Debut with knockout for Paulo Sousa on the grenade bench. After the long fast in the league, Ciro scored in the 60th and 69th minutes from a penalty. Bronn expelled, Luis Alberto misses a penalty in the final
February 19 – Salerno
Immobile is back, Lazio is back. After unlocking himself in the cup, Ciro breaks his fast (it had lasted for five matches) also in the league and Sarri’s team returns to winning even in Serie A (he was back from 2 points in the last three games). The biancoceleste formation plays better, always controls the match (except in the very first minutes), shows a good game at times and adds the goals of its center forward (never like this year arrived with the dropper). Legitimate success that relaunches the ambitions of the biancocelesti in the Champions League race. On the other hand, Paulo Sousa’s debut on the Salernitana bench is bitter. The Portuguese coach (who has only had three training sessions available to prepare for the match) must be granted all extenuating circumstances, but his team’s performance cannot help but worry in view of a sprint that promises to be very delicate.
a lot of possession, few shots
Sarri lines up Lazio with five new features compared to Thursday’s match in the Conference with Cluj. Provedel, Marusic, Cataldi, Luis Alberto and Pedro return, Maximiano, Lazzari, Marcos Antonio, Milinkovic and Zaccagni leave. In reality, Milinkovic was expected to be on the pitch, but night gastritis puts him out of action (he goes on the bench). Sousa, at his first on the Salernitana bench, decides to start without overturning Nicola’s approach to the team. He confirms the formation of the last few games (3-4-2-1) and changes only three men compared to the last match played by the grenades in Verona. But two novelties are dictated by the injuries of Dia and Troost Ekong. The former is replaced by Bonazzoli, the latter by Daniliuc. The other change is in midfield, where Coulibaly is preferred to Nicolussi Caviglia. Lazio starts at a slow trot, while Salernitana dives into the match with a decidedly more proactive attitude. But the blaze of the hosts lasts only a few minutes (the first ten). Time to register Candreva’s attempt from inside the area (providently stopped by Hysaj) and Daniliuc’s header that ends just over from a good position. Then Lazio took control of the operations and never let go. At the end of the first half the possession of the guests will be close to 70%. But, in the face of so much technical superiority, there are few conclusions towards the opposing goal of Sarri’s team. Also because Sousa makes his players play very closely and finding spaces in the opposing defense is not easy for Immobile and his teammates. However, Lazio are close to scoring on three occasions. Immobile tries first from a secluded position (Sepe doesn’t let himself be caught), then Vecino who hits with a sure blow, but is stopped by Daniliuc. Then it’s Pedro’s turn (and here Sepe surpasses himself). In the end of time Salernitana also shows up with a nice volley from Candreva that Provedel repels with difficulty.
The second half begins with a substitution by Sousa. Outside the off Vilhena and inside Valencia. But the inertia of the game does not change. It is always Lazio that dictates the operations, with Salernitana who are concerned only with blocking their trocar. However, compared to the first half, Sarri’s team increased the revs of its engine. And the results are visible immediately. Repeated possession of the ball translates into more concrete goals. After a couple of attempts by Pedro, the goal that unlocks the game arrives in the quarter of an hour and Immobile scores it, as expected. On the launch of Vecino for Marusic on the right wing, the grenade defense is found uncovered. The full-back’s thrust leaves no escape, as does his strong and precise low cross for Immobile who rushes to the far post: left-footed touch by the captain and goal number 190 for him in Serie A. Ten minutes after his goals in the top championship become 191 (Hamrin detached, eighth place alone in the all-time ranking of A scorers, an early gift for his 33rd birthday tomorrow). Ciro converts from the penalty spot a penalty that he obtains by slipping between Pirola (who delays the intervention) and Sepe who comes out desperately and crashes on him. At that point the game shuts down. Sousa uses all the other substitutions available to him. He brings in Kastanos (for Bonazzoli), Botheim (for Piatek), Sambia (for Crnigoj) and Lovato (for Pirola), but the substance doesn’t change at all. Sarri also makes some players catch their breath in view of the second leg of the Conference next Thursday. Enter Basic (for Vecino), Romero for Pedro) and Cancellieri (for Immobile). Salernitana stops, Lazio trots, but does not disdain a few bets forward. On one of the latter, in the 89th minute, Cancellieri earned a penalty (foul by Bronn who was then sent off for a second yellow card for protesting). Luis Alberto goes to the spot (with Immobile out). But the Spaniard gets his shot rejected by Sepe and then on the rebuttal, with an empty net (the Salernitana goalkeeper is down), he incredibly puts out.
February 19, 2023 (change February 19, 2023 | 17:16)
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