Immobile Strike Earns Lazio Fourth Consecutive League Win

In Round 19 of Serie A, Lazio were looking to clinch their fourth consecutive league win as Simone Inzaghi’s men welcomed Sassuolo at the Stadio Olimpico. The Neroverdi were keen to come back to winning ways after a 1-1 draw against Parma a week ago. Before the kick-off, both teams were breathing down each other’s neck, with only a point separating the two sides in the table.

As expected, the game turned out to be a close and tight encounter, with Ciro Immobile netting his 13th goal of this Serie A season to keep Lazio in the hunt for the Champions League places.

The two managers opted for completely different tactical set-up, with Inzaghi sticking to his preferred 3-5-1-1, whereas Roberto De Zerbi went for a four-man back line in 4-2-3-1. Lazio were missing one of their outstanding performers this season in Luis Alberto; however, the striker partnership of Joaquin Correa and a team’s top-scorer Ciro Immobile was leading the line once again.

In contrast, De Zerbi made a whole lot of changes in his team selection, starting with the formation. The 41-year-old Italian decided to return to a back four system, with only Gian Marco Ferrari keeping his place in the starting lineup following last Sunday’s draw. Manuel Locatelli, Pedro Obiang and Filip Djuricic were also back after sitting out the game against Parma, whilst Francesco Caputo remained the lone striker up top.

The opening minutes of the game offered little to no threat on either end of the pitch until the fifth minute when Djuricic won the ball back and rolled it through to Hamed Traore whose effort from inside the box was brilliantly blocked by one of Lazio’s defenders.

Nevertheless, it took just over a minute for Sassuolo to create another big chance. It was Djuricic again who fed the ball through to Caputo as the 33-year-old veteran striker calmly picked it up inside the penalty box and sent it into the bottom left corner. Pepe Reina was left helpless as Sassuolo took an early 1-0 lead.

After conceding, Lazio immediately started to impose their game on Sassuolo by maintaining longer spells of possession. It slowly paid dividends as the home side created two decent chances within a couple of minutes. First, Adam Marusic got the shot away in the 13th minute, but his effort went just wide of the left post. Moments later, Correa missed a good chance to level the score as he directed his header well over the bar.

Lazio kept dominating the possession, but it took the home side nearly ten minutes for the next opportunity to come. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic won the ball back high up the pitch from Locatelli and played a delightful through ball for Correa whose shot from a couple of yards out was deflected over.

Nonetheless, Lazio finally got their reward as Milinkovic-Savic jumped the highest inside the box and towered home a powerful header to meet the resulting corner. A well-deserved goal for Lazio who looked a far better side in the last 20 minutes.

The final 15 minutes of the first half saw little action from both teams, though Lazio remained the more dangerous of the two. It ended with Immobile’s powerful volley from the edge of the box, which was comfortably saved by Andrea Consigli.

The second half started with both teams interchanging short spells of possession, but neither of the two managed to impose any considerable threat on the opposition. By the 55th minute, the game started to open up a bit, with both sides showing more intent by moving the ball at speed to the offensive zones of the pitch.

However, a more assertive game approach from both teams did not result in many chances created. Neither Lazio nor Sassuolo managed to properly test the opposing goalkeepers for more than 15 minutes.

Nevertheless, in the 71st minute, the game was brought back to life as Adam Marusic got down the left-wing to the by-line, pulled it back to Immobile, who unleashed a first time shot into the far bottom corner making it 2-1 to Lazio.

The home team had the last glorious opportunity to kill the game off completely in the first minute of stoppage time, but at first, Vedat Muriqi’s low drive and then Gonzalo Escalante’s weak follow-up were comfortably denied by Consigli.

The fourth consecutive league win sees Lazio remain seventh in the league standings, with only three points separating the two clubs from Rome. In contrast, Sassuolo have slipped down to the ninth place, currently losing out to Verona on goal difference.  



January 24, 2021 – Serie A 2020-21 Round 19

SCORERS: 6′ Caputo (S), 25′ Milinkovic-Savic (L), 71′ Immobile (L)

LAZIO (3-5-2): Reina; Patric, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari (75′ Lulic), Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas Leiva (76′ Escalante), Akpa Akpro, Marusic; Correa, Immobile (86′ Muriqi) (Alia, Furlanetto, Armini, Hoedt, Parolo, Fares, Czyz, Pereira, Caicedo) Coach: S. Inzaghi
SASSUOLO (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Muldur (91′ Raspadori), Ferrari, Marlon, Rogerio; Locatelli, Obiang (76′ M. Lopez); Traoré (76′ Boga), Djuricic, Defrel (46′ Haraslin); Caputo (Pegolo, Turati, Ayhan, Peluso, Kyriakopoulos, Magnanelli, Oddei, Toljan) Coach: De Zerbi

REFEREE: Mr. Giua from Olbia
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Patric, Lucas Leiva (L), Marlon, Ferrari (S); Extra Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 3′