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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Déjà vu

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Game 1, Serie A

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Stadio Via del Mare, Lecce

Lecce Lazio 2-1

Two goals in two minutes give Lecce the win.

The team

Maurizio Sarri decides that Daichi Kamada is ready to start and that Patric may be in better form than Nicolò Casale who is on the bench. The only injured player is Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro.

First half

Lecce have already played an official match in Coppa Italia, but for Lazio it is the first game of the season. It is very hot and humid but for some unknown reason the referee decides against the cooling break.

The Biancocelesti try to gain control of the game right from the start but Lecce are dangerous on the counter attack. In the 11th minute Hamza Rafia has the ball in the box on the right, he turns around and finds Gabriel Strefezza whose shot is only just wide. A minute later Lameck Banda also has a chance but his attempt is safely saved by Ivan Provedel. The Zambian is a continuous thorn in Lazio's right side and Manuel Lazzari has to be helped out by Felipe Anderson.

In the 26th minute Lazio score.The Biancocelesti had never really been dangerous up to that point, but Alessio Romagnoli, just before the half way line, sees the gap Luis Alberto is about to move into and passes. The Spaniard runs towards the ball and just outside the box puts in a splendid assist for Ciro Immobile. The King does not fail and it’s 1-0 for Lazio. It is the sixth consecutive year that Ciro scores in the first match of the season.

Lecce switch off and Lazio control the game with ease. In the 44th minute Immobile to Lazzari who gallops towards the box and once in shoots. Wladimiro Falcone saves. The right back could have put the ball in the middle for Mattia Zaccagni who was in a better scoring position.

Second half

In the second half Lecce come back on with a more aggressive attitude and Lazio fall asleep. Yber Ramdani and Strefezza attempt shots that do not worry Provedel but one can see that the Biancocelesti are starting to have some physical difficulty.

However in the 54th minute Lazio should have made it two. Immobile to Felipe Anderson who finds the gap and runs unmarked up to the goalkeeper. Once in the box he shoots but he angles the shot too much and it goes out.

That is enough for Sarri who immediately after substitutes the Brazilian with Gustav Isaksen and Kamada with Matias Vecino.

Lecce continue to push but are only slightly dangerous and the prime example is Banda’s shot in the 67th minute which is safely saved by Provedel.

The Giallorossi in the 65th minute make their first substitutions. Out go Patrick Dorgu, Valentin Gendrey and Rafia, in come Antonio Gallo, Alexis Blin and Mohamed Kaba. In the 72nd minute Lazzari and Zaccagni are replaced by Luca Pellegrini and Pedro. Three minutes later Banda leaves the pitch and in comes Federico Di Francesco.

Lazio have another incredible chance in the 82nd minute to make it two. Luis Alberto to Pedro who controls the ball in the box and passes to Immobile who shoots. Falcone manages to parry with his foot and the ball hits the crossbar. Colossal chance but great save.

Lecce then score two goals in two minutes. In the 85th minute, Pontus Almqvist to Gallo on the left. The Italian crosses the ball back to the Swede who is outside the box but dead central. His volley beats Provedel for Lecce’s equaliser. Two minutes later Gallo puts the ball in the box again from the left, the Biancocelesti cannot clear the area, Di Francesco volleys the ball in.

Sarri substitutes Danilo Cataldi with Taty Castellanos but the game is finished.

A bad defeat, very similar to that of last year. Are Lazio already missing Sergej Milinkovic-Savic?

Who played for Lecce

Falcone, Gendrey (65' Blin), Pongracic, Baschirotto, Dorgu (65' Gallo); Rafia (65' Kaba), Ramadani, Gonzalez (83' Burnete), Almqvist, Strefezza (76' Di Francesco), Banda.

Substitutes: Brancolini, Borbei, Maleh, Helgason, Berisha, Corfitzen, Smajlovic, Voelkerling, Dermaku, Lemmens.

Manager: D`Aversa.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel, Lazzari (71' Pellegrini), Patric, Romagnoli, Marusic, Kamada (54' Vecino), Cataldi (88' Castellanos), Luis Alberto, Felipe Anderson (54' Isaksen), Immobile, Zaccagni (71' Pedro).

Substitutes: Adamonis, Furlanetto, Casale, Gila, Hysaj, Basic, Rovella.

Manager: Sarri

Referee: Dionisi

Goals: 26’ Immobile, 85’ Almqvist, 87’ Di Francesco

Booked: Strefezza, Isaksen, Gonzalez, Pongracic, Pellegrini


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