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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

November 29, 2014: Chievo Lazio 0-0

Lazio have to settle for a point after lacklustre performance


Lazio superior but unable to create much and can't really complain about result




Source Wikipedia

The season so far


The previous season Lazio had finished a poor 9th. They had replaced manager Vladimir Petkovic with Edy Reja after 16 matches, so the honeymoon with the Swiss was over but not his legacy (2013 Coppa Italia triumph).

This season Lazio had a new manager in Stefano Pioli. There had also been several changes to the squad, some major, some minor. The biggest buy for Lazio was Dutch central defender Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord) who had impressed at the recent 2014 World Cup. Other good signings were defender Dušan Basta (Udinese) and midfielder Marco Parolo (Parma). Another new face was Serbian striker Filip Djordjevic (Nantes- end of contract) while local lad Danilo Cataldi was back from a loan period (Crotone). 

Sadly, some players left, in particular Giuseppe Biava (end of contract) and André Dias (retired). Other minor movements were mainly in attack: Emiliano Alfaro (Liverpool Montevideo- loan), Brayan Perea (Perugia- loan/ he would return in January) and Hélder Postiga (Valencia-end of loan).

The beginning of the season had been a mixed bag. Lazio had lost three out of the first four matches but then won the next four (Palermo, Sassuolo, Fiorentina, Torino), drawn one (Verona), won one (Cagliari) and then lost the last two (Empoli and Juventus). So, Lazio had won 6, drawn 1 and lost 5, giving them 19 points and 6th position.

Dutch International de Vrij had confirmed to be a class act, Parolo a reliable, solid club player and Djordjevic had scored six goals so far.

In Coppa Italia, Lazio had got through the first round beating Virtus Bassano 7-0. The Biancocelesti would now play Varese at home in December.

Today's opposition were Chievo Verona. The Clivensi were no longer the darlings of the media but were still holding their own in Serie A. The previous season the Gialloblu had finished 16th, first under Giuseppe Sannino (1-12) and then Eugenio Corino (13-38). Top scorer was Alberto Paloschi with 15 goals (13 in A).

This season Corino had started, but was sacked after seven games and replaced by Rolando Maran. The main new signings were former Lazio keeper Albano Bizzarri (Genoa), defenders Cristiano Biraghi (Inter-on loan), Alessandro Gamberini (Napoli), Ervin Zukanović (Gent), midfielders Valter Birsa (Milan-on loan), Isaac Cofie (Genoa-on loan), Mariano Izco (Catania), Ezequiel Schelotto (Inter-on loan) plus strikers Maxi López (Catania) and Riccardo Meggiorini (Torino-free agent).

Making space for the new arrivals were keeper Marco Silvestri (Leeds United), defender Boukary Dramé (Atalanta), midfielders Simone Bentivoglio (Brescia-on loan), Roberto Guana (Pescara), Luca Rigoni (Palermo) plus striker Cyril Théréau (Udinese). A young keeper Ivan Provedel was also leaving (Perugia-on loan). Eight years later he would join and make a name for himself at Lazio.

The beginning of the season had been problematic for the "Mussi Volanti" (The Flying Donkeys), with only one win (Cesena 2-1 at home), two draws and nine defeats. Chievo were 18th with 5 points.

In Coppa Italia they were eliminated in August, losing 0-1 away to Pescara.

Lazio were favourites today but historically Chievo are a difficult team for the Biancocelesti, to be fair more at home than away, but surprises were always round the corner in this fixture.

The match: Saturday, November 29, Stadio Bentegodi, Verona


A sparse crowd turned up at the Bentegodi for this evening kick off.

Lazio played with black armbands in memory of their great former goalkeeper Lucidio Sentimenti IV, known as Cochi, who had passed away the previous day. He played 170 league games for Lazio (plus 169 for Juventus).

Lazio started on the attack keen to make up for the recent defeats. Chievo were content to just sit back and absorb the pressure before slowly coming out of their shell.

The first chances were therefore for Lazio. Filip Djordjevic was just anticipated by a defender on an Antonio Candreva cross, Stefan de Vrij had a header go just wide and then Marco Parolo shot wide from a favourable position. 

Chievo resisted the onslaught and the gradually started to threaten themselves especially from set pieces. Zukanovic's shot was central and weak, Meggiorini unmarked was unable to make contact with a Birsa cross and then Gamberini from a corner headed an easy chance wide.

Before the break Lazio had two more attempts with an effort by Parolo and a thundering long distance shot by Candreva saved by Bizzarri. Halftime Chievo 0 Lazio 0.

Lazio with superior territorial and ball possession but in the end the chances were evenly balanced. Lazio were too slow and mechanical in the last thirty metres to really put the Clivensi in difficulty. 

There were no changes for the second half. It continued in the same way, Lazio forward but rarely dangerous apart from a cracking volley by Stefano Mauri saved into corner by Bizzarri. Chievo had an Izco shot hit the side netting.

In the 61st minute came the first substitution, Felipe Anderson on for Candreva. The game however continued to be blocked.

