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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

September 17, 2016: Lazio Pescara 3-0

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Lazio dominate after Pescara missed penalty


A well deserved win for Lazio after Abruzzesi waste spot kick chance



The season so far


The previous season Lazio had finished 8th. The Biancocelesti had played 31 league games under Stefano Pioli and then the last 7 with Simone Inzaghi. They had reached the last 16 of Europa League (after failing to get through the CL preliminary round against Bayer Leverkusen) and the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia.


This year Marcelo Bielsa had been chosen but "El Loco" lived up to his name and resigned after only a few days due to divergences over transfer market issues. At this point Simone Inzaghi was called back.


The main new signings were; goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha (Salernitana- end of loan), defenders Bastos (Rostov), Jordan Lukaku (Oostende), Wallace (Braga), midfielder Luís Alberto (Liverpool) and striker Ciro Immobile (Seville).


Leaving were goalkeeper Etrit Berisha (Atalanta - on loan), defenders Edson Braafheid (end of contract), Santiago Gentiletti (Genoa), Abdoulay Konko (end of contract), Mauricio (Spartak Moscow - on loan), midfielders Antonio Candreva (Inter), Ogenyi "Eddy" Onazi (Trabzonspor), Stefano Mauri (end of contract) and striker Miroslav Klose (retired). So, a few difficult players to replace.


The season had started with a 4-3 away win at Atalanta followed by a 0-1 home defeat by Juventus and a 1-1 away draw at Chievo Verona. This 6 o' clock evening match was the fourth fixture.


Pescara were newly promoted. They had finished 4th in Serie B and then won a place in Serie A after the playoffs (Novara 6-2 and Trapani 3-1, both on aggregate). The manager was former Lazio Massimo Oddo. The top scorer was Gianluca Lapadula with 27 league goals plus 3 in the playoffs.


This season Oddo had stayed but Lapadula had gone to Milan. The main players coming in were goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri (Chievo), defenders Cristiano Biraghi (Inter), Andrea Coda (Sampdoria), Norbert Gyömbér (Roma - on loan), midfielders Alberto Aquilani (Sporting Lisbon), Ahmad Benali (Palermo), Gaston Brugman (Palermo), Bryan Cristante (Benfica - on loan), Simone Pepe (Chievo), Valerio Verre (Udinese) plus strikers Gianluca Caprari and Rey Manaj (Inter - both on loan).


The main players leaving apart from Lapadula were midfielders Rolando Mandragora (Juventus - end of loan), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria-end of loan) and striker Cristian Pasquato (Juventus - end of loan).


In the first three league games the "Adriatici" had drawn 2-2 at home to Napoli, won 3-0 away at Sassuolo (by default for the homeside using a non -listed player) and lost 1-2 at home to Inter.


The two teams therefore both came into this evening's game on 4 points.


The match: Saturday, September 17, 2016, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


The late Saturday afternoon kick off failed to attract a big crowd. A minute's silence was observed in the memory of the President of the Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, who had died the previous day.


Lazio were missing their playmaker Lucas Biglia while Pescara were without Jean-Chrostophe Bahebeck but played with a compact midfield with only Gianluca Caprari up front.


The first big chance fell to former Pescara forward Ciro Immobile. He went past two defenders on the left side of the area but his shot was saved onto the post and into corner by Bizzarri. On the corner Sergej Milinkovic-Savic had a free header but it was parried by Bizzarri and on the rebound Marco Parolo incredibly managed to miss the target, heading over the bar.


Lazio attacked but Pescara defended well and in the 35th minute surprisingly almost took the lead. Caprari went towards the left by-line in the area and just as he crossed he was brought down by Bastos. The referee had no hesitation and pointed to the penalty spot, Memushaj stepped up but hit an awful low effort with his instep which went well wide to Federico Marchetti's left. Lazio let off the hook.


Pescara however took courage and had a Bryan Cristante powerful long range shot parried by Marchetti.


Then Lazio attacked for the rest of the half, the most dangerous effort was a cross/shot by Stefan Radu which took on a threatening high trajectory and hit the crossbar, although Bizzarri probably had it covered. Half time Lazio 0 Pescara 0.


Lazio had been the better team but Pescara were still ruing their golden penalty chance.


During the interval there was only one change as Rei Manaj replaced Ahmad Benali. Then in the 49th Michele Fornasier came on for Norbert Gyömbér.


