Lazio vs Genoa 0-1: Biancocelesti Slump to Home Defeat

Genoa hadn’t beat Lazio in a competitive match since 2019 but they changed that tonight at the Olimpico.

Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri named an unchanged starting 11 from the first outing against Lecce last week that ended in a 2-1 defeat.  Newly promoted Genoa were coming into the game on the back of a heavier defeat themselves, losing 4-1 to Fiorentina.

New Italy International Mateo Retegui had the first chance of the night after heading into the hands of Ivan Provedel after three minutes but it was a sign of things to come. Johan Vazquez sent in a cross that turned into a shot and came off the corner of the crossbar a few minutes later for the visitors.

The only goal of the game came in the 16th minute from Retegui for his first goal in the Italian Top Flight. A cross was headed out and Provedel got down well to save the follow up shot. Unfortunately for the keeper, a lack of communication between Alessio Romagnoli and Adam Marusic allowed the 24 year old new recruit to head into an empty net from close range.

Lazio were slow to kick into gear and it took a penalty shot for Immobile on the half hour mark to get them going. Dragusin bundled the Captain off the ball but Referee Livio Marinelli waved it away instantly. Genoa battened down the hatches at this point and it was a shame we didn’t get to see much more positive play from the Grifone all evening as they settled into a defensive block.

On the 43rd minute Zaccagni was sandwiched between two defenders and had his teammates up in arms. VAR had a look and decided there was nothing in the challenge. The volume rose in the Olimpico as the home support urged their team forward in the six minutes of added time. Lazzari and Anderson worked the ball out wide to send in a cross to Daichi Kamada who fired over. Luis Alberto tried his luck direct from a corner on the stroke of half time and Genoa shot stopper Josep Martinez had to tip it over the bar.

There was some tension as the teams came off the pitch at half time with the home side obviously frustrated.

Neutrals would’ve hoped for a more attacking display in the 2nd period from Genoa but they were to be disappointed as Alberto Gilardino obviously had different ideas for his team talk with his team rarely threatening Provedel’s box after the break. The most positive player for the Grifone had to be Albert Gudmundsson who carried the ball upfield constantly to give his defence some respite.

Lazio meanwhile had been reminded of the existence of their wide players and this is where most  of their play was. Mattia Zaccagni had a shot wide on the 50th minute and after some speculative efforts from Casale and Luis Alberto, Zaccagni forced Martinez – who gave a good performance between the posts – into a save from a free kick after an hour of play.

On 65 minutes came Lazio’s best chance, a cross bounced onto Immobile’s knee and he poked the ball onto the crossbar with his toe. Japan international Daichi Kamada really struggled again in the middle of the park and some loose passes let his side down in the build up play, with most joy coming from Lazzari. Anderson and Marusic were taken off along with Kamada with 20 minutes left.

Gilardino made a triple sub himself as goalscorer Retegui was subbed off. Sarri tried to rescue something by bringing on Taty Castellanos for Danilo Cataldi with 10 minutes left. Genoa right back Stefano Sabelli had been crunching into tackles all evening and putting himself about very well so he earned the five minute rest he got when subbed off in the 85th minute.

The Biancocelesti struggled to make a clear cut chance in the dying minutes and ended up with three yellows from a silly foul from Luca Pellegrini, and Immobile and Zaccagni getting booked in frustration. The keeper was sent up for the last corner of the match but it was in vain.

For Genoa their 1st away day back in Serie A will get rid of any bad taste left from their first outing. A valiant if not glamorous defensive display. For Lazio though it’s another three points dropped that they could  come to regret come May.