Lazio opened the clash against Milan in semi-typical Lazio fashion. It was a slow start from Simone Inzaghi’s side but certainly not a poor one. Offensively, Lazio showed little in the opening ten minutes but were effective at closing down and preventing Milan’s chances too; the Rossoneri coming closest early on with a double-chance for Lucas Paqueta and Tiemoue Bakayoko. From there on in, the game opened up for Inzaghi’s side, as Lazio had a plethora of opportunities to put themselves up in the first half.
Ciro Immobile had a fantastic chance to put the Biancocelesti in front after great work by Romulo; however, the Italian forward’s finishing was not on par tonight and it felt as though he could’ve cost Lazio what would’ve been an extremely important victory. Things went from bad to worse for Milan after Franck Kessie suffered an injury which resulted in the Ivorian being replaced by Hakan Calhanoglu. Calhanoglu’s wife is currently close to giving birth and the Turkish midfielder seemed distracted, leading many to question why Gattuso brought him into the fray. Lazio had two half-calls for penalties within the first half too. The first appeal came after Joaquin Correa went to the ground after a tackle from Lucas Paqueta. It was an extremely tight call, with Paqueta making contact with the ball but not before first kicking at Correa’s feet. The second call came when Mateo Musacchio threw a flailing elbow into the face of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic but, once again, no foul was given.
At the restart, no substitutions had been made by either side; they entered the second half as they had ended the first half. Milan came out strong, and Lazio had to remain focused defensively to keep Milan off the scoresheet.
In the 51′, Patric sent whipped a cross into the 18-yard box. Milinkovic-Savic was there and he met the ball, however, he was called for a foul – no corner kick. In the 53′ in the opposite direction, a cross from the left side of the pitch was sent towards Krzysztof Piatek inside the box. A dangerous one, nothing came out of the Rossoneri opportunity. Milan continued to give the ball away cheaply, as several passes were not on target. They also struggled to find their target man and in-form scorer up top, partially as a result of the good marking and communication the Lazio back three had.
A start and stop type of game, both sides looked very well trained and composed defensively. Clearly, both Inzaghi and Gattuso had been practicing on the training grounds of how to compact properly – and quickly – to prevent any sort of chance from occurring.
In the 61′, there were shouts for a penalty as Ciro Immobile was pushed from behind by Alessio Romagnoli. However, the play was deemed offside so nothing progressed out of the situation (even though Immobile looked to be in line with the defender on the replay)… Following this, there was a series of good scoring chances for the Inzaghi’s side. First, in the 62′, Lucas Leiva pounced on the ball, pushed forward and released a shot, but it was a weak one and it rolled to Gigio Donnarumma. Next, in the 66′ Milinkovic-Savic received the ball, did a few keep up’s, and released a low-driven shot into the bottom right of the net. Donnarumma had to act quick as he got to the ground to keep his team in the match. A difficult stop, the 20-year old made it look easy. Finally, just a minute later, Immobile pushed forward, running past several Milan players to find Correa, who made Paqueta look silly with a few stepovers before driving towards goal. He cut inside and tried to beat Donnarumma with a far post curler, but the keeper had it under control.
Strakosha, in all honesty, did not have a lot to do tonight. He came off his line to collect the ball off of crosses and corners and was quick to release the ball to his teammates, but there was no real threat from Gattuso’s side today to trouble him at all.
When Luis Alberto entered the pitch, you could see that he was dying to get on. His confidence was strong as he was calling for every ball and dictated play well, deciding when Lazio would push forward or reorganize and set up an attack.
In the 79′, Laziali thought they had a breakthrough: a long ball sent over the top of the Milan defenders found Immobile who had made a run through the backline. He was one-on-one with Donnarumma but failed to convert as his shot went over the keeper and hit the post. it was too good to be true though, as the Italian striker was adjudged to be offside from the beginning at the play, starting his run behind the Milan defenders. In the 82, after Caicedo had entered the field, he was immediately put into action: off a turnover, he turned with the ball, drove towards goal, and took a left-footed shot that deflected for a corner. A chance to put Lazio in the lead, the corner resulted in nothing. The last play of the match was from Bastos: off another corner in the 86′, he rose high to meet the ball but sent his header over the bar.
⚪️🔵 Ball Possession: 48% / Goal Attempts: 12 / Shots on Goal: 5 / Corner Kicks: 5 / Offsides: 4 / Fouls: 15
🔴⚫️ Ball Possession: 52% / Goal Attempts: 3 / Shots on Goal: 1 / Corner Kicks: 1 / Offsides: 0 / Fouls: 4
Lazio Player Ratings
Patric 7 – Acerbi 8 – Bastos 7
Lulic 6.5 – Parolo 7 (Luis Alberto 6.5) – Lucas Leiva 7.5 – Milinkovic-Savic – 7.5 – Rômulo 7 (Marusic N/A)
Correa 7 – Immobile 6.5 (Caicedo 6)