Lazio had an early opportunity when Stefan de Vrij headed just wide from a Danilo Cataldi freekick. It showed again however that Pescara were vulnerable on high crosses. Lazio started having numerous chances. Senad Lulic put a brilliant low ball through the "Delfini's" defence giving an unmarked Filip Djordjevic a glorious chance but again Bizzarri saved with his feet into corner. Then Felipe Anderson pulled a ball back from the by-line to Parolo but Bizzarri was on top form and tipped the Milanese midfielder's left shot over the bar.


In the 60th minute Inzaghi decided to throw on Keita Balde for Djordjevic and in the 67th Lazio finally and deservedly scored. Keita passed to Felipe Anderson on the right, the Brazilians' chipped cross seemed to be lacking weight but Milinkovic-Savic rose up in the area and towered a powerful header past Bizzarri into the top hand corner. Lazio 1 Pescara 0.


Five minutes later Lazio doubled their lead. A Cataldi corner again from the right was headed in by Radu. Lazio 2 Pescara 0.


Lazio at this point were unstoppable and Pescara were down and out. In the 76th minute the Eagles swooped down on the Dolphins again and made it three. A devastating run by Keita who dribbled his way into the box and squared a low pass to Immobile who smashed it into the roof of the net from close range. Lazio 3 Pescara 0.


Pescara had one last half chance with Caprari but his shot was walled into corner by de Vrij. Final score Lazio 3 Pescara 0.


No dispute over who deserved to win today. Pescara had missed a penalty but Lazio had hit the woodwork twice and had 12 clear goal scoring chances.


The game had also seen the debut of a young Alessandro Murgia, a name to look out for in Lazio's history...


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Vargic, Strakosha, Wallace, Hoedt, Patric, Lukaku, Leitner, Lombardi, Luís Alberto

Manager: Inzaghi


Who played for Pescara


Bizzarri, Zampano, Gyomber (49' Fornasier), Campagnaro, Biraghi, Cristante (73' Mitrita), Brugman, Memushaj, Benali (46' Manaj), Verre, Caprari

Substitutes: Fiorillo, Crescenzi, Bruno, Zupanovic, Aquilani, Pepe, Vitturini, Pettinari

Manager: Oddo


Referee: Maresca


Goals: 67' Milinkovic-Savic, 72' Radu, 76' Immobile



What happened next


A week later Lazio failed to end their 29 year winless run away to Milan, losing 2-0. They went on to have a decent season finishing 5th and qualified for the Europa League. They won 21 (including samp 7-3, Palermo and Pescara both 6-2), drew 7 and lost 10. The highlight in the league was defeating Roma 3-1 despite a scandalous penalty for the Giallorossi (the famous Strootman theatrical simulation).

In the Coppa Italia they reached the final after eliminating Genoa 4-2, Inter 2-1 away and Roma 4-3 on aggregate. They were then however defeated 0-2 by Juventus.


Top scorer was Ciro Immobile with 26 goals (23 in league).


Pescara finished bottom in Serie A. After 24 games Oddo was replaced by Zdenek Zeman but despite winning the first game 5-0 against Genoa, the Bohemian was unable to avoid the Biancazzurri's relegation. The Abruzzesi won 3, drew 9 and lost 26. Their top scorer was Caprari with 9 league goals.


The Scudetto was won by Juventus for their 33rd title while the two teams escorting Pescara down were Empoli and Palermo.


Lazio 2016-17

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie A

38

21

7

10

74

Coppa Italia

5

3

-

2

10

Total

43

24

7

12

84

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Felipe Anderson

41

36

5

Immobile

41

36

5

Milinkovic-Savic

39

34

5

Parolo

38

34

4

Lulic

35

31

4

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Immobile

26

23

3

Keita Balde

16

16

-

Milinkovic-Savic

7

4

3

Felipe Anderson

5

4

1

Parolo

5

5

-

Biglia

5

4

1

Let’s talk about: Stefan de Vrij


Official SS Lazio photo

Stefan de Vrij was born in Ouderkerk aan den IJssel, on February 5, 1992.


He grew up playing football in the Feyenoord academy. He then made his debut for the "De Club van het volk" (The People's Team) in 2009. He stayed five seasons with 4th, 10th, 2nd, 3rd and 2nd places. He made 154 appearances with 7 goals in Rotterdam. His coaches were first former Pisa player Mario Been and Ronald Koeman.


In 2014 he joined Lazio. The fans had just admired his performances in the Brazil 2014 World Cup. His first manager in Rome was Stefano Pioli and Lazio finished 3rd (then lost CL preliminary to Bayer Leverkusen). The Biancocelesti also reached the Coppa Italia final but lost to Juventus 1-2 after extra-time.


