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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

September 23, 2015: Lazio Genoa 2-0

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Lazio finally beat bogey team Genoa


After eight consecutive defeats Lazio overcome "bête noir" with goals by Djordjevic and Anderson



Official SS Lazio photo

The season so far


The previous season Lazio had finished an excellent 3rd under Stefano Pioli. They had qualified for a Champions League preliminary round but lost 1-3 to Bayer Leverkusen on aggregate.


This season Pioli was confirmed. The summer market had brought some new players: defenders Wesley Hoedt and Patric (both free agents, midfielders Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Genk) and Ravel Morrison (free agent) plus forwards Ricardo Kishna (Ajax) and Alessandro Matri (Milan-on loan).


Many players were leaving: keeper Thomas Strakosha (Salernitana-on loan), defenders Luís Pedro Cavanda (Trabzonspor), Michaël Ciani, Diego Novaretti and Lorik Cana (all end of contract), midfielders Ederson and Cristian Ledesma (both end of contract) and Álvaro González (Atlas-Mexico).


Not a great improvement to the squad, in fact Lazio were already out of the Champions League (or more like never got in - losing to Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 on aggregate). The Biancocelesti had lost the Italian Supercoppa final to Juventus, 0-2 in August, and were having an up and down start to Serie A.


So far Lazio had won 2 (Bologna 2-1, Udinese 2-0) but been thrashed by Chievo 0-4 and Napoli 0-5. They had to find some consistency.


Genoa had finished a positive 6th but did not qualify for the Europa League as they did not obtain the UEFA license. The manager was Gian Piero Gasperini who had stayed on this year too.


The main players arriving were: keeper Samir Ujkani (free), defender Cristian Ansaldi (Zenit St. Petersburg) and Ezequiel Muñoz (free), midfielders Blerim Džemaili (Galatasaray-on loan), Olivier Ntcham (Manchester City-on loan), forwards Serge Gakpé and former Lazio Goran Pandev (both free).


The players of note leaving were: defenders Luca Antonini (end of contract), Aleandro Rosi (Frosinone-on loan), midfielders Ioannis Fetfatzidis (Al -Ahli), Rolando Mandragora (Pescara -on loan), Juraj Kucka (Milan) and Andrea Bertolacci (Roma), plus forwards Marco Borriello (end of contract), Iago Falque (Roma) and M' Baye Niang (Milan-end of loan).


So far Genoa had not got off to a great start. The "Grifone" (The Griffin) had won 1 (Verona 2-0 at home) and lost 3 (Palermo 0-1, Fiorentina 0-1 away and Juventus 0-2 at home).


The match: Wednesday, September 23, 2015, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


There was not a big crowd tonight, less than 20,000. The fans who had turned up were not exactly happy either, in open polemic with the club owner Claudio Lotito for the poor market campaign and with the team for the recent two humiliating away defeats. If you threw into the mix Miro Klose and Antonio Candreva were out injured and the fact that Lazio came from eight consecutive defeats against Genoa, it was clear the atmosphere was not idyllic for the Lazio players. In fact, the incredible statistics read, from 2011-12, Lazio played 8 against Genoa and lost all 8, despite often playing well, a sort of jinx.


Predictably, Lazio started tense and hesitant, the visitors realised immediately and tried to take advantage. Genoa began on the front foot and had several chances. The first and biggest came after only five minutes when Tomas Rincon received a square ball from Pandev and fired a low shot towards the left corner but it came back off the post with Federico Marchetti beaten.


Lazio were quiet apart from a couple of Felipe Anderson jiggling runs and a Kishna lob miles over the bar.


Genoa sensed Lazio's difficulties and pushed forward. A Nicola Burdisso header went wide from a corner, then Rincon danced past Santiago Gentiletti and hammered a shot which Marchetti managed to save low with his foot and a few minutes later Olivier Ntcham's low strike went wide. All Genoa so far.


Lazio finally stirred in the 33rd minute when Ricardo Kishna floated in a freekick from the left which Milinkovic-Savic headed strongly and centrally towards goal but Eugenio Lamanna acrobatically tipped the ball over for a corner.


Signs of life from Lazio who in the 35th minute took the lead. A perfect cross from Senad Lulic was met by Filip Djordjevic who coordinated himself, twisted and dived, to send a low header into the opposite corner. The offside trap had clearly failed as the Serb was completely unmarked. Lazio 1 Genoa 0. Some clouds lifted over the Olimpico.


The remainder of the first half saw some dangerous freekicks from the edge of the area, one for Lazio and two for Genoa. For the Biancocelesti Djordjevic put it just too high while Panagiotis Tachtsidis tried high and low but both were well saved by Marchetti. Half time Lazio 1 Genoa 0.


