Tuesday Oct 20, 2020  
  20/07/2011: Friendly: Lazio - Luzern 5-1
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First half: Lazio: Marchetti, Lulic, Stankevicius, Diakite, Scaloni, Bresciano, Matuzalem, Cana, Sculli, Zarate, Floccari.
Luzern: Zibung, Thiesson, Fanger, Kibebe, Kryyeziu, Kukelu, Lustenberget (50' Yanko Pankar), Hyka, Winter, Wiss, Ianu. 

In what looked like a classic 4-4-2 formation, Lazio fielded what has been most seen as the second string players in the first half. It is becoming more and more obvious Reja will go for a back four, where one of the two side backs will have offensive features while the other side has a more conservative and traditional defender. In the first half, Lulic proved to have great offensive qualities and set up the second goal (27’) of the evening after a great run penetrating the Luzern penalty area and sending a cross that found Zarate who only had to finish off the attack.

Lazio had managed to get the lead as early as in the 4th minute with Zarate getting his first goal of the game. A low Scaloni cross found Mauro in the box and the Argentinean made no mistake on the first chance on goal of the evening.

In the great scenery of Auronzo di Cadore the spectators were given a fairly boring first 45 minutes. Luzern proved a little stronger initially, while the dark-blue Lazio overtook the possession as the half continued.

In the 9th minute Diakite went close after a Zarate corner, and in the 32nd Floccari should have added a third goal as he missed an open goal after trying to fire the ball into the net with power. Other than that, Lazio struggled to create any pressure on the Luzern goal and the Swiss showed as dangerous as Lazio.

After having started the game with in a solid way, Marius Stankevicius came to play the main role in defense in the first half. In the 20th minute Scaloni lost the ball in a dangerous position on the right and Jahmir Hayka got passed Marchetti, but was denied by the Lithuanian on the goal line. Twenty minutes later the Lazio defender missed his marking and Luzern was close to grabbing a first goal but failed to capitalize. In the 44th minute however they were to celebrate, as Lazio’s new number 12 once again missed his marking, this time on a corner, and Cristian Ianu had an easy time heading the ball behind Marchetti.

The first half ended in a 2-1 lead for the biancocelesti, but the team failed to impress. Too many players are still showing signs of a lazy summer and after some days of hard training in Auronzo it is obvious the team has yet to be seen as in form. Other than Mauro Zarate, who got two goals and was outstanding in the Lazio shirt in the first half, Giuseppe Sculli is to be mentioned as another positive, while Cana, Matuzalem and Bresciano, together with Stankeviciusz, still have a long way to go before being considered starters for this Lazio.

Second half: Lazio: Marchetti, Scaloni, Diakite, Stankevicius, Lulic, Cana, Matuzalem, Foggia, Zarate, Sculli, Rocchi

Switching over to a formation resembling a 4-2-3-1, but later switching to a 4-3-1-2, only two subs took place between halves. Out went Bresciano and Floccari and in came Foggia and Rocchi. In effect, Zarate took a step back and Rocchi functioned as the prima punta while Foggia and Sculli flanked on each side.

Also in the second half Lazio held a low profile and during the first part not much happened. Apart from a dangerous header by Cana after a Zarate corner, where the Swiss defense cleared the ball just before entering the goal, no other incidents are worth reporting until 17 minutes of the second half had passed and Reja decided to change the full team.

In came: Bizzarri, Konko, Biava, Dias, Garrido, Brocchi, Ledesma, Mauri, Hernanes, Cisse and Klose. In the beginning not much happened, but after a few minutes the new eleven started moving, and it was Djibril Cisse that led the team. With the match clock on 68’ the Frenchman got a goal after Brocchi’s shot had been stopped, only to find himself offside. The spectators did not have to wait more than five minutes though until “the Black Lion” showed his quality again. Klose showed great determination in the penalty area fighting for the ball, and after sending it to Cisse, who controlled the ball beautifully, the latter easily doubled the Lazio lead.

With ten minutes left of the game number 99 stood out as most impressive Lazio player of the day. Just having advanced inside the Luzern half Cisse found Klose with a beautiful cross, and the German international showed his great goal scoring ability with a secure header making the score-line 4-1.

 Luzern did not have much to put in the way of a Lazio side that now showed more speed and looked more interested in attacking compared to the first half. Most interested of all was Djibril Cisse, who just two minutes after the latest goal showed the pace and speed he is famous for and outran the Swiss defense to serve Mauri a great pass, but the skipper failed to convert it this time. Just after that Hernanes fired a great shot from just outside the penalty area, only to see Zibung in the Luzern goal save the shot to a corner. Then Dias went close with a great header, and Cisse tested his shooting abilities after sprinting away from the defense, but once again the goalie managed to keep the ball out. On the following corner Klose was close to adding another goal to his tally, but despite a great Mauri cross the German showed also he can miss a sitter.

With the clock passing 90’ everyone was awaiting the final whistle from the referee, but the Lazio players had yet one more attempt in mind. Three minutes into the injury time Klose got the ball out to the left side of the penalty area, where Mauri caught the ball and finished the attack with a clinical shot. Once again the Luzern defense had missed in their marking, and there was nothing Zibung could do to avoid seeing Lazio make it 5-1. Shortly after the referee ended the game.

The second half saw a Lazio with a lot more creativity and a little more speed thanks to Cisse. Klose showed he knows how to find the back of the net, and the pairing of Cisse – Klose could potentially give Lazio plenty of goals this season. More than anything though, it was obvious what a difference it makes to have Dias, as his entrance secured the Lazio back line. It is also worth noting it was Lulic that was used as the more offensive winger in the first half, while Konko on the right took that role in the second. Not to be forgotten is the class midfield we get when Ledesma and Brocchi play side by side; despite this being a friendly it was clear the two of them together gives us a calamity that was far from being present with Cana and Matuzalem in the first half.

Video Highlights:

Lazio-Luzern 5-1

(Khashayar Kashefi)

Pictures : http://lazioland.com/GallerySub.htm?AlbumId=429

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