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  Match |Juventus vs Lazio (2-0)
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Juventus vs Lazio (2-0)
Match Date: 18-04-2015
City: Turin
Stadium Juventus Stadium
Referee Rizzoli
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Match Preview
What else could you possibly ask for as a faithful Lazio supporter, a match to wind down the season against league leaders Juventus, this was a very special day for the Biancocelesti. A daunting task to say the least, Juventus at home in Turin are almost unbeatable, with that in mind Lazio clearly relish the challenge, grounded in humility by their leader Pioli. Realistically, even with a victory today, the Scudetto is won by Juventus yet again, a win however, would help secure Lazio’s chances of Champions League qualification and show to the rest of Europe that yes, this squad is for real.

In goal for Lazio, surprisingly, Marchetti would get the start, the broken nose he picked up in training had healed enough for him to play. In defence for Lazio, Cana and Mauricio would start in the centre, De Vrij would not be able to start today with a sprained knee. Basta and Braafheid would start on the right and left hand sides of defence respectively. In midfield for Lazio, Pioli would revert back to the more traditional 4-3-3 in Parolo’s absence. Biglia, Lulic and Cataldi all featured in the starting eleven for Lazio. In attack, Mauri and Felipe Anderson held down the wings, while Klose started in the centre, once again leading the charge for Lazio. Candreva was noticeably the odd man out of the starting line-up for Lazio.

The first moments of the game were rather uneventful as both sides held firm defensively, suggesting that this would be a tight affair. Buffon and Marchetti had shaky incidents early on but both were able to clear away from harm, Marchetti stopped a long range shot in from Marchisio and covered up immediately leaving no rebound. Marchisio should have picked up a yellow card for his elbow on Biglia moments earlier. Mauri had on opportunity in the 16th minute from a set piece but blasted it over the Juventus net. In the 17th minute Juventus took the lead with Teves picking up the opening goal, some poor defending from Lazio, it would surely be a tough task from this point onwards for Lazio.

Nevertheless, Lazio did not give up and continued to push forward in search of the equalizer. Klose had a great chance to equalize but his shot on goal from in close was slightly deflected by Bonucci out for a corner kick. The worst case scenario happened in the 28th minute, Bonucci sprung forward and was able to slot it by Marchetti in the low right hand corner, 2-0 for Juventus, Marchetti is a weak keeper and was positioned poorly on both goals; however, he is not solely to blame. From here, the game would become uneventful as Juventus looked to position all men back to seal the victory and their inevitable Scudetto title. Marchetti looked to be shaken after a collision with Vidal shortly before the first half ended but he was okay to continue, Lazio looked vulnerable on the counter attack. Yet another yellow card for Mauricio in the 45th minute of the first half, this time for holding up Matri, Lulic followed seconds later with a foul on Tevez. Lazio didn’t have that bad of a first half and deserved more of a balanced score line but Juventus proved the world class team that they are and made the most of their opportunities.

The second half started with Pioli’s first change, Candreva would enter the match, immediately Lazio looked more attacking minded and you had to respect their resolve. Lazio were awarded another corner kick in the 56th minute but they could not muster up a quality shot on goal, Juventus had the middle of the park stacked with men. Yet another corner kick in the 57th minute courtesy of some hard work by Candreva, the question has to be asked, why did he not start this match? Candreva’s intensity would earn him a yellow card in the 61st minute. Buffon made a great save from a Candreva set piece, he blasted it on goal and Buffon was able to get both hands in front of the ball to deflect it off the bar. Moments later, Pioli made his second change and Keita came on to replace Mauri, Lulic was handed the captain’s band. In the 68th minute, Cana earned a yellow card for a foul on Morata.

Buffon made another great save in the 69th minute, this time off a Biglia blast on goal, the rain was coming down hard and the ball was slippery. With only ten minutes remaining, Juventus had a great odd man opportunity but Vidal was unable to either shoot, or lay the ball off, Lazio were hanging on. Cataldi picked up a straight red card for a weak foul on Tevez in the 89th minute, Tevez dove all over the field today, he should do a favour to all of Europe and return to Boca as he so wishes. It is hard to understand what the point was in bringing on Ledesma for Klose in injury time, this was Pioli’s last change. Just as that was happening Anderson blasted a volley in at Buffon but he made yet another great save, Buffon showed his class and leadership in this match. Lazio did not play poorly today; however, they must take a page from Juventus and learn to find a way to victory, even if you do not necessarily deserve. Ultimately, this would be Juventus’s day, the bold prognostication will be made right here, Lazio win the 2015 Coppa Italia with a full and healthy squad available to Pioli, the stage is set. Lazio will return to the training field to prepare for Chievo Verona next Sunday in Rome.

Forza Lazio!

Writer: Michael Petricca
  Match Summary
Juventus VS Lazio
2 Score 0
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