Tuesday Aug 22, 2017  
     
 
  Match |Napoli vs Lazio (2-4)
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Napoli vs Lazio (2-4)
Match Date: 31-05-2015
City: Naples
Stadium San Paolo
Referee Rocchi
Media Gallery
Match Preview
Lazio travelled to Naples this evening for their final Serie A match of the season against Napoli, the winner would earn the right to enter the qualifying campaign for next years’ Champions League competition. As suspected, Marchetti earned the start for Lazio in goal; an impressive performance was needed from him today. In defence for Lazio, Radu was unable to play due to injury, De Vrij, Mauricio and Gentiletti started in the three man back line, Basta would push more forward today and start on the right hand side of the midfield line, he did play a deeper role and was constantly available to support the back three. Pioli would choose to field his less familiar 3-4-3 formation as a result of Biglia also not being available due to injury for this match. In midfield for Lazio, Parolo picked up the start in the centre with Cataldi; they were joined by both Lulic and Basta on the left and right flanks. Up front for Lazio, Djordjevic picked up the start for the injured Klose; Djordjevic has been impressive since his return from his broken ankle earlier this season. Djordjevic was joined in the Lazio attack by both Felipe Anderson and Candreva on the left and right wings, both men were hungry for victory today and Lazio goes where these two coveted warriors take them.

The match started with quite a bit of tension, things were very tight and there was not much space for either team to make any impact moving forward, this was clearly a tactical battle and you had the sense that it would take a moment of brilliance to break the deadlock. Cataldi earned a corner kick for Lazio in the 11th minute but the Napoli defence easily headed it out away from harm. Marchetti had to be sharp moments later as a Lazio defensive miscue gave Hamsik a chance on goal, Marchetti safely grabbed the rebound and covered up the ball. Napoli had another great chance in the 23rd minute off a poor Lazio clearance and Lopez blasted his opportunity over the Lazio goal. Callejon was sent in alone on goal, Marchetti came out hard towards him to cut down the angle and the Callejon shot went just inches wide of the Lazio goal, Lazio would consider themselves fortunate, defence miscues were clearly evident by Lazio, perhaps the unfamiliar formation and the lack of personnel for a three men back line.

Andujar came out to challenge the ball and made a mess of it around the 30 minute mark but Djordjevic was unable to capitalize on his mistake. Just a few moments later in the 33rd minute, Parolo made the most of his opportunity from outside of the box, it looked like his shot may have taken a deflection off a Napoli defender, it dipped down with speed and Andujar couldn’t get behind it with enough force to stop it, 1-0 Lazio. Basta broke down the right hand side and whipped a ball into the Napoli box with speed in the 39th minute; unfortunately, Djordjevic was unable to get on the end of the ball. Mauricio headed the ball out just before the end of the first half and fell awkwardly on his head, he was able to get up on his own and continue. Anderson earned an unnecessary yellow card for a hand ball just before the end of the first half; Lazio was able to clear the free kick into the box away. Candreva ended the first half for Lazio in style, he was sent in on a break by a great pass from Lulic and he calmly slotted it by Andujar for the 2-0 Lazio half time lead. Lazio could not have asked for a better start to this match, they really only had two opportunities on the Napoli goal and they were able to make the most of both of them.

The second half started with Lazio as the aggressor, they held the possession and did not allow Napoli one opportunity after the first five minutes of the half. Lazio were unable to clear the ball out and Callejon crossed the ball into the Lazio box in the 55th minute and Higuain made no mistake, 2-1 Lazio. Less than a minute later Mertens looked to draw Napoli level, his shot beat Marchetti but De Vrij was in behind the keeper and was able to clear the ball off the line, the defensive miscues were shinning bright for the Biancocelesti and the pressure for Napoli was on. A horrible situation for Lazio occurred in the 62nd minute and Parolo picked up his second yellow card and Lazio were down a man for the rest of the match. Immediately after the Parolo sending off, Higuain leveled the score and it was 2-2 in the 65th minute. Pioli made his first substitution after the goal and Ledesma came on for Anderson. In the 70th minute Goulam also picked up his second yellow and Napoli were also down a man for the remainder of the game, they still pressured Lazio beyond belief. The worst happened for Lazio in the 75th minute and Napoli were awarded a penalty shot, Higuain blasted it over the bar and the score remained tied, Lulic picked up a yellow card for the foul, a bullet dodged by Lazio.

Pioli made his second change and took Djordjevic off to make way for Klose late in the second half. With only ten minutes remaining in the match Napoli continued to press for the victory and Lazio looked to hang on, Lazio had no offensive opportunities from the Parolo sending off onwards. Pioli made his final change with only seven minutes left in the second half; Onazi entered the field to replace Cataldi. Pioli looked like a genius, only three minutes after coming on Onazi put Lazio back in the lead, 3-2 Lazio in the 86th minute, a fortunate turn of events for Lazio, the ball fell favourably to Onazi in the Napoli box but nonetheless his finish was clinical. Klose sealed the deal for Lazio in injury time; he headed it past Andujar thanks to an Onazi cross, 4-2 for Lazio. This really was an entertaining match and a back and forth affair to say the least, Lazio would consider themselves fortunate on the day to come away with the result on the road but three points in Serie A are three points, this is perhaps vindication for the two previous losses by Lazio to both Juventus and Roma. Champions League qualification it is for Lazio, a well-deserved achievement by the Biancocelesti, the squad will need the support of all of their faithful Laziali if they hope to emerge victorious, they will be unseeded based on their UEFA coefficient ranking and may potentially draw a formidable side from another major European league.

Forza Lazio!


Writer: Michael Petricca
 
  Match Summary
 
Napoli VS Lazio
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Goals
Penalty Goals
Penalty Missed
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Yellow-Red Card
Substitutions
Corners
Offside
Shots
Shots On Target
Injury
Assist
Own Goal
 
  Match Incidents
 
Time Match Incident
33'' Marco Parolo
49'' Antonio Candreva
85'' Ogenyi Onazi
92'' Miroslav Klose
 
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