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  Match |Sampdoria vs Lazio (0-1)
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Sampdoria vs Lazio (0-1)
Match Date: 16-05-2015
City: Genoa
Stadium Luigi Ferraris
Referee Mazzoleni
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Match Preview
The stage was set for a European football show down on a warm Saturday night in Genoa. Lazio entered the Stadio Luigi Ferraris looking for a win in order to keep pace with Roma and Napoli for the final two Champions League positions in Serie A. As cliché as it is to say, and it has often been said, this was a must win match for Lazio, the final two matches against Roma and Napoli will be epic wars with three points surely being hard to come by. Lazio would once again enter this match with all of the pressure in the world on their shoulders, they would enter Genoa a fragmented squad thanks to suspensions and injury, accomplishments are earned and rarely come without adversity.

Berisha would start in net due to suspension to Marchetti; a strong performance from him was expected today. Pioli would field Ciani and Gentiletti in the centre of defence for Lazio thanks to both injury and suspension to both De Vrij and Mauricio respectively. Radu and Basta would earn starting births on the left and right hand sides of defence for the Biancocelesti today, what a task these two men faced trying to keep the high flying Sampdoria attack off the board. In midfield for Lazio, Pioli would choose to regress to his less preferred 4-3-3 formation; Ledesma would start in the middle of the midfield and be flanked by both Lulic on the left and Parolo on the right, not the usual formation or suspects but quite a bit of experience amongst these men. Leading the attack for Lazio it would be Miro Klose in the centre, as expected, Klose was supported on his wings by both Felipe Anderson and Candreva, monumental performances for both men would be needed today.

The match started rather slowly as both sides looked to gauge each other’s intensity and tactics. After ten minutes into the match it was clear there was little between these two sides, Anderson and Candreva once again were the work horses for Lazio as they continued to make cutting runs. It was in fact Anderson in the 10th minute with the first shot on goal in the game, it wasn’t a great opportunity and Viviano made the save relatively easily. Parolo had a shot from outside of the box for Lazio in the 21st minute off some scrappy play but he blasted it over the net. Candreva had another shot on goal less than a minute later and Viviano made the save. Obiang had the first shot on the Lazio goal in the 27th minute but Berisha was equal to the task. Candreva made a great run and laid the ball off to Anderson with speed in the 31st minute but Lulic couldn’t get on the end of his ball in and Viviano grabbed the ball. Soriano answered in the 32nd minute and blasted the ball just wide of the Lazio goal; the match began to heat up. Anderson earned a free kick in the 41st minute but Candreva’s ball towards goal was deflected away for a corner kick, which Lazio was able to do nothing with. It really should have been 1-0 for Sampdoria just two minutes from the half, Obiang had an open net and blasted it over the bar, Lazio would consider themselves fortunate to hit the tunnels level at the half time whistle.

The second half began with much more pace than the first half did, Lazio were the more aggressive side early and clearly came out with a goal in mind. Eto’o was on side and alone with Berisha only three minutes into the second half and he shot it wide of the open side of the goal; once again, a missed opportunity for Sampdoria and a bullet dodged by Lazio. A fortunate bounce for Lazio off a corner kick in the 55th minute and Gentiletti was able to get a thigh on the ball and direct it towards the Sampdoria goal and it crossed the line for a 1-0 Lazio lead, perhaps not well deserved but Lazio were in the lead nonetheless. Candreva blasted a half volley just wide in the 69th minute out for a goal kick, this would see Pioli’s first change and Djordjevic came on for Klose to finish the match out. Djordjevic had a blast on goal thanks to a lay back from Lulic in the 73rd minute but Viviano saved it out for a corner kick. In the 75th minute Pioli made his second substitution and De Vrij entered for the goal scorer, Gentiletti. Candreva is a work horse and was well known today for his determination a hustle up and down the field, his effort should be commended. Pioli would make his final change in the 83rd minute and Mauri would come on for Candreva, he worked hard and needed some rest.

This was not the most convincing victory by Lazio this season, but a win is a win and three points is three points. One would have to believe that six points from the final three games remaining would have Lazio sit in 3rd place in the final Champions League position in Italy after week thirty-eight. This means that Lazio will need to finish strong and claim victory against one or both of Roma and Napoli, a tough task to say the least. Lazio found a way today and they need to be applauded for their belief and desire, Pioli will not let the flame die and Lazio now hold their fate in hand, a welcomed position. Lazio must now return to training and prepare for the Coppa Italia final against Juventus on Wednesday. Lazio must understand that this is not their destiny and that a loss to Juventus should hold no bearing on how they enter their final two games against Roma and Napoli. This will surely be a Rome derby to remember and this is a fun time to be a Lazio fan.
Forza Lazio!

Writer: Michael Petricca
  Match Summary
Sampdoria VS Lazio
0 Score 1
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Penalty Goals
Penalty Missed
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Yellow-Red Card
Shots On Target
Own Goal
  Match Incidents
Time Match Incident
54'' Santiago Gentiletti
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