After a petrified 25 minutes Lazio had shaken off their worries and could be more optimistic for the second half while Genoa were regretting not having taken advantage of the heavy atmosphere surrounding the home team.


During the break Genoa made two replacements; Blerim Dzemaili for Tachtsidis and Diego Capel for Ntcham.


The second half started with a potentially crucial detail, Issa Cissokho was soon sent off for his second yellow trying to stop an inspired Anderson. Genoa in 10 men.


Lazio eventually made the extra man count with their best player so far. In the 73nd minute Anderson picked up a headed clearance just outside the box and sent a sublime curling right footer into the top far hand corner. Lazio 2 Genoa 0. Could the jinx be over?


Some minutes later things got even worse for the "Grifone" when Pandev was shown his marching orders for elbowing Mauricio in an aerial challenge. Genoa in 9 men and 2-0 down, surely "la bestia nera" (the běte noir, bogey) was beaten.


If they weren't in 9 they were definitely in 8 when Rincon was forced off injured after Gasperini had used all his substitutions. At that point in 11 against 8 Lazio stopped pushing in a tacit form of respect for the slayed beast. Final score Lazio 2 Genoa 0.


Three important points for Lazio, a psychological boost and a jump in the table leapfrogging bitter rivals Roma, always enough to send the fans home happy, for now.


Lazio still did not look like the team from the previous season but the table was now reasonably healthy and with Felipe Anderson in such devastating form there were some reasons to be optimistic.


Who played for Lazio


Marchetti, Basta, Mauricio, Gentiletti, Lulic, Cataldi, Parolo, Felipe Anderson (82' Mauri), Milinkovic-Savic (82' Morrison), Kishna, Djordjevic (78' Keita)

Substitutes: Berisha, Guerrieri, Hoedt, Braafheid, Patric, Radu, Seck, Onazi, Oikonomidis

Manager: Pioli


Who played for Genoa


Lamanna, De Maio, Burdisso, Marchese, Cissokho, Rincon (46' Dzemaili), Laxalt, Ntcham (46' Capel), Pandev, Perotti (59' Figueiras)

Substitutes: Ujkani, Sommariva, Ierardi, Lazovic, Asencio Raul

Manager: Gasperini


Referee: Rizzoli


Goals: 35' Djordjevic, 73' F. Anderson



What happened next


Lazio won their next two games, 2-1 away at Chievo and 2-0 at home against Frosinone, but then slumped again losing three out of the next four, including the derby. Lazio were inconsistent all season and on April 3 after a heavy 1-4 derby defeat Pioli was sacked and replaced by Simone Inzaghi. With "Simoncino", Lazio won four and lost three and ended up 8th.


In January Lazio brought in central defender Milan Biševac but it was clearly not enough to strengthen the squad.


In the Europa League, still under Pioli, Lazio had reached the last 16. In the first group stage they qualified against Dnipro (1-1, 3-1), Saint Etienne (3-2, 1-1) and Rosenborg (3-1, 2-0). Lazio then knocked out Galatasaray (4-2 on aggregate) but then fell to Sparta Prague (1-4 on aggregate, crumbling 0-3 at home).


In Coppa Italia, Lazio had beaten Udinese 2-1 but then lost in the quarterfinal to Juventus 0-1 (with a goal by former Lazio Stephan Lichtsteiner). Lazio's top scorer was Antonio Candreva with 12 goals (10 in league)


All in all, a disappointing season for Lazio.


Genoa picked up and a week later beat Milan 1-0. They finished 11th, however not repeating the positive previous season. "Il Vecchio Balordo" (The Old Fool) won 13, drew 7 (including Lazio 0-0) and lost 18.


In the Coppa Italia they went out immediately to Alessandria 1-2 after extra-time. The "Grifone" top scorer was Leonardo Pavoletti with 15 goals (14 in league).


The Scudetto was won by Juventus again for their 32nd title. Destination B placards were up for Carpi, Frosinone and Verona.


Lazio 2015-16

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

15

9

14

52

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

2

Champions League

2

1

-

1

1

Europa League

10

5

4

1

18

Super Coppa

1

-

-

1

-

Total

53

22

13

18

73

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Europa League

Super Coppa

Felipe Anderson

47

35

2

2

7

1

Candreva

44

30

2

2

9

1

Parolo

40

31

-

2

7

-

Keita Balde

39

31

1

2

5

-

Lulic

39

30

1

2

6

-

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Candreva

12

10

-

2

Felipe Anderson

9

7

-

2

Klose

8

7

-

1

Matri

7

4

1

2

Parolo

6

3

-

3

Djordjevic

6

3

-

3

Let's talk about Filip Djordjević


Official SS Lazio photo

Filip Djordjevic was born in Belgrade, on September 17, 1987.


