ROME. He always thinks about it. Immobile keeps Lazio in the running for the Italian Cup. With suffering, sacrifice and a lot of difficulty, Sarri’s team overtook Udinese in extra time and won the quarter-final scheduled for February against Milan. The mid-shot entry of the most profiled striker in his history was needed to unlock a game full of pitfalls in the first minute of the second extra-time, played without too much speed and aggression by the biancoceleste team, unable to break through the wall of Udinese, skilled in starting again with poisonous actions and resisting the assaults. Sarri has to thank the speed of Ciro the Great who with a lob on the edge of the open game chases away threatening clouds that were gathering on the Olimpico avoiding that the turn was decided on penalties. The coach can thus continue to chase the only trophy he misses on the bulletin board, which he touched when he was sitting on the Juventus bench. In truth, Sarri won an Italian Cup but in Serie D with Sansovino. A whole different story.
It was not easy for the Biancocelesti to deserve this passage of the round. The poor quality offered by Luis Alberto, the inconsistencies of Felipe Anderson and the lack of incisiveness of an even willing Muriqi have lengthened the wait. Then Immobile thought about returning the smile to a Lazio that still shows several gaps, especially in terms of continuity of play. Sarri focuses on Savic and Luis Alberto from 1 ‘. In attack, space for Muriqi with Zaccagni and Felipe Anderson completing the department while Immobile starts from the bench. Silvestri returns to Udinese, confirmed Soppy and Udogie. Lazio, which deploys a very narrow defense, tries to immediately raise the pace of the match and dictate the game by pushing on the outside. In twenty minutes two clear scoring chances are built, the first with Muriqi who heads a cross from Luis Alberto from the flag (saved by Silvestri) and the second with the same Spanish playmaker who collects a perfect assist from Felipe Anderson but prevaricates too much in the area, he is slow in coordination, allowing the return of the host defense. Udinese suffers from the poisonous cuts of the biancocelesti (Becao saves in front of goal on Muriqi) but defends himself with order, holds up the impact of the biancocelesti and makes himself in a couple of enterprising situations with Udogie and Success that on Pussetto’s ball kicks first in front of Reina finding on the trajectory Marusic who at dead weight saves a dangerous conclusion.
The first 45 ‘slipped away without further emotions in front of a semi-deserted Olympic. Lazio need a more dynamic and proactive Luis Alberto to undermine the defense of the Friulians who aim to play on the counterattack. In the second half Sarri changes Leiva for Cataldi and Moro for Zaccagni, victim of a hard contact between ankle and fibula. The plot of the match does not change, Lazio tries to sink but the solution of the last pass lacks speed and Udinese grows and finds more courage by becoming dangerous with Soppy and Success who keep the biancoceleste rearguard in check. They are the Biancocelesti now in trouble, the quality of Luis Alberto continues to be lacking, who seems a shadow of himself compared to that of a season ago. Felipe Anderson and Milinkovic-Savic can be seen little and badly and Pedro’s absence is felt. While Farri prevaricates to let in Immobile, the true driving force of Lazio, Cioffi surprisingly replaces Success, the best of the Friulians, for Beto in the 67th minute with the aim of making the team more covered. The entry of the Lazio top scorer in place of Muriqi is immediately felt: on his first opportunity he touches the post but the action was still spoiled by offside. Lazio pushes in the final to avoid extra time and suddenly a double chance is built with Milinkovic who is sure to be countered by Silvestri who parries by instinct and with Raul Moro who on the rebound is rejected by Udogie. We go to extra time. A new 30-minute match begins. The Immobile unlocks in the first minute of the extra time that takes advantage of a vertical launch by Cataldi. On the edge of the offside between the two central players Ciro appears in front of Silvestri and with a lob packs the goal that is worth the passage to the quarterfinals.