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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Just like Playstation

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

2022-23 Season

Game 30

April 14, 2023

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Stadio Alberto Picco, La Spezia

Spezia Lazio 0-3

Lazio triumph at La Spezia thanks to an Immobile penalty, a second goal so spectacular it almost did not seem real and Marco Antonio’s first Lazio goal

The team

Maurizio Sarri at the last second loses Nicolò Casale through illness and Patric is forced to go onto the pitch without even warming up. The rest of the team is the one we can define as the best possble line-up. The Gaffer warned everybody that this game was like a Paris-Roubaix bicycle road race, famous for its rough terrain and cobblestones. So got to be careful.

The match

In the beginning it looks like the team has not listened. In the second minute Albin Ekdal on the right sends in an inviting low cross, Mehdi Bourabia anticipates the Lazio defence but his shot hits the crossbar. Ten minutes later a Bourabia-Emanuel Gyasi one-two on the left gives the Moroccan the opportunity to cross inside the box from the baseline. Perfect ball for M’Bala Nzola who jumps higher than Elseid Hysaj but heads the ball out.

A double scare for Lazio who as usual have a bad approach to these type of games. But after the second scare, the team pull their socks up and start playing.

In the 20th minute splendid long pass by Danilo Cataldi for Ciro Immobile who runs towards the goal. As he is about to shoot in front of Bartłomiej Drągowski he is clearly fouled by Ethan Ampadu, but Massimilliano Irrati, always a guarantee of bad refereeing when it comes to Lazio, does not agree and the VAR does not intervene.

In the 33rd minute Sergej Milinkovic-Savic heads a ball for Felipe Anderson on the right on a counterattack. The Brazilian is completely alone and he flies towards the box. Once in, Ampadu fouls him from behind in an attempt to get the ball. This time even Irrati cannot ignore the penalty. Immobile takes the spot kick, Spezia 0 Lazio 1.

In the third minute of injury time, Milinkovic-Savic steals the ball of Ampadu and chips the ball for Immobile unmarked in front of the open goal. King Ciro however cannot find the right coordination to put the ball in. Play continues, Immobile for Felipe Anderson who passes the ball to Luis Alberto in the box, but the shot is wide. Two minutes later a Milinkovic-Savic shot from outside the box is saved by Drągowski.

Second half

In the 52nd minute Luis Alberto has the ball just over the Spezia half and passes it to Felipe Anderson who in turn sends it to Immobile. The King back heels it back to the Brazilian who passes it again to Immobile. By this time we are just inside the Spezia penalty box. Ciro sees Luis Alberto on the left, ball to him. The Spaniard passes it again to Felipe Anderson, Kevin Amian tries to intervene but Felipetto whacks the ball behind Drągowski. 2-0 for Lazio, spectacular goal, a-la Manchester City said an Italian commentator, but it looked more like Playstation football.

Spezia, who have done very little since the first ten minutes of the match, try a comeback in the 59th minute. Bourabia to Nzola in the box, ball to Ekdal who turns around and shoots, but Ivan Provedel manages a difficult save.

Two minutes later three substitutions for Spezia: Arkadiusz Reca, Kevin Agudelo and Daniel Maldini (Paolo Maldini’s son) for Dimistri Nikolau, Bourabia and Gyasi. In the 68th minute Pedro replaces Immobile and in the 76th Eldor Shomurodov takes the place of Daniele Verde.

In the 77th minute, Luis Alberto to Felipe Anderson on the left inside the box. Felipetto looks up to see what the best possible solution could be and in the end shoots. Drągowski saves into corner. A minute later Marcos Antonio replaces Cataldi.

Ampadu is sent off in the 84th minute for a second yellow card. A bit harsh on the Welshman. Matteo Cancellieri substitutes Mattia Zaccagni with three minutes to go.

In the 89th minute there is a free kick for Spezia. Maldini crosses into the Lazio box but Felipe Anderson clears by kicking the ball into no man's land. At this point Marcos Antonio does a Husain Bolt and gets to the ball before everybody else. He runs towards the box, dribbles Agudelo, Drągowski comes off his line to block him but the Brazilian goes past him too and deposits the ball in the net for his first Lazio goal. The thousands of Lazio fans present, and the Lazio players in particular, are overjoyed that one of the most popular members of the squad finally has a moment of glory.

Game over. Lazio overcome initial difficulties and win in style.

Official SS Lazio photo

Who played for Spezia

Dragowski, Amian, Ampadu, Nikolaou (62' Reca), Wisniewski, Bourabia (62' Agudelo), Ekdal, Esposito, Verde (76' Shomurodov), Nzola, Gyasi (62' Maldini).

Substitutes: Zoet, Marchetti, Sala, Krollis, Ferrer, Kovalenko, Caldara, Cipot.

Manager: Semplici.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel, Marusic, Patric, Romagnoli, Hysaj, Milinkovic, Cataldi (80' Marcos Antonio), Luis Alberto, Felipe Anderson, Immobile (69' Pedro), Zaccagni (88' Cancellieri).

Substitutes: Maximiano, Adamonis, Casale, Lazzari, Pellegrini, Radu, Gila, Fares, Basic, Bertini, Romero.

Manager: Sarri

Referee: Irrati

Goals: 35' Immobile (pen), 53' Felipe Anderson, 89' Marcos Antonio.

Bookings: Gyasi, Ampadu, Cataldi, Marcos Antonio, Romagnoli, Cancellieri

Sent off: Ampadu (double yellow card)


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