He went into the Red Star Belgrade youth academy at 8 and made his first team debut ten years later in his only appearance in the 2005-2006 season. The "Crveno-beli" (Red and Whites) won the league and cup double.


The following year he was sent on loan to Rad Belgrade in the second tier. He played 35 league games and scored 16 goals.


In 2007-08 he was back with "Zvezda" (Star) but in January, after 7 league games and 6 in Europe (3CL + 3 UC) with no goals, he joined Nantes in Ligue 2.


The "Maison Jaune" (The Yellow House) were promoted and Djordjevic played 19 games with 7 goals. The Bretons then definitely bought the Serb who made his Ligue 1 debut on August 9 and scored his first goal on November 29 versus Le Havre. He played 19 league games with 2 goals and 1 game in the Coupe de Ligue. "Les Canaris" however were relegated again.


He spent the next four seasons in Ligue 2 with a 15th, 13th, 9th and finally 3rd place with promotion. In these four seasons he played 117 league games with 40 goals plus 14 games in the domestic cups with 8 goals.


In 2013-14 back in Ligue 1 "Les Jaunes et Verts” finished 13th and reached the semi-finals of the Coupe de France. He played 27 league games with 10 goals and 2 in the Coupe de Ligue with 2 goals.


In 2013-14 he made a surprise move to Lazio. The Biancocelesti, under Stefano Pioli, had an excellent year finishing 3rd (CL Preliminary) and runners up in the Coppa Italia (Juventus 1-2 after extra-time). Djordjevic played 24 league games with 8 goals (Palermo x3, Sassuolo, Fiorentina, Empoli, Sampdoria, Roma) and 3 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Varese). In January he suffered a bad injury which kept him out of action until May. In the Coppa Italia final in May against Juventus, with the score blocked on 1-1 in extra time, Djordjevic hit an incredible double post with a long-range shot.


The following year was not as positive. Lazio were unsuccessful in their Champions League preliminary round (Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 on aggregate), lost the Italian Supercoppa (Juventus 0-2) and in the league finished 8th. In April Pioli was sacked and replaced by Simone Inzaghi. Djordjevic played 27 league games with 3 goals (Genoa, Frosinone, Sampdoria), 1 in Coppa Italia and 3 in the Europa League with 3 goals (Rosenborg x2, Dnipro).


In 2016-17 Simone Inzaghi stayed on, after Marcelo Bielsa had resigned after three days. Lazio had a better season and finished 5th (EL qualification). The Biancocelesti won a derby 3-1 and again reached the Coppa Italia final, defeating Roma in the semi-final, but lost to Juventus again 0-2. Djordjevic played 17 league games and 1 in the Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Genoa).


In 2017-18 he started the season with Lazio but made no appearances and was left out of the squad until his contract expired.


In 2018 he joined Chievo as a free agent. It was a bad season for the Clivensi who were relegated under three different managers, Lorenzo D'Anna (1-8), Gian Piero Ventura (9-12) and Domenico Di Carlo (13-38). Djordjevic played 13 league games with 1 goal (Fiorentina)and 1 game in Coppa Italia.


Over the next two seasons in Serie B the "Mussi Volanti" finished 6th and 8th, under Michele Marcolini (1-26) and Alfredo Aglietti (27-38 + playoffs) the first year and Aglietti the second. Djordjevic played 60 league games with 14 goals and 1 in the Coppa Italia.


He then retired at 33.


At international level he won 14 full Serbia caps with 4 goals (Chile, Wales, Russia, Ireland) and also played 14 games for the U21's with 8 goals.


Djordjevic was a classic centre-forward. He is 1.86 and 80 kilos, so physically strong. Despite his imposing size he was also surprisingly skilful and technical. This made him a good attacking partner to play off. In fact, his weakness as a striker, despite being nicknamed the Cobra, was his lack of killer instinct in front of goal.


At Lazio he was not a huge success but with two big question marks of what could have been. The first is what could have been in his first year when, after scoring 8 goals in 16 games (between the 5th and 20th fixture), he suffered a serious injury and was out for five months. The second is what could have been had his superb curling strike not hit both posts against Juventus but beaten Marco Storari to almost certainly give Lazio a cup triumph and written his name in Lazio's history books. As it is, under the letter D there are Dabo, D'Amico, Di Canio, Di Vaio, Doll, amongst others but no Djordjevic.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

2014-15

27 (9)

27 (8)

3 (1)

-

-

2015-16

32 (6)

27 (3)

1

3 (3)

1

2016-17

18 (1)

17

1 (1)

-

-

Total

77 (16)

68 (11)

5 (2)

3 (3)

1

Sources


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