Sassuolo vs Lazio: 0-2 Anderson and Alberto’s Double Whammy

Serie A was back this weekend after the international break and the first day of action was rounded of by Sassuolo and Lazio in Emilia Romagna. The Neroverdi have already claimed wins over Inter and Juventus this season and wanted to collect another big scalp against Lazio tonight. But a disappointing defensive display meant they fell victim to Anderson and Alberto’s double whammy. Here’s how things went at the Citta del Tricolore

The game started with a few half chances for the visiting team. Felipe Anderson skipped past challenges out wide and Luis Alberto gave the Brazilian plenty of service. Alberto got on the end of a return pass from Anderson but couldn’t direct it goalwards. This rhythm continued for the next few minutes with Sassuolo penned in their own half. As they tried to escape they developed a bad habit of giving the ball away straight to the Lazio front-line. Ruan Tressoldi passed to Alberto’s feet and he offloaded to Anderson who should’ve finished from close range.

Anderson and Alberto’s Double Whammy:

An oddly familair situation occured ten minutes later as Tressoldi couldn’t get his feet sorted out again and was dispossessed by Alberto. This time Taty Castellanos picked up the ball and found Anderson who made no mistake at the second time of asking. Seeing the Neroverdi defence in chaos must have been a sweet sight for Lazio’s creative fulcrum – Luis Alberto – and he made sure not to miss out. The ball was drilled in low from the wing and neither centre half seemed capable of clearing it. A real gift was presented to the Spanish midfielder and he stayed composed to dink it over Andrea Consigli. Sassuolo’s supporters were disapointed at half time and they had every right to be, their team hadn’t registered a single shot at all, never mind one on goal in the first period. Andrea Pinamonti was a spectator upfront in what was a disastrous 45 minutes. You would Imagine Alessio Dionisi’s Team talk at the break was quite a grim affair.

Sassuolo Try to Fight Back:

Sassuolo had nothing to lose so endevoured to fight back. A few shots flashed wide or over the crossbar but the Biancoceleste clean sheet remained intact. Up the other end Manuel Lazzari was enjoying his opportunities on the counter attack and one of his crosses gave the fresh legs of Danilo Cataldi something to hit. The Italian struck sweetly on the bounce off the post, almost closing the game off. There was drama and controversy soon after though.

Provedel Lives Life on the Edge:

Just after the hour mark what should have been a harmless long ball became a point of controversy likely to be debated and reviewed over the weekend. Provedel came to claim before his two defenders but strayed outside the box. It looked as if Lazio would finish with ten men as Marco Di bello brandished the red card. VAR deliberations followed and eventually to the shock of the home side the card was rescinded. On closer inspection it was established while the ‘keeper’s body was ouside the box the ball hovered over the white line as he reached to grasp it. Life on the edge.

As the half progressed Sassuolo’s attack grew in confidence.One of the brightest sparks for the Emilia-Romagna club was the young Frenchman Armand Lauriente. Brave enough to run at defenders he caught out Patric and Lazzari on occasion. The likeliest route back looked like it went through him but this never materialized. The closest they came was Domenico Berardi’s shot straight into the Goalie’s arms.

Matias Vecino replaced Matteo Guendouzi to reinforce the starting 11 but he should have finished off the game with eight minutes remaining. Another Anderson bullet shot across the box and the Uruguayan got good contact but couldn’t steer it between the posts with his instep. The final few minutes were full of corners and offsides. In fairness to Sassuolo they kept persevering well into injury time but the story of their night was the lack of quality.

A defence that looked on the verge of collapse every time it was tested will not be an easy thing to fix for Dionisi during the week but some passages of play left an awful lot to be desired. Perhaps if Provedel had been given his marching orders we would be discussing a different game but in top flight football it is the fine margins that make the difference and Laziali will be thankful they got the job done thanks to Anderson and Alberto’s double whammy against a team that proved unbeatable for two powerhouses so far.