top of page
  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

October 5, 2014: Lazio Sassuolo 3-2

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Seemingly easy game becomes complicated but ends well


Lazio cruise, suffer, gain control, suffer again but ultimately win three deserved points



Official SS Lazio photo

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).


So far in Serie A things had not gone too well. Lazio had played five, won two (Cesena 3-0 at home and Palermo 4-0 away) but lost three (Milan 1-3 away, Genoa 0-1 away and Udinese 0-1 at home). The good news was the most recent match had been the 4-0 in Sicily and Djordjevic got a hat-trick.


In Coppa Italia Lazio had played the 3rd round (first for them) in August and beaten Virtus Bassano (3rd tier) 7-0 and would play Varese next in December.


Sassuolo had finished 17th the previous season under Eusebio Di Francesco first (1-21), Alberto Malesani (22-26) and then Di Francesco again (27-38). Top scorer was Domenico Berardi with 16 league goals.


This season Di Francesco was still manager. So far, the Neroverdi had three points after five games. Sasôl had drawn 3 (Cagliari 1-1 at home, Sampdoria 0-0 at home and Fiorentina 0-0 away) and lost two (Inter 0-7 away and Napoli 0-1 at home). So only one goal scored in five games but the good news, for the emiliani, was that Domenico Berardi would be back from suspension against Lazio.


Interesting names on the Sassuolo books were Lazio fan and former youth player Federico Peluso, former Lazio Sergio Floccari and future Lazio Francesco Acerbi.


In Coppa Italia Sassuolo had beaten Cittadella 4-1 at home and would play Pescara next in December.


Both teams were looking to improve on their league performance so far.


The match: Sunday, October 5, 2014, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


Ticket owned by Dag Jenkins, photo by Dag Jenkins


A classic Sunday 3 o'clock kick-off attracted about 35,000 to the Olimpico.


Lazio started well and after 9 minutes took the lead. Eddy Onazi won a ball and set up Stefano Mauri whose powerful, low shot from 20 metres out found the net. Lazio 1 Sassuolo 0.


Lazio continued attacking and with Pedro Cavanda on the right and Edson Braafheid on the left meant numerical superiority in midfield.


In the 25th minute Lazio made it two. Mauri to Antonio Candreva whose cross from the left was headed in by Filip Djordjevic. Lazio 2 Sassuolo 0.


It was looking easy and Sassuolo looked extremely vulnerable at the back. One minute later however it was Lazio who were slack and conceded. In the 26th minute Nicola Sansone put a clever through ball between the two Lazio central defenders and Berardi raced in centrally and beat Federico Marchetti. Lazio 2 Sassuolo 1.


Sassuolo grew in confidence and Simone Zaza had a dangerous curling shot from just inside the box but it went wide after touching the post. Lazio relied on counter attacks and in the 35th minute had a successful one. Candreva started the break serving Senad Lulic who surged forward towards the right and crossed, Luca Antei dived and tried to hook and bicycle kick the ball away but miskicked and it went only as far as Candreva who controlled the ball and drilled it in. Lazio 3 Sassuolo 1 and halftime score.


Lazio seemingly in control but it was an open game and both defences looked penetrable so there was the feeling it was not over yet.


There were no changes during the interval except Pioli placed Onazi further back centrally. Lazio started well and almost scored immediately with Lulic but in the 51st minute the game changed. Berardi got away from an already booked Lorik Cana who touched him slightly from behind on the left inside the area and the Calabrese striker obviously collapsed leading the referee to point to the penalty spot and showing Cana a second yellow. Berardi took the spot kick and scored despite Marchetti going the right way and almost getting a hand to it. So, Lazio 3 Sassuolo 2, Lazio in ten men and 40 minutes to go, game on.


Pioli immediately redesigned the tactical setup taking midfielder Mauri off and putting on defender Michaël Ciani. Di Francesco responded by replacing midfielder Davide Biondini with more attacking minded Simone Missiroli.


Lazio pulled back but were extremely dangerous on the break. First Candreva charged down the right wing and almost at the by-line put in a low cross which Djordjevic turned towards goal but Andrea Consigli kept it out. Then in the 62th minute came a counter game changer when Peluso, also already booked, pulled back Candreva about to race into the area for a one-on-one with the keeper, the red was a formality. So back to equal numbers.


