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  Match |Cagliari vs Lazio (1-3)
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Cagliari vs Lazio (1-3)
Match Date: 04-04-2015
City: Cagliari
Stadium Sant'Elia
Referee Rocchi
Media Gallery
Match Preview
Lazio secured their seventh win on the trot with a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Cagliari in Sardinia. It was a game where the hosts had the better of the play for large periods, but Lazio were able to grind out a defeat under trying circumstances.

Lazio never settled in the game. The opening 15-20 minutes were characterised by some sloppy passes in the midfield area as the home side looked to press the Lazio midfield and initiate attacks. Mpoku and Avelar looked to get under Basta's skin on the right-hand side of the Lazio defence while Balzano and Farias did their best to take advantage of any rustiness in Edson Braafheid's first appearance of 2015. By and large, both wing-backs stood up well to the pressure. Mpoku had his moments in a rather free role, but Lazio were reducing Mpoku to moments in the early stages.

At the other end, Stefano Mauri had an early opportunity to put Lazio ahead as he latched onto a Candreva cross but his shot found Brkic in the Cagliari goal. Mauri could have done better and his reaction told its own story; he knew it. Just after the half hour mark, Lazio capitalised from a similar scenario. Felipe Anderson - who had a quiet afternoon - dashed down the right-hand side and found Mauri with his squared ball. Mauri noticed that he had Klose for company and dinked to the ball to the German who had the easiest of tap-ins to make it Cagliari 0-1 Lazio.

As the first half drew to a close, Cagliari became more of a threat. Mpoku continued to cause problems and a well struck free-kick almost had Cagliari back in the game. Marchetti had to claw it out at his near post and moments later, he stopped play briefly claiming injury. It was more likely an attempt to upset Cagliari's rhythm. Lazio needed that half-time whistle.

Cagliari got off to the perfect start in the second half. Mauricio - who was poor in the first half and could have seen red for two careless fouls which were worthy of yellow - tried to go with the run of Marco Sau who latched onto a ball over the top. Sau aimed across Marchetti's goal but his shot clipped the foot of the Brazilian defender and looped over Marchetti to make it 1-1. It was game on and Lazio needed to find a way back into the game.

The next 10 minutes or so were nervy, and Pioli hit his panic button. He took off Mauri and Candreva and left on the quietest member of the attacking quartet in Felipe Anderson. Cataldi came on to add some steel to the midfield while Keita went up front to inject some pace into the forward line.

Minutes later, Lazio were one goal to the good. Keita Balde Diao made his presence felt by picking up the ball in the penalty area and drawing a foul. Penalty for Lazio and in the absence of Candreva, Lucas Biglia stepped up and coolly slotted home.

Lazio were in control and pressed for the third that would surely kill the game. Eight minutes later, Lazio had another penalty and once again, it was won by Keita. Cagliari could not deal with his direct play and as he looked for a gap to beat Brkic at his near or far post, ex-Lazio defender mobido Diakite' took the Spaniard's legs. Red card for Diakite' on a day when he had a point to prove and perhaps proved the wrong point. Biglia stepped up to make it three - this time, he blazed it over.

Biglia's miss gave Cagliari hope and the next 10-15 minutes were crazy. Handballs, dives, tough tackles, pinball in the box - you name it, this game had it. Lazio were a man up but you wouldn't know it as the effects of having 13 men off on international duty began to take its toll. Lazio needed another body in midfield and Pioli looked to Senad Lulic to get the game under control with Miroslav Klose making way.

Lazio could now press for that third goal. Biglia, Cataldi and Parolo were not afraid to move forward as they knew Lulic would stalk any Cagliari player who got the ball. Lazio had five minutes of stoppage time to see out, but Parolo felt only one or two were required. He unleashed an absolute screamer which left Brkic with nothing to do. The Cagliari goalkeeper had an odd day - he seemed to fumble every shot aimed at him before reacting with a top class save - but fumble Parolo's shot he could not. Too good. Parolo was too good, and in the end, Lazio were too good.

In truth, it was a mediocre display from Lazio and that was to be expected after the international break. Lazio had less time to prepare and ended the game with more fatigued bodies, but the moral of the story is that a mediocre Lazio is still more than good enough to see Cagliari off on their own patch. Lazio can look forward to the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg knowing they've now won their last seven in Serie A. Napoli go into the game off the back of a loss. Pioli and the boys must be confident. Forza Lazio!

Writer: C
  Match Summary
Cagliari VS Lazio
1 Score 3
icon description
Penalty Goals
Penalty Missed
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Yellow-Red Card
Shots On Target
Own Goal
  Match Incidents
Time Match Incident
31'' Miroslav Klose
60'' Lucas Biglia
92'' Marco Parolo
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