Things had not being going to plan for Lazio so far this season in Serie A. Having conceded 20 goals in all competitions the team that kept 21 clean sheets in the league last season seemed to be lost. It’s been reported that the club’s top brass are more concerned with the player’s performances then Gaffer Maurizio Sarri. However the Champions league had given some hope to the Laziali so far with late goals coming against Atletico Madrid and tonight’s opponents Celtic.
The Scots were beaten 6-0 last time out in Madrid and had a point to prove. Lazio on the other hand hoped to use this fixture to further cement their place in the round of 16 after Christmas. Sarri was without the suspended Matias Vecino and his injured centre half pairing of Alessio Romagnoli and Nicolo Casale. Ciro Immobile started on the bench tonight so Taty Castellanos stepped in.
In the end it was the club’s record scorer who came off the bench to make the difference. After an even first half he was brought on with half an hour left and pounced on two chances in three minutes to ensure Lazio’s 2-0 victory despite a late penalty shout for the visitors that was given then revoked after the Referee decided to review the footage and found Patric hadn’t made enough contact with the attacker. An important three points for the standings and morale as Ciro the hero reigns tonight in Rome. Here’s how the squad scored out of 10:
Ivan Provedel – 6
Caught in a mix up with his own centre half and Kyogo Furuhashi but didn’t have a serious save to make in the first half. A loose touch gave away a corner but he made up for it with a great diving save.
Manuel Lazzari – 6.5
Sprang into life in the second half. Ventured forward and Pounced to create opportunities and cross.
Patric – 5.5
Staying in charge of the defence. Encouraged those around him to highlight these qualities. Backline rarely tested during the first period however. At the death he put a hand on a Celtic attacker but this ultimately wasn’t deemed enough for a spot kick.
Mario Gila – 6.5
His intervention knocked the ball past his own keeper but they recovered. Had an impressive first half including slide tackles and interceptions. Still room to improve as he had his back turned on Furuhashi. Overall an impressive showing with most duels won.
Adam Marusic – 5.5
The odd loose pass. Got through a good amount defensively and battled. A lapse in concentration led to a Celtic chance. Got more involved as the game progressed.
Matteo Guendouzi – 6
Started with a weak header that should’ve been on target. Good movement looking for options and crosses. Involved in generating most attacks.
Nicolo Rovella – 4.5
Loose touch early on. Got himself booked and will miss the final match in Madrid. Didn’t impose himself too much.
Luis Alberto – 5.5
Range of passing was on show and he looked more alert then before the break after a rest. After the break things got a little bit careless and many passes didn’t reach their target. Really should’ve put away a chance with 10 to go.
Felipe Anderson – 5
Wasted a lot of opportunities to pass his defender and advance. Headed into the ground when he should’ve scored. Creative spark to thread a ball through to Isaksen but this proved to be his last involvement as he was taken off.
Taty Castellanos – 5
Needed to be sharper on the ball and to give options. Lost his marker at a corner but couldn’t direct header goalwards. His substitution proved to be for the greater good.
Gustav Isaksen – 6.5
Looked a little bit nervous. Touch was loose and was hesitant on the ball. Improved as the match went on though. His deflected shot led to the first goal and he got an assist for the second. Positive.
Ciro Immobile – 8
Was brought on just after the hour. Was frustrated with a lack of quality in passes. He took his chances to score two very important goals for the Biancocelesti. Both finishes were very well taken. Clinical.
Pedro – 4.5
Better performance then Saturday. Endeavoured to create but still wasn’t able to make a big impact.