Lazio then controlled the game well and went close again with Marco Parolo whose powerful, low, long range strike was saved into corner by an outstretched Consigli. The Biancocelesti devoured more opportunities to close the game with Felipe Anderson and Miro Klose and were almost made to pay.


Sassuolo had one last chance to equalise in the dying minutes. Berardi from the right vertex of the area sent in a perfect left-footed curling cross and it was met by Alessandro Longhi whose diving header was parried by Marchetti. Final score Lazio 3 Sassuolo 2, the identical score as the previous year.


A by no means easy win but a deserved one for Lazio. They were on the right tracks but still had to find more balance between the defence and midfield. The standout player was Candreva who had been here, there and everywhere.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Berisha, Strakosha, Konko, Pereirinha, Ledesma, Ederson, Keita

Manager: Pioli


Who played for Sassuolo


Consigli, Gazzola, Antei, P.Cannavaro, Peluso, Biondini (51' Missiroli), Magnanelli, Taider (63' Longhi), Berardi, Zaza, N.Sansone (69' Floro Flores)

Substitutes: Pomini, Polito, Bianco, Acerbi, Terranova, Chibsah, Brighi, Floccari, Pavoletti

Manager: Di Francesco


Referee: Tommasi


Goals: 9' Mauri, 25' Djordjevic, 26' Berardi, 35' Candreva, 51' Berardi (pen)



What happened next


Lazio went on to have an excellent season. They finished 3rd and earned themselves a Champions League preliminary round. The Biancocelesti won 21, drew 6 and lost 11. At one point, between February 9 and April 12, they won nine games in a row. They finally clinched 3rd place with an epic 4-2 away win in Naples on the last day of the season. Top scorer was Miroslav Klose with 16 (13 in league).


In Coppa Italia Lazio reached the final but were unlucky 1-2 losers to Juventus in extra-time. In the added 30 minutes with the score still 1-1 Djordjevic hit an incredible double post with a long-range curling shot.


Sassuolo improved and finished 12th. A week later the Neroverdi drew 1-1 with Juventus and then went unbeaten until December 14. Sasôl won 12 (including Milan home and away and Inter at home) drew 13 and lost 14 (including Lazio 0-3). Top scorer was Berardi with 15 league goals.


In Coppa Italia Sassuolo went out in the last 16 to Milan 1-2 away.


The Scudetto was won by Juventus for the 31st time (4th consecutive) while at the opposite end Serie A lost Cagliari, Parma and Cesena.


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 Lorik Cana


Lorik Cana was born in Gjakova, in Kosovo, on July 27, 1983. At the time it was part of Albania. At a young age he was forced to flee his homeland due to the Yugoslav war and his family took refuge in Switzerland. He has Albanian, Swiss, Kosovaran and French citizenship and speaks four languages fluently plus a knowledge of Turkish and German.


At 16 he was invited to a trial at Arsenal but was unable to be present due to bureaucratic problems connected to his visa. He then joined the Paris Saint-Germain youth sector in 2000. In 2002 he made his debut for the first team.


The manager was Luís Fernandez but this was pre "Les Rouge-et-Bleu" becoming "money bags" and they finished 11th. Cana played 3 league games.


The following year he played a lot more, 32 league games with 1 goal and 4 in the domestic cups, under coach Vahid Halilhodziç. "Les Parisiens" finished 2nd and won the Coupe de France (Châteauroux 1-0).


The 2004-05 was his last full season in Paris. PSG started with Halilhodžić but he was replaced in February by Laurent Fournier. The Parisiens finished 9th and Cana played 32 league games with 1 goal, 2 in the domestic cups and 6 in the Champions League.


In 2005-06 he started at PSG under Fournier but after 2 league games in August he left for rivals Marseille. He stayed four seasons with 5th, 2nd, 3rd and 2nd places. His managers were Jean Fernandez, Albert Emon, then with Eric Gerets and finally Eric Gerets alone. Cana played 175 matches for "Les Olympiens" (The Olympians), 122 in the league with 6 goals, 19 in the domestic cups with 1 goal and 34 in Europe (8 CL +4 UC) with 1 goal. He played alongside Djibril Cissé for two seasons.


