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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Rock steady Lazio block Italian champions

Updated: Feb 7

Game 3, Serie A

Sunday, October 23, 1988

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan

Milan Lazio 0-0

A superb team performance and defensive display enable Lazio to leave San Siro with a precious point

A big crowd of 75,000 came up to the San Siro area to watch the reigning champions (65,000 were season ticket holders).

Lazio basically played with five defenders, expecting a difficult afternoon. Paolo Beruatto may have worn the number 11 shirt but was often seen at left back position. Milan were without Roberto Donadoni while Angelo Colombo dropped out at the last minute.

Milan attacked constantly from the start but it was immediately obvious that Lazio would be difficult to break down. The Biancocelesti were very tight at the back, well organised and ready to counter attack.

Gustavo Dezotti had an early chance when he won a challenge at the edge of the box but his left-footed effort was deflected by a defender into corner with the keeper beaten.

Then it was generally Milan in Lazio's half. Roberto Mussi had a shot come cross hit the bar and go over. Ruud Gullit had a header go wide from an Alberico Evani corner and a Marco Van Basten freekick hit the wall and spun out to Silvano Martina's left. Milan had one big chance before halftime, on a long Gullit cross into the box the ball was headed by Carlo Ancelotti to Pietro Paolo Virdis whose volley reached Van Basten near the right post, but the Dutchman was unable to react in time and find the right coordination and the ball spun up for Martina to catch. It must surely have been offside but the flag strangely stayed down. Half time Milan 0 Lazio 0.

Milan predictably on top but Lazio very solid and causing the Rossoneri a lot of problems.

There were no changes for the second half. It followed a similar pattern but Milan were increasingly frustrated by Lazio's compactness and had even fewer chances. In fact, it was Lazio who threatened more on the break. On a long ball from midfield, keeper Giovanni Galli came out of his area and cleared with a header, the ball reached Dezotti but he didn't have the skill to manage a decent lob. Then it was Dezotti again on the break, he galloped forward and into the area where a lunging tackle by Paolo Maldini sent him sprawling just before he could shoot. It looked like a penalty but the referee gestured to play on.

In the 66th and 69th minute Milan replaced Gullit with Christian Lantignotti and Virdis with Graziano Mannari while Lazio put on a fresh defender, Massimo Piscedda for Marco Monti.

Milan continued to attack and Lazio had to resort to some rough tactics especially on Van Basten. Martina had to dive low to his left to block a powerful Evani freekick. Lazio continued to dominate on Milan's aerial attacks and ultimately managed to bring home a hard fought and deserved point. Final score Milan 0 Lazio 0.

A frustrating afternoon for Milan against a determined and concentrated opposition. They had probably missed Donadoni's inventiveness to create numerical superiority. It was just one of those days when the defence wins over the attack. In truth Milan did not create many chances and this was also due to Lazio’s midfield who had pressed, run and worked hard for 90 minutes.

A good away point for Lazio against the reigning champions. Lazio proved they could be a difficult team to beat this season.

Who played for Milan

Galli, Mussi, Maldini, Ancelotti, Tassotti, Baresi, Evani, Rijkaard, Van Basten, Gullit (66' Lantignotti), Virdis (69' Mannari)

Substitutes: Antonioli, Costacurta, Viviani

Manager: Sacchi

Who played for Lazio

Martina, Marino, Monti (69' Piscedda), Pin, Gregucci, Gutierrez, Dezotti, Icardi, Di Canio (84' Muro), Sosa, Beruatto

Substitutes: Fiori, Sclosa, Rizzolo

Manager: Materazzi

Referee: Sguizzato



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