Lazio vs Genoa: Post Match Review
The sun was shining this Sunday upon the Stadio Olimpico where Lazio, currently sitting in 9th place in Serie A took on Genoa in 15th.
The game started at a frantic pace, Lazio getting out of the blocks early like they have done a few times this season, putting their opponents onto the back foot from the off. There was a real confidence, a swagger as they played the ball about the pitch with a real purpose. Clearly showing that they could go toe to toe with arguably the best team in Italy in midweek despite not coming away with anything to show did nothing to harm the teams spirit.
On the 7th minute Milinkovic-Savic was rewarded for his pressing work as the Serbian started and finished a fine move by coolly finishing into the top corner after receiving the ball from Ciro Immobile. This composure was missing from the midweek game against Inter and was a sign of what was to come in the game. 1-0
Lazio had their blushes spared by Thomas Strakosha on the 9th minute as the Albanian managed to pull of an excellent save to deny Romero at point blank range, the goalkeeper in my opinion is massively underrated and todays performance would have gone a long way to remove some of his doubters. On the 20th minute the Albanian showed another side of his game, dropping a perfect through the Genoa defensive line to Ciro Immobile who dribbled the ball into the area before shooting straight into the arms of Radu.
Strakosha was called upon again on the 24th minute, this time Lazio’s main man between the sticks made an incredible double save to deny Cassata and Lerager. It is argued that teams should always look to lead from the front, however today Lazio were clearly building from the back and Strakosha’s performance certainly was one to be praised.
Not many sides this season have been able to deal with the deadly partnership of Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto, Genoa came unstuck to their magic on the 35th minute. This time a role reversal seen Immobile play a ball to Alberto who tucked the ball away, the goal though would be chalked off after VAR reviews showed that Milinkovic-Savic had committed a foul in the build up play.
The wrongs were put to right on the 40th minute and my word what a goal it was from Stephan Radu, the Romanian doesn’t score often but when he does they are usually gold. Today no different, his strike into the postage stamp had his teammates in awe!
Genoa made a double change in the second half with Pandev and Pajac replacing Lerager and Barreca, it looked as if Andreazzoli was looking to play a more direct game. The changes nearly paid off on the 48th minute Pajac played a flat cross to Sanabria who somehow put his header wide of the mark.
Lazio and the early substitute Felipe Caicedo extended their lead after Milinkovic-Savic played the ball down the left side of Genoa which cut out the Rossoblù defense. The Ecuadorian jumped Radu and slotted the ball over the line from an angled position. 3-0
Domenico Criscito tested Strakosha from long range in the 71st minute, his powerful effort from distance had to be tipped around the post by the keeper.
The final goal of the game was scored by Ciro Immobile, however kudos goes to Luiz Felipe who did all the work to create the goal after taking on 3 Genoa defenders before passing to Immobile who scored to grab his 5th goal in his past 6 games. The icing on the cake seen Immobile run to the touchline and give Simone Inzaghi a hug, instantly putting an end to all the rumours circulating in the media of a feud between the two. 4-0
Lazio vs Genoa: Statistical Analysis
There were some dominant performances across the park today for Lazio, as you can see from the below image Lazio focus a lot of their play down their left hand side. Lucas Leiva and Luis Alberto both put in commanding performances on the ball, ensuring Lazio’s build up play was fluid and crisp.
The Spaniard showed his ability to go past players today completing 4 from 4 take-ons. Luis Alberto in my opinion is one of Lazio’s key players and his performances over the last few weeks will have quite a few Liverpool fans scratching their heads wondering why he didn’t reach his potential playing in the Premier League.
Finally I would like to pick out Francesco Acerbi for his passing display, the Italian defender completed 99% of his passes against Genoa. The diagram below shows that the majority of these were positive in terms of direction, with displays like this he really is integral to good Lazio performance.
Lazio vs Genoa: Man of the Match
Todays Man of the Match for me goes to Milinkovic-Savic, the Serbian put in a commanding performance seeing his claim a goal and an assist. He played 3 key passes throughout the match and his work ethic on the pitch was one which made his fellow team mates take note and follow suit.