With a second place at stake, Lazio was north-bound with a tough away game in Bologna. Late reports of both Brocchi and Gonzalez missing the clash due to injury, Reja composed a new midfield ready to battle for three points. Senad Lulic, the Bosnian who has been growing into the Lazio shirt getting better and better games as the season has progressed, accompanied Ledesma and Matuzalem in midfield. The rest of the eleven was as expected, and if Lazio was to take steps in order to better the previous season, a game like this was exactly where a result was needed. And the result came.
In one sense you can say this was a close to perfect game by Lazio in a frosty Sunday evening fixture in the middle of a stream of hectic games. In the first half Lazio felt like the stronger side with an initial push and good passing, but towards the end Bologna was let into the game, and this is actually where some praise could be given. Lazio defended as a unit this game and the dangerous attempts that did reach Marchetti were parried with security. When then Hernanes scored in the 23rd minute, with a clever free-kick taken with his right foot and aimed straight at goal rather than curving the ball. On its way it bounced off a Bologna player and Lazio got that first goal that was so needed.
At times during first half Lazio dominated the possession greatly, and forced Bologna to sit back. Matuzalem and Ledesma directed the central midfield, Lulic showed great lungs and was presented in attack as well as defense, Hernanes looked like having kept his form from the derby and Klose showed he is a real team player working hard. Only Cisse looked uncomfortable, and the Frenchman is clearly lacking goals to have the right confidence and flow at the moment.
At the back Konko – Biava – Dias – Radu looks more and more like the given back four this season, and as the game went on, the defenders also gelled better and better. Apart from a few misses leading to dangerous moments, Biava missing a header giving Acquafresca an open shot against the flawless Marhcetti being the worse, the defenders were there to cover for each other well.
When running out for the second 45 minutes, Lazio looked confident. The second halves lately has been the stronger of the two, and also today Lazio secured the three points here. On an even better day for the biancocelesti, more goals had been bagged, but only one chanced ended up behind Agliardi. Senad Lulic got his first goal for his current team after a good assist by Cisse, and the game felt won exactly there. Cisse was denied a clear penalty in the 57th minute, but somehow it felt as if it really did not make a difference this evening. A little later the Frenchman also missed a perfect chance to break his goal draught, but he did not curve the ball enough and had to see it go wide of the post.
Bologna did give it their best shot, but with 25 minutes left of the game Reja and the team showed they had been working hard on the perfecting the defense lately. Lazio defended as one, with Klose and Cisse working hard in putting pressure on Bologna far up and the rest of the team balanced at the back. Despite the rossoblu having the ball for long periods, Marchetti mainly was forced to make saves on set pieces and long distance attempts. The once first choice for the Italian national side is getting closer and closer to the level that brought him there, and the defense today felt fairly comfortable at the back. Dias and Biava were both handed yellow cards in the first, but this did not look like a problem in the second, and the two side backs worked hard throughout the game.
One worrying incident did occur, when Hernanes landed after going for a header and twisted his ankle. The player, who seems to finally have woken up after the summer with another good display and a goal, was taken off injured and replaced with Scaloni. A little while later Matuzalem limped off and Cana replaced, and with Mauri, Brocchi and Gonzalez out due to injury the two Brazilians better be ready for Lazio soon again if the good form is to continue.
No longer rest awaits the player, who need to start preparing for a mid-week game against Catania. With plenty of recovery to do after the derby, FC Zurich and now Bologna, it is certainly easier now that the team sits in second place and Reja having won back confidence as well as may supporters.