2019/20 Serie A, Udinese 0-0 Lazio: Match Report

Lazio played Udinese to a 0-0 draw at the Stadio Friuli in Matchday 33 of the 2019/20 Serie A. The goalless draw saw the Biancocelesti continue its uninspiring run of form…

Udinese vs Lazio
Udinese vs Lazio

First Half

Lazio started the match out on the right footing. Despite the rainy weather in Udine, the Biancocelesti dominated possession and moved the ball well. The fluid passing and progressive movement that was missing in Lazio’s previous match against Sassuolo was on full display. This was enhanced by good play out of the back. Both Stefan Radu and the returning Luiz Felipe transitioned play very well.

Lazio had two good chances in the opening 45 minutes. First was a volley from Ciro Immobile and the second a good long-range effort from Manuel Lazzari. Both attempts would be easily saved by Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso, and the two attempts from Immobile and Lazzari would prove to be Lazio’s only shots on target the entire match.

Beyond this, not much took place. Lazio would continue to dominate possession, but nothing would come of it. Luis Alberto continued to offset his creative abilities with wasteful attempts on net, and the quality build-up play Lazio displayed would amount to nothing.

Lazio additionally got a great performance from Luiz Felipe. His return gave better defensive solidity, completing 65 passes at a success rate of 95%. This was vital, as the tandem of Bastos and Patric has caused problems since the restart.

Ciro Immobile, Felipe Caicedo, and Rodrigo Becao During Udinese vs Lazio, Source- Official S.S. Lazio
Ciro Immobile, Felipe Caicedo, and Rodrigo Becao During Udinese vs Lazio, Source- Official S.S. Lazio

Second Half

With the rain making the pitch heavy, and the two-match a week schedule taking a physical toll from both sides, the match got scrappy in the final 45 minutes, with neither side able to string together any sort of extended run of convincing play.

The departure of Stefan Radu at half time threw the Lazio defense into disarray. Rodrigo De Paul and Kevin Lasagna gave the Biancocelesti continuous problems throughout the second half. Thomas Strakosha saved Lazio from dropping three points on several occasions in the match, particularly when Lasagna brushed passed Bastos for a one-on-one, forcing the Albanian to make a vital emergency save.

For Lazio, the quality midfield play dwindled in the second half, and the finishing also caused a problem. Lazio attempted 15 shots in the match, with the two aforementioned shots in the first half being the only ones on target.

A stoppage-time attempt from De Paul, which grazed off the crossbar was the final chance at breaking the deadlock. Lazio completely fell apart, and Udinese did not do enough to take advantage of the Biancocelesti’s disorganized backline and lack of depth.

Udinese vs Lazio: Final Thoughts

Lazio continues to be uninspiring. Ciro Immobile, who so often terrorizes Serie A by simply being in the right place, has gone invisible for most of the match. The return of Luiz Felipe should give Simone Inzaghi some confidence, but there is little to praise beyond that.

Inzaghi fails to give youngsters like Djavan Anderson and Bobby Adekanye a proper chance to perform. Much of the starting-11 is failing to materialize any consistent attack, so there is no excuse to not make changes.

This is incredibly maddening considering the form of Juventus, who continue to drop points alongside Lazio. The Biancocelesti have now dropped eight points to mediocre opponents in the last three matches. Had they not, Lazio could have entered their match against Juventus on Monday in striking distance of first place, now they sit eight points back.