Lazio: Marchetti, Scaloni (71' Cavanda), Biava, Stendardo, Radu, Brocchi, Matuzalem, Zarate (71' Foggia), Hernanes, Sculli (71' Del Nero) , Klose (71' Kozak).
Once again a friendly against European opposition, in order to get tuned for the approaching season. With less than three weeks until the first official game of the season, against Rabotnicki Skopje in the final round of qualifications for Europa League, Lazio was desperate to get back to winning form and this game might have served as the booster intended.
All through the game Lazio showed superior. Once again fielding a new set of players together, Edy Reja switched back to 4-2-3-1 with Zarate getting a first chance to play together with Miroslav Klose. A partnership that bore fruit in the first half as the Argentinean, once again showing up with few tricks up his sleeve, served the lethal striker who was brought down and consequently awarded a penalty. Hernanes stepped up and securely slotted home 1-0. Other than that, a few nice intentions and a stable defense summarizes the first 45 minutes.
In the second half Lazio showed up with more speed and creativity. Not using any substitute in half time this time around, Reja gave the same eleven players time to experiment a little more. Klose emerged as second half’s most impressive player, as he both got a goal and an assist to his name. Before Lazio doubled their lead though, Cluj gave Marchetti some balls to work with as well. In minute 49 a dangerous free-kick swept past his right post, and a few minutes later the new Lazio goal keeper showed a little of what Lazio supporters can expect from him, as he miraculously saved a ball from entering his net.
After 56’ came 2-0, an act as classy as the just mentioned. Hernanes found Klose in a central position, and the German international placed the ball beautifully behind Popa, hitting the post on its way. Just five minutes later Brocchi got himself a rare goal, after being served by Klose in a well executed link-up. Lazio were by now dominating the game completely, and apart from the goals the team looked a lot livelier in the second half.
With 71 minutes on the clock four new players were brought in for Lazio, and Simone Del Nero came to be the one sticking out amongst the bunch. Entering the penalty area from the left, a few step-overs brought him in good position and with a well struck shot the player beat the Cluj goal tender. 4-0 was a fact.
Not having threatened the Lazio goal on many occasions throughout the game, the visitors created a few dangerous attacks towards the end of the game. Before the game had ended, they also managed to get one goal to their name, as Cojocean saw his attempt from close range go in behind Marchetti for the final score 4-1 in this friendly at Fiuggi.
Next for Lazio awaits Aris from Greece, and later the official team presentation at Stadio Olimpico August 11 when facing Real Sociedad of Spain.
Pictures : http://lazioland.com/GallerySub.htm?AlbumId=435
This season Lazioland.com will be providing player ratings based on the collective opinion of several contributors. The players are rated between 1-10, where 6 represents “Satisfactory”.
Today’s ratings are made by Eivind Ytreland and Juan Botello:
Del Nero: 7
Man of the match: Miroslav Klose
Was vital in today’s victory. With his good positioning and his ability to hold the ball he created chances for himself and his team mates. Won many free-kicks and a penalty in the first half. In the second half he first scored a goal, before assisting Brocchi at the third.
Flop of the match: Luis Pedro Cavanda
Not the most impressive performance by the young defender. Was caught out of position on several occasions and was to blame for Cluj's goal. Showed he still has a lot to work on if he wants more time on the pitch this season.