Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri has singled out a key reason behind his side’s transformative performance to stun Napoli 2-1 on Saturday. Despite facing long odds in south Italy, Biancocelesti picked themselves up from a disastrous start to the season to trounce the reigning Serie A holders at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
While the final score may lead those who didn’t watch the game to believe it was a close encounter, it was anything but dramatic. Following a slow start to the game, Lazio found their rhythm midway through the first half. Luis Alberto’s backheel masterpiece propelled the visitors in front around the half-hour mark.
Napoli replied instantaneously through Piotr Zielinski to secure a 1-1 draw at halftime. However, Lazio regained the lead quickly after the break as newcomer Daichi Kamada scored his first Serie A goal to get Biancocelesti back on track after back-to-back losses to Lecce and Genoa.
Lazio could’ve left Naples with a more comprehensive triumph. But VAR interfered twice to disallow goals from Mattia Zaccagni and Matteo Guendouzi. Sarri won’t be bothered much by the final score as his men finally got into the win column in 2023/24 and against Napoli of all teams.
In the post-match interview, he explained the main reason behind his side’s stellar result at the Maradona Stadium.
“It was a good performance. The first half we were under pressure, but after the restart, I think we dominated,” the Lazio boss told DAZN, as relayed by Gianluca Di Marzio.
“We scored 3-1 twice, it felt like the extra goal was in the air. It’s a pity they were disallowed. Our second half proves that fitness levels were not the issue. It was just about mentality and today we were strong there too, because we held out under pressure, continued to keep our focus even after two disallowed goals, and brought home the win.
“This was the mentality we didn’t show in the first two games,” the thrilled Lazio tactician finished.
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