone through the first half without conceding much, Lazio in the second doubled their efforts to get a goal. In the 56th minute Lazzari on the right, one-two with Felipe Anderson, cross to the centre of the box where Vecino managed to anticipate Raoul Bellanova and beat Vanja Milinkovic-Savic. A sigh of relief from all the Biancoceleste fans.

Torino made two changes: in came Nemanja Radonjic and Ivan Ilic, out went Zapata and Adrien Tameze. A big mistake by Ivan Juric since Zapata had been a thorn in the Lazio side right from the start.

However Torino managed to create a chance in the 62nd minute when Bellanova crossed from the right and Valentino Lazaro tried an acrobatic shot which went over the crossbar.

In the 74th minute Sarri changed Immobile and Vecino and threw in Taty Castellanos and Matteo Guendouzi. A minute later Lazio made it two. Adam Marusic to Felipe Anderson to Luis Alberto and back to the Brazilian who, with a wonderful pass, allowed Mattia Zacccagni to present himself in front of the keeper and beat him with a low clinical shot. Lazio 2 Torino 0.

Game over. There was just time to see more substitutions (Pietro Pellegri and Brandon Soppy for Lazaro and Bellanova for Torino, Gustav Isaksen and Elseid Hysaj for Zaccagni and Lazzari for Lazio) and what would have been the goal of the century had it gone in. In the 88th minute Isaksen went down the right wing and once close to the byline crossed towards the centre where Castellanos tried a bicycle kick that went just out. Unlucky there, it would have been a great goal.

In the fourth minute of overtime the referee gave Torino a penalty that seemed very dubious right from the start. VAR then proved that it wasn’t a foul, Hysaj's arm was not outstretched enough to be punished.

A good win for Lazio who certainly were not pretty but at least this time were effective.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel, Lazzari (79' Hysaj), Casale, Romagnoli, Marusic, Vecino (80' Guendouzi), Rovella, Luis Alberto, Felipe Anderson, Immobile (74' Castellanos), Zaccagni (80' Isaksen).

Substitutes: Sepe, Mandas, Patric, Pellegrini, Gila, Cataldi, Kamada, Pedro.

Manager: Sarri

Who played for Torino

Milinkovic, Schuurs, Buongiorno (27' Sazonov), Rodriguez, Bellanova (79' Soppy), Tameze (59' Ilic), Ricci, Lazaro (79' Pellegri), Vlasic, Sanabria, Zapata (59' Radonjic).

Substitutes: Gemelo, Brezzo, Karamoh, Seck, Vojvoda, Gineitis, Linetty, N`Guessan .

Manager: Juric.

Referee: Fabbri

Goals: 56’ Vecino, 75’ Zaccagni

Booked: Bellanova, Tameze, Immobile, Schuurs, Ricci


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