In 2015-16 Pioli was replaced by Simone Inzaghi after 31 games but de Vrij was out injured most of the season and only played 2 league games, 2 in the CL preliminary and the Italian Supercoppa (lost to Juventus 0-2). Lazio finished 8th.


In 2016-17 he was fit again. The manager was Inzaghi after Marcelo Bielsa had resigned even before arriving. De Vrij played 27 league games with 2 goals (Chievo, Sampdoria) and 4 games in Coppa Italia. Lazio reached the final of the domestic cup but lost to Juventus 0-2. In the league Lazio finished 5th and qualified for the Europa League. Lazio however triumphed in the Italian Supercoppa defeating Juventus 3-2 in Rome.


The 2017-18 season would be his last and it ended in controversy. He had already signed for Inter when in the last game of the season Lazio played the Nerazzurri for a place in the Champions League. There was a lot of talk prior to the match whether de Vrij should even play considering his conflicting interests at stake. As it was he played badly, giving away a penalty to Inter and handing the "Beneamata" and himself a place in the following year's Champions League. His spell at Lazio therefore ended in polemic, a pity because he had been a good, solid defender for the Biancocelesti. In the end he played 118 games for Lazio with 10 goals.


In 2018 he joined Inter, managed by Luciano Spalletti. The Nerazzurri finished 4th and de Vrij played 28 league games with 2 goals (Torino, Milan), 5 in the Champions League and 3 in the Europa League. In Milan he teamed up with former Lazio, Keita Balde and Antonio Candreva.


The following year Antonio Conte was manager of Inter. The Nerazzurri finished 2nd and were runners up in the Europa League, losing to serial winners Seville 2-3. De Vrij played 34 league games with 4 goals (Torino, Milan, Parma, Roma), 2 games in Coppa Italia and 6 in Europe (CL 6, EL 4).


In 2020-21 Inter won the Scudetto under Antonio Conte. De Vrij played 32 league games with 1 goal (Sampdoria), 4 in Coppa Italia and 6 in the Champions League.


In 2021-22 his former Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi arrived as the new manager. The Nerazzurri finished 2nd but won the Coppa Italia (Juventus 4-2 after extra-time) and the Italian Supercoppa (Juventus 2-1 after extra-time). De Vrij played 30 league games, 4 in Coppa Italia, 6 in CL with 1 goal (Sheriff Tiraspol) and the Italian Supercoppa.


In 2022-23 Inter finished 3rd but reached the final of the Champions League, losing to Manchester City 0-1. Inter won the Coppa Italia (Fiorentina 2-1) and the Italian Supercoppa (Milan 3-0). De Vrij played 27 league games with 1 goal (Sampdoria ), 3 in Coppa Italia, 7 in the Champions League plus the Italian Supercoppa.


So far he has won 59 caps for Holland with 3 goals (Spain, Czech Republic and Spain again). He has played in a World Cup in 2014 and a European Championship in 2021 (2020 postponed for Covid 19).


De Vrij is a central defender and can play in a 3 or 4 -man back line system. He is 1.89 and 80 kilos. He is a defensive leader and commands well. He can play the ball out from the back and has good positioning and precise short and long passes. He is above all a solid tackler, often anticipating his opponents. He is also dangerous at the other end with his heading abilities and has scored 29 career goals.


At Lazio he had a good four seasons, although one he practically missed due to a serious knee injury. He is one of the better defenders in Lazio's history. The fact that he was immediately and successfully replaced by Francesco Acerbi made his departure less difficult.


Unfortunately his spell at Lazio ended in controversy as he refused to sign a new contract but instead signed a pre-contract with Inter for the following season. Fate then had it that the last decisive match of the season for a Champions League slot was Lazio vs Inter. His soon to be past against his future, not an easy psychological situation to be in. As it was he gave away a penalty with a clumsy tackle and Inter went on to win in the dying minutes. A pity, he left the field in tears but the fact remains to the fans that he would be playing Champions League football and Lazio would not. They have never forgotten and it has overshadowed four years of solid, professional performances by the Dutchman.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Europa League

Super Coppa

2014-15

35 (1)

30

5 (1)

-

-

-

2015-16

5

2

-

2

-

1

2016-17

31 (2)

27 (2)

4

-

-

-

2018-19

47 (7)

36 (6)

3

-

7 (1)

1

Total

118 (10)

95 (8)

12 (1)

2

7 (1)

2

Sources


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