Lazio vs Atalanta: Wallace errors costly as Champions League hopes fade away
Despite scoring in the third minute at the Stadio Olimpico through Marco Parolo, Lazio were defeated 3-1 by Atalanta. Goals coming in the 22′ from Duvan Zapata, the 58′ from Timothy Castagne, and the 76′ from the Biancocelesti’s Wallace himself secured all three points for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side. What looks like a dominant performance from La Dea, Lazio were the better of the two sides for most of the match. It was unfortunate that they were able to capitalize on the chances they had, and that individual errors weighed heavily in this match. Although most of Lazio squad underperformed, including big stars such as Ciro Immobile, there was one player who was clearly identified by fans as the opposite of the ‘Man of the Match.’ This was Brazilian defender Wallace.
Wallace, who started and played the full 90′ against Sampdoria last week (where he made an error on the part of the goal scored by Fabio Quagliarella) had only played seven minutes of football since the fourth of February before that match. This is why fans were quite confused as to why he started again in such an important match in the season. With Luiz Felipe healthy, he should have been the number one option for the right center back role. A treacherous performance, Wallace was a big factor at fault for not one, not two, but all three of the goals that Atalanta scored this past weekend.
On the first goal scored by Zapata, the Brazilian did not stay in line with the rest of his defenders, keeping the Colombian striker onside. This was after he failed to clear a shot properly, sending it right back into the feet of Remo Freuler. Error number one.
On the second goal, as the last man, Wallace made a terrible first time pass forward into the feet of Papu Gomez, who took the ball past him all the way to Lazio’s goal. He stuttered, making Wallace drop to the floor twice before sending the ball across the face of goal. As was taking place, Wallace decided to slowly get to his feet and to jog across goal into the position where he was supposed to be. However, by the time he got there, Castagne had already fired the ball into the back of the net. Error number two.
On the third goal scored by Atalanta, as mentioned previously, was the result of an own goal from Wallace. Off a corner, the defender failed to follow his man (Berat Djimsiti) and by the time the ball reached the Atalanta player, it hit his head and went into his own goal. Error number three.
In addition, there was also another play right after the first goal where Wallace failed to stick with Josip Ilicic. This resulted in the player nearly scoring and putting Atalanta up 2-1 before half time. Luckily, the Slovenian shot wide…
From all Laziali, the opinion seems synonymous – this will likely be the last time seeing Wallace play in a Lazio jersey. This is quite unfortunate considering the amount of money spent on the player and considering the glimpses of spectacular play that we have seen, such as the match against Juventus where he contained Cristiano Ronaldo.