Lazio's second substitution changed things more. In the 74th minute Balde Keita replaced Mauri and Lazio were livelier, finding space on the wings. In the meantime (68th minute) Chievo had tried to scare Lazio by bringing on old nemesis Sergio Pellissier who often found the net against the Romans.

In the last ten minutes Lazio threw on Miro Klose for Djordjevic and Chievo replaced Paloschi with Maxi Lopez. Lazio's final forcing produced a series of corners and a de Vrij header superbly saved by Bizzarri again but no breakthrough. Final score Chievo 0 Lazio 0.

A disappointing result for Lazio who could and should have won. The Biancocelesti however had huge difficulties activating Djordjevic up front and time and time again were muffled by Chievo's defensive game plan. Chievo themselves were more than happy to foil Lazio and pick up their point.

Who played for Chievo 


Bizzarri, Frey, Cesar, Gamberini, Zukanovic, Birsa (81' Bellomo), Izco, Radovanovic, Hetemaj, Meggiorini (68' Pellissier), Paloschi (83' Maxi Lopez)

Substitutes: Seculin, Bardi, Dainelli, Cofie, Sardo, Biraghi, Mangani, Lazarevic, Botta

Manager: Maran

Who played for Lazio 


Substitutes: Berisha, Strakosha, Konko, Cana, Ledesma, Novaretti, Onazi, Ederson 

Manager: Pioli

Referee: Banti




What happened next 


Lazio picked up and ended up having an excellent season. The Biancocelesti finished 3rd and qualified for a Champions League preliminary round. At one point, between February 15 and April 12, Lazio won eight consecutive matches.

The roll was interrupted by an away defeat at Juventus. There were more wins (Sampdoria and Parma) but also defeats (Inter and Roma) so the Champions League qualification all went down to the last match, away in Naples.

It was a dramatic match to say the least. Lazio needed a draw to clinch third place while Napoli had to win. The first half ended with the Biancocelesti 2-0 up and seemingly in control with goals by Parolo and Candreva.

The second half was a rollercoaster. In the 55th minute Napoli pulled one back with Gonzalo Higuain. In the 62nd minute Lazio were reduced to ten men when Parolo was shown a red card. In the 64th minute Higuain scored again to make it 2-2.

The Napoli faithful smelt blood and the stadium was on fire, things were not looking good for Lazio. A glimmer of hope came in the 70th minute when Napoli too were forced to play in a man less as Faouzi Ghoulam was given his marching orders. 

The hope was short lived as in the 76th minute the "Partenopei" were awarded a penalty probably worth about 9 billion Euros. The "Pepita" Higuain stepped up and, to the horror of the locals and relief of the Laziali, blasted the ball over the bar towards Vesuvius. 

Lazio regained vigour after being on the brink of disaster. Four minutes after the penalty drama an unlikely hero appeared in the form of Eddy Onazi. In the 80th minute he took advantage of a Napoli mistake and from midfield went straight towards goal and then beat the keeper as he came out. Napoli 2 Lazio 3, an incredible turnaround in the space of a few minutes.

Napoli were distraught and Klose made it 4-2 in the 92nd minute. An incredible night gave Lazio third place and a Champions League preliminary qualification. 

The hero of the hour was Nigerian Onazi and the Laziale saying "Onazi è l'unico nazi che ci piace " was never as popular. The saying is obvious lost in translation but is a play on words stating that the Nigerian is the only nazi we like.

So, Lazio finished the season third with 69 points after 21 wins, 6 draws and 11 defeats. Top scorer was Klose with 16 (13 in Serie A).

Lazio also reached the final of Coppa Italia (eliminating Milan and Napoli on the way) but were then defeated 2-1 by Juventus in extra-time (after Djordjevic had hit a freakish double post). 

Alas Lazio would never get into the Champions League group stage as they were defeated 1-3 on aggregate by Bayer Leverkusen in the preliminary the following August.

Chievo also improved and survived, finishing 14th. The team from Verona won 10, drew 13 (including Lazio 1-1 away) and lost 15. Top scorer was Paloschi with 9 league goals (Chievo only scored 28 all season, compared to Lazio's 71).

Serie A was won by Juventus for their 31st title. The three clubs slumping down a level were Cagliari, Cesena and Parma. Cesena have not been back since.


Lazio 2014-15

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

21

6

11

71

Coppa Italia

7

5

1

1

17

Total

45

26

7

12

88

Top 5 appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Klose

40

34

6

Parolo

40

34

6

Candreva

38

34

4

Felipe Anderson

37

32

5

de Vrij

35

30

5

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Klose

16

13

3

Parolo

11

10

1

Candreva

11

10

1

Felipe Anderson

11

10

1

Mauri

9

9

-

Djordjevic

9

8

1

Let's talk about Dušan Basta


Official SS Lazio photo

Dušan Basta was born in Belgrade, on August 18, 1984.

 

His first club as a young kid was Padinska Skela but then at 13 he moved to Red Star Belgrade.

 

He made his debut for "Zvezda" (Star) in 2002-03 playing 13 league games and 1 in the UEFA Cup. 

 

In 2003-04 he was loaned to Jedinstvo in the second division. He played 27 league games with 9 goals for the team from Ub.

