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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

A very complicated match

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

2022-23 Season

Europa League Group Stage

Group F, Game 3

October 6, 2022

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Graz, Sturmstadion Liebenau

Sturm Graz Lazio 0-0

Exciting game but no goals. Not the best Lazio performance.

The teams

Maurizio Sarri understood that this was a very important match especially after the debacle at Midtjylland. Hence just a few changes in the squad compared to the game against Spezia. In come Pedro, Elseid Hysaj and Mario Gila for Mattia Zaccagni, Manuel Lazzari and Patric. Sturm Graz also needed to forget their debacle in the previous Europa League match and were looking for a prestigious victory.

The match

Lazio immediately in trouble and after three minutes there is a free kick for the Austrians. Tomi Horvat crosses the ball in the crowded penalty box, Ivan Provedel misses the ball which is deflected and moves towards the goal. Fortunately Hysaj clears on the line.

Sturm Graz is very fast and aggressive and Lazio is having trouble coping. In the 12th minute a one-two Luis Alberto-Ciro Immobile puts Luis Alberto in front of the goal ready for the kill but Amadou Dante gets to the ball just a fraction of second before the Spaniard. On the Luis Alberto corner Jorg Siebenhandl fumbles and ball hits the woodwork.

Double chance for Sturm Graz a minute later. William Boving from outside the box shoots, Provedel saves. On the consequent corner Albian Ajeti gets to the ball first but his header is saved again by the Lazio goalkeeper. In the 20th minute Luis Alberto to Pedro, low cross that the Austrian goalkeeper deflects, Immobile is ready for the tap in but Dante gets there first.

The game slows down just a fraction as Lazio is trying to get control of play but Felipe Anderson and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are not playing well and it is difficult. On the other hand, Sturm Graz are playing very well, very aggressive, not allowing Lazio to think. The first half ends with a few shots from outside the penalty box from the Austrians, most of them wide or too high.

Second half

In come Zaccagni and Lazzari for Felipe Anderson and Adam Marusic in the hope of creating something on the wings. Sturm Graz however has no intention to stop running and in the 50th minute Boving shoots from an impossible position and Provedel has to save into a corner. A minute later David Affengruber anticipates Ajeti but shoots wide from favourable position. In the 60th minute Zaccagni has a chance but Siebenhandl saves. In the 62nd minute long cross from Pedro to Immobile who gets to the ball just slightly too late.

Lazio cannot find a solution so in the 63rd minute in comes Matias Vecino and out goes Milinkovic-Savic. Seven minutes later Horvat is substituted by Otar Kiteishvili, Boving by Mohammed Fuseini, and shortly after Pedro by Matteo Cancellieri and Patric for Gila. In the 76th minute in come Ivan Ljubic and Manprit Sarkaria, out go Stefan Hierlander and Ajeti.

Immobile actually does score for Lazio in the 80th minute but he is off side by the smallest of margins. Jusuf Gazibegovic gets his second yellow card and is sent off with 8 minutes to go for the match. Three minutes later Hysaj crosses long for Cancellieri, unmarked, who heads the ball directly to the goalkeeper.

Lazio does try to attack with the Austrians all in defence but nothing else happens. All four teams in group F on 4 points, anything can happen.

Official SS Lazio photo

Who played for Sturm Graz

Siebenhandl, Gazibegovic, Affengruber, Wuthrich, Dante, Hierlander (76' Ljubic), Stankovic, Prass (84' Ingolitsch), Horvat (70' Kiteishvili); Ajeti (76' Sarkaria), Boving (70' Fuseini).

Substitutes: Maric, Schutzenauer, Borkovic, Jantscher, Oroz, Schnegg, Wels.

Manager: Ilzer.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel, Hysaj, Gila (74' Patric), Romagnoli, Marusic (46' Lazzari), Milinkovic –Savic (63' Vecino), Cataldi, Luis Alberto, Felipe Anderson (46' Zaccagni), Immobile, Pedro (72' Cancellieri).

Substitutes: Maximiano, Magro, Radu, Marcos Antonio, Basic, Romero.

Manager: Sarri

Referee: Bastien (France)

Bookings: lzer, Cataldi, Hierlander, Patric, Siebenhandl, Kiteishvili

Sent off: Gazibegovic (double yellow card)


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