In 2009-10 he joined Sunderland in the Premier League. The Black Cats had Steve Bruce as manager and finished 13th, their best results were beating Arsenal and Tottenham at home. Cana played 31 league games and 4 in the domestic cups.


In 2010 he went to Istanbul in Turkey and joined Galatasaray. The Cimbom coach were four over a difficult debut season; Frank Rijkaard, Gheorghe Hagi, Bulent Ünder and then Fatih Terim. The "Aslanlar" (The Lions) finished a disappointing 8th. Cana played 24 league games with 1 goal, 4 in the Turkish Cup and 3 in the Champions League.


In 2011 he came to Lazio. The Biancocelesti had a good season under Edy Reja and finished 4th (EL) also winning both derbies. Cana played 15 league games with 2 goals (Lecce, Atalanta) and 6 in the Europa League (Lazio out in the last 32 against Atlético Madrid).


The following season Vladimir Petkovic arrived as manager (one of the few people who speaks more languages than Cana). Lazio started well in the league but then faded and finished 7th. They however triumphed in the Coppa Italia beating bitter rivals Roma in an epic Roman derby final (Lulic 71'). Lazio also won one and drew one in the league derbies. Cana played in the final plus 24 league games, another 4 in Coppa Italia and 9 in the Europa League (eliminated in quarters by Fenerbahce and shocking Scottish referee).


In 2013-14 Petkovic started but was replaced by Reja during the Christmas break. Lazio finished 9th and lost the Super Cup final to Juventus 0-4. Cana played 26 league games with 2 goals (Sampdoria 94th minute equaliser, Fiorentina winner) and 6 in the Europa League (out in the last 32 against Ludogorets).


In 2014-15 Stefano Pioli was manager and Lazio did well finishing 3rd (CL Preliminary round). Lazio also reached the Coppa Italia final but were defeated by Juventus 1-2 after extra-time. Cana played 17 league games and 3 in Coppa Italia.


In 2015-16 Cana left Lazio and returned to France, this time to Nantes in Ligue 1. The Atlantic Loire valley Canaries had Armenian Michel Der Zakarian as manager and finished 14th. Cana played 21 league games plus 3 in the Coupe de France and played alongside Argentine Emiliano Sala, who some years later would tragically die in an air crash before transferring to play for Cardiff City.


This was Cana's last professional club and he retired at 33.


At international level he won 93 caps for Albania with 1 goal (Azerbaijan). He played two games in Albania's historic participation in Euro 2016 with the "Shqiponjat's" (Eagles) first win, versus Romania. He holds the record number of caps and was captain from 2010. He was voted Albania's Player of the Year three times; 2003, 2009 and 2014.


Since retiring he has starred in an autobiographical film about himself, "Triumph". He has set up the Lorik Cana Foundation promoting sport and culture in Albania and Kosovo. From 2017 he is also Ambassador for children’s football in Albania, on behalf of the Federation.


Cana was a central defender but could also play in midfield. At 1.86 metres and 77 kilos he was strong physically and extremely tough. He was nicknamed "Luftërari" (The Warrior) for his fighting spirit. He was a great tackler and a master at regaining possession. He was not an elegant player but very efficient. His style of play obviously earned him his fair share of yellow and red cards. His hard-working ethic made him popular wherever he played.


At Lazio he played 111 games with 4 goals and left a positive memory. In a league often dominated by theatrics Cana was hard but fair and unlike many could and would take as good as he got. His nickname was the usual "Il Guerriero" (The Warrior). Lazio have had far better defenders but few who played with his passion or who got stuck in as much as Cana. His legacy is also obviously connected to the epic 26th May derby triumph in the Coppa Italia final in which Cana was protagonist, playing the whole game. He is part of one of Lazio's legendary teams.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

2011-12

21 (2)

15 (2)

-

6

2012-13

38

24

5

9

2013-14

32 (2)

26 (2)

-

6

2014-15

20

17

3

-

Total

111 (4)

82 (4)

8

21

Sources



Comentarios


Los comentarios se han desactivado.
bottom of page