 

In 2004-05 he returned to his parent club and played 23 league games with 2 goals, 4 games in the Champions League and 1 in the UEFA Cup. 

 

The following year he won his first silverware as Red Star won the Serbia-Montenegro league and cup double. Basta played 25 league games and 6 in the UEFA Cup with 1 goal.

 

The 2006-07 saw the first single Serbian league and it was won by Red Star who also won the cup. Basta played 16 league games and 4 in the Champions League. 

 

The 2007-08 would be his last for the "Crveno-beli" (The Red and Whites). He played 20 league games with 1 goal, 3 in Champions League and 6 in the UEFA Cup with 1 goal. The domestic league title was won by rivals Partizan Belgrade. 

 

In 2008 he arrived in Italy and joined Lecce in Serie A. The Salentini had a difficult season, first under Mario Beretta (1-27) and then Luigi De Canio (28-38) and were relegated. Basta played 7 league games. 

 

In 2009 however, he stayed in Serie A and joined Udinese. He would remain in Friuli for five seasons. The "Zebrette" finished 15th, 4th (CL playoff), 3rd (CL playoff), 5th (EL) and 13th. The Bianconeri lost both playoffs, to Arsenal in 2011 and to Sporting Braga on penalties in 2012. His managers in his first year were Pasquale Marino, Gianni De Biasi and then Marino again and then for the following four Francesco Guidolin. Basta played 105 league games with 9 goals (Lecce, Siena, Chievo, Cesena, Bologna, Siena, Napoli, Genoa, Roma), 2 games in Coppa Italia and 16 in Europe (2 in CL +14 in EL) with 2 goals (Braga, Široki Brijeg).

 

In 2014 he joined Lazio. The manager was Stefano Pioli and Lazio had an excellent season finishing 3rd, qualifying for a Champions League preliminary round. The playoff however would again be fatal, the Biancocelesti losing to Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 on aggregate. In Serie A Basta played 27 games plus 6 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Bassano). Lazio were unlucky runners-up in the domestic cup, losing to Juventus 1-2 after extra-time with Djordjevic hitting a freakish double post.

 

The 2015-16 season was less positive and Lazio finished 8th. Pioli was replaced by Simone Inzaghi after 31 games. As mentioned, Lazio never got into the Champions League group stage and also lost the Italian Supercoppa final to Juventus 0-2 in Shanghai. The highlights of the season were beating Inter home and away, 2-0, 2-1 and Fiorentina 3-1 away. Basta played 23 league games, 2 in Champions League and 3 in Europa League (Lazio reached last 16 but lost to Sparta Prague 1-4 on aggregate).

 

In 2016-17 Inzaghi stayed on and Lazio finished 5th (EL) but again lost the Coppa Italia final to Juventus 0-2 (after beating Roma in the semi-final 4-3 on aggregate). Basta played 27 league games with 1 goal (Roma) and 3 games in Coppa Italia. The highlight of the season was beating Roma 3-1 and Basta got the second goal (after Roma had been awarded and scored one of the most ridiculous penalties ever- the infamous Strootman dive). Lazio also had big wins against Pescara 6-2 away, Palermo 6-2 and Sampdoria 7-3, both at home.

 

In 2017-18 Basta played less, he was out with an injury for six matches between September and November and never really reconquered a regular first team place. He played 11 league games, 3 in Coppa Italia, 7 in the Europa League plus the Italian Supercoppa. Lazio finished 5th again in Serie A, reached the semi-finals of Coppa Italia (Milan on penalties) and the quarterfinals of the Europa League (out against Fenerbahçe and a shocking Scottish referee). Lazio's finest hour came in the Supercoppa where they defeated Juventus 3-2 with a 93rd minute Alessandro Murgia winner. Basta's first Italian silverware.

 

The 2018-19 season would be his last in Rome and of his career. Suffering from various injuries he made no league appearances and only 2 in the Europa League. Lazio finished 8th (EL) and won the Coppa Italia beating Atalanta 2-0 in the final (after defeating Novara, Inter and Milan). Lazio also triumphed in the return derby crushing Roma 3-0.

 

Basta then retired at almost 35.

 

He earned international caps for both Serbia and Montenegro and then Serbia alone. He played twice for the joint team and then 16 times for Serbia with 2 goals (Macedonia, Cyprus).

 

Basta was a right back who could also play in midfield. He is 1.80 and 76 kilos and in constant movement. His exceptional athletic abilities enabled him to cover the whole length of the field. He was a tireless player who could attack and defend and was good in the air.

 

He played 395 professional games and 200 in Serie A. 

 

At Lazio he was well liked for his hard-working ethic and his versatility. At his peak he just never stopped running, giving the proverbial 101%. He played 116 games for Lazio and won two trophies and not least scored in a winning derby. "Basta e avanza" as they say here (more than enough) to be remembered for.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Europa League

Super Coppa

2014-15

33 (1)

27

6 (1)

-

-

-

2015-16

29

23

-

2

3

1

2016-17

30 (1)

27 (1)

3

-

-

-

2017-18

22

11

3

-

7

1

2018-19

2

-

-

-

2

-

Total

116 (2)

88 (1)

  1. (1)

2

12

2

Sources


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