Genoa: Frey; Granqvist, Portanova, Manfredini; Cassani (25’ Ferronetti), Kucka, Matuzalem, Rossi (68’ M Rigoni), Moretti; Bertolacci (74’ Olivera); Borriello
Lazio: Marchetti; Ciani, Cana, Radu; Konko, Gonzalez, Ledesma (64’ Brocchi, 71’ Pereirinha), Mauri, Lulic; Floccari, Klose (46’ Kozak)
Another weak display from Lazio in the league and the team is slipping away from the top positions and slowly getting caught by teams approaching from behind. After a first half that has been labeled as the weakest under current coach the team managed to fight back in the second and had the game tied at 2-2 until the very last minute of injury time, where the weak defending cost Lazio a third goal.
Genoa have turned into one of those nightmare opponents, with Lazio recording a fourth straight loss against the northerners. The three points helped ex-Lazio coach Ballardini to climb above the relegation zone, in the meantime recording Lazio’s second consecutive loss and adding the third straight game where the Romans have failed to get full points.
The first half was a slow one with few highlights to report on. Genoa walked off the pitch with a comfortable 2-0 lead; two goals that came from the only two clear cut chances in the half. At 16’ Borriello capitalized with a powerful shot after a corner, where the Lazio defenders went missing and the closest marker, Cana, statically watched the striker blast home his seventh goal of the season.
Six minutes later Bertolacci doubled the lead with a well taken strike from outside the area, but again it was the Lazio defending that went missing. The gap between defenders and midfielders was too wide and as Bertolacci advanced no one was there to block his path. With a powerful and well placed strike Marchetti was beaten and Lazio looked like a beaten team in half time.
Petkovic had been forced to, again, make multiple changes. Without putting too much focus on the failure of adding quality to the side in January, the absence of Hernanes as well as suspended Biava and Dias proved too much for the team to handle in the end. Add to this that Klose picked up a knee strain and was subbed at half time and that Brocchi was brutally tackled from behind, by previous team mate Matuzalem, and brought off shortly after being inserted and the full picture is emerging. Lazio will struggle to field a fit and preferred eleven for a long time to come.
The second half was a lot better for the visitors. Cana moved slightly higher up the pitch, anchoring the midfield and allowing Ledesma and Gonzalez to move a little more freely. It was Genoa withdrawing the pressure that started looking like the key to turning this game around. Before Lazio got a goal, Borriello cpuld have killed off the game with a scissor-kick that missed the goal by inches only.
With a little more than 30 minutes left previous Genoa striker Floccari beat the offside trap and smashed in 2-1 with a powerful shot from close distance. Lazio looked to be taking over the game fully when first Lulic’s attempt was parried by Frey, while Konko missed an open goal with another trademark weak Konko-touch on the ball.
The equalizer did come though. Borriello brought down Cana inside the penalty area and Taglivaento had no choice but to point at the spot. Mauri stepped up and in minute 82 the game was tied. The final push for a win was now on the menu and Lazio did try to get all three points and a confident boosting turnaround of the game recorded.
In the end the shockingly weak defensive display cost Lazio also the hard fought point. With five minutes added there were many Laziali who were hoping there was time enough for the Biancocelesti to win all three points, but in the end it was Genoa that celebrated the win. In the very last minute of the game, seconds after Marchetti miraculously saved a header from Borriello. The ball was pushed out for a throw in and it was the Genoa capitalized. Granqvist headed the throw in further inside the penalty area and there an unmarked Rigono easily headed home 3-2.
Lazio will have to bounce back sooner rather than later as the dropped points against bottom placed Palermo, Genoa and Chievo are costing costly. During these three games Lazio have only collected one point, while Milan and Fiorentina have come closer. Above the Romans Juventus and next opponents Napoli are leaving the rest behind, with Lazio nine points behind the league leaders and six points behind the second place that only a few weeks ago was reality for Lazio.