A game with many interesting things, a game with a lot of questions for both managers, a game which showed some really good football from both teams but also showed some things that surely will make coaches like Pioli and Zeman ask some questions and look for answers in the locker room and in the coming days so that their teams can progress and not only win points but play better football – tactically and physically.
Lazio started off the game in the typical for this season’s home games aggressive and attacking style looking for an early goal that will give more confidence and comfort to the team for the match. Every Serie A fan who has watched at least a couple of Zeman’s games as a coach know that he loves attacking football but surely doesn’t know what the word defence means in football. That is something which in most of the teams coached by this person bites his head off and loses games with big goal differences. Pioli’s men managed to score an early goal before the end of the opening ten minutes of the game after a corner kick and a bit of luck. The ball went into the box and it ping ponged around a few players just to reach Mauri who didn’t have any problems in converting this great chance he got a few feet in front of goal. After that first goal Lazio kept on attacking and playing better and even though Cagliari tried to make some good attacks the home team was creating interesting things in front of Cragno’s goal. Fifteen minutes later was Klose’s moment of the game. He scored after a brilliant tic-tac-toe attack between Candreva, Lulic and the German himself who had no problems in scoring the second goal of the game for his team in the goalkeeper’s box. A minute later a stolen ball and a few quick passes saw Klose score his second goal of the night. 3-0 after 26 minutes. That surely made Cagliari’s hopes of coming back into the game go down the drain and Zeman’s man had a huge mountain to climb but they looked like they don’t have the equipment to do that. They couldn’t even reach first base. They looked helpless and discouraged after those three goals in just under 30 minutes. Lazio kept on trying to score more goals but it was obvious that the tempo of the game went down, Pioli’s men went a few gears down and comfortably played the rest of the first half.
Knowing that they have nothing to lose Cagliari came out to try and get back into a game they looked like they’ve totally lost. Lazio on the other hand came out for the second half thinking that they have done their job for the night and that they will have a walk in the part for about 45 minutes. Nothing like this happened because Zeman’s suicidal attacking style gave hope to his men that they might just be able to come back from hell and win something from the game. They managed to score a quick goal after Lazio’s defence didn’t know what was happening in their own box and Braafheid scored but in the wrong net. That quick goal gave wings to Cagliari and made Lazio’s players think that this game is far from over. The guests kept on attacking and searching for another goal and Crisetig was pretty close but his shot went just over the bar. After the lighting first ten minutes of the second half Lazio looked a bit better but still not close to the confident and aggressive team that we all saw in the first half. Pioli reacted quickly by changing Klose with Djordjevic hopping that the fresh energy from the Serbian will help Lazio take control of the game like they did in the first part but nothing like this happened. A few minutes later one of Cagliari’s most active and dangerous players Ibarbo got sent off after he tried to hit Lulic who fouled him and got a yellow card for that. Even though Cagliari were left with 10 men they kept on trying to score another goal and five minutes before the end of the 90 minutes the substitute Joao Carlos made the score 3-2. Cagliari threw everything in attack in the moment but that led to a lot of free space in defence and two minutes into stoppage time Pioli’s last sub Ederson finished off the game and Lazio’s good run continues with 5 wins and a draw from their last 6 games but there are a lot of question marks that should arise in Pioli’s head after what we saw in the second half from his men. This is not the first time when Lazio play really good and attractive football in the first half and somehow manage to play in totally different way in the second half of their games. Surely this is something which has to be worked on and talked with the players on the training ground because against a bigger club Lazio might not have that much luck and a 3-0 lead could easily turn into a 3-4 loss which would be dreadful for the fans and everyone in the club.