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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Disappointing draw confirms Lazio's withdrawal from title race

Updated: Feb 29

Game 33, Serie A

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Dacia Arena, Udine

Udinese Lazio 0-0

A lacklustre performance means Lazio must start looking over their shoulders to at least salvage a Champions League place

Official SS Lazio photo

It was pouring with rain in Udine. Both teams were low on confidence and played with the same 3-5-2 formation and so the approach was very cautious. Lazio were still without Lucas Leiva and Adam Marusic.

Lazio were the first to come out of their shell and Manuel Lazzari was particularly active on the right. The first chance was for Lazio when Luis Alberto fed Immobile in the area, Ciro turned and shot but it ricocheted off a defender and went wide. Udinese answered with a Kevin Lasagna counterattack which then culminated with a Rodrigo De Paul shot just over the bar.

Lazzari continued to be the liveliest Lazio player and he had a powerful long range shot saved over the bar by Juan Musso. A few minutes later Luis Alberto passed to Lazzari on the right who crossed in for Immobile, but his connecting volley was central. Lazio were in control but looked tired, the ball did not circulate quickly enough to really put the home side under pressure.

The Friulani absorbed Lazio's superior ball possession and territorial dominance and tried to strike on the break. They had a good chance before halftime when Ken Sema crossed from the left to Rodrigo Becao on the far post, the Brazilian hit a close range volley but luckily did not connect perfectly, it bounced up off the ground and Thomas Strakosha saved into corner. Halftime Udinese 0 Lazio 0. A tense game of few chances with Lazio on top but lacking the pre-lockdown energy and fire.

The second half started with Lazio's defence handing Udinese several chances to score. First a messed-up exit from defence by Jony, Francesco Acerbi and Stefan Radu gave Lasagna a clear shot at goal but Luiz Felipe managed to wall it with his chest. Then a long ball out of defence saw Lasagna win a challenge with Luiz Felipe and then completely outpace him arriving in the area with only Strakosha to beat and shoot through the keeper's legs, one of which luckily deflected the ball into corner.

Udinese took courage from Lazio's mistakes and De Paul had a superb 30-metre long range shot tipped over for a corner by Strakosha. Lazio reacted but the fact that it was with a hopeful left footed Bastos effort from outside the area, which went high, shows things were not really working. Udinese then had the last chance of the game when Fofana went on a good run and left the ball to De Paul, in shooting range just outside the box, his crisp low strike however hit the outside of the post to Strakosha's right and went wide.

So a game Lazio had to win and risked losing ended up in a goalless draw. A fair result all things considered, Lazio on top in the first half and Udinese having more chances in the second. A point each which was not particularly satisfactory to either team but beggars can't be choosers at this stage of the season.

Who played for Udinese

Musso, De Maio, Nuytinck (83' Samir), Becao, Stryger Larsen, Fofana, Jajalo (45+1' Walace), De Paul, Sema (68' Ter Avest), Okaka (68' Teodorczyk), Lasagna

Substitutes: Nicolas, Perisan, Troost-Ekong, Mazzolo, Palumbo, Ballarini, Zeegelaar, Nestorovski

Manager: Gotti

Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Proto, Guerrieri, Vavro, Armini, Jorge Silva, Falbo, André Anderson

Manager: S. Inzaghi

Referee: Abisso



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