Empoli 0 vs Lazio 1: Post Match Review
After a very close game at the Stadio Carlo Castellani, Lazio somehow managed to pull off a victory and pick up the three points from this match (taking them to a total of six after four matches), however, this did not come easy. After a much-needed confidence boost just before the International break with a 1-0 victory (should have been much more) over Frosinone at home, the biancocelesti headed to the region of Tuscany where they would meet newly promoted Empoli: a lower table side who can still cause problems for their opposition.
Lazio looked the stronger side to easily take this match on paper, however, it did not go as smoothly as manager Simone Inzaghi would have wanted. The game started off well for Lazio as they were moving the ball well and looked strong moving forward (through middle and flanks). A good play between Senad Lulic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic nearly led to a goal, unfortunately, a weak shot by the Serbian caused no problems for Empoli’s defense. After that play, Empoli just took the game by the horns and dominated possession, winning many balls and causing serious problems for Lazio. A great play by Empoli beat Lazio’s defense and ended with a strong finish by Empoli striker Francesco Caputo, however, it was ruled as offside. Lazio started to pick things up but not many chances emerged for Inzaghi’s men. There were a few at the end of the half: After Marco Parolo flicked a Luis Alberto corner off his head, Francesco Acerbi (who was late to the corner), received the ball, but he was off balance and sent an effort way off target; the closest chance for Lazio in the first half came from another corner which found Wallace who headed the ball off the post before being cleared away from danger by the Empoli defense.
The second half looked much better for Lazio as they quickly took an early lead two minutes in thanks to Marco Parolo’s effort which took a deflection off an Empoli player and then the post before finally finding the back of the net, breaking the deadlock. Empoli were still playing better despite Lazio’s goal and domination of possession – Lazio did have two big chances at the end of the match: the first was Ciro Immobile’s shot which was saved, followed by Joaquin Correa attacking the loose ball and smashing the shot off the post; while the second chance (a chance that looked like Lazio would surely put the game to bed) started from a four on two – Correa’s through ball found Adam Marusic all alone but unfortunately, Marusic missed a clear opportunity to double Lazio’s lead and to end the game after all. After this missed opportunity, while Marusic and others were still grabbing their heads, Empoli quickly took the goal kick with just seconds to spare. The ball ended up at Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s feet and although the cross did not look dangerous at first as Wallace looked like the clear person to get rid of the ball from the face of goal, the Brazilian, did not put any effort and the ball went right past him into the path of Caputo. This meant the savior of the game fell into the hands of Thomas Strakosha who saved Caputo’s shot with his left leg and secured the three points for the Biancocelesti.
All in all, a poor performance by Lazio who were saved by a terrific save by Thomas Strakosha. This means that Inzaghi’s men take the three points and climb up to 8th in the table (position may change after all games have been played).