Rome’s iconic Stadio Olimpico was witness to an exciting high tempo match, the result of which will have deep repercussions on the final Serie A standings.
Stefano Pioli’s Rossoneri entered the match having gifted the title to city rivals Inter after a streak of disappointing results – including a 2-1 loss at home to Giacomo Raspadori-inspired Sassuolo last matchday. Whereas, Napoli knocked in five goals against Lazio in a high-scoring seven-goal encounter at Stadio San Paolo.
The Milan natives began with an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation, led by veteran Mario Mandzukic as opposed to Simone Inzaghi’s constant & level-headed 3-5-2 formation.
Lazio 1-0 Milan: Frantic Opening 90 Seconds
Milan could have been one-goal up inside 20 seconds as Mandzukic’s back-heel pass found Hakan Calhanoglu and he forced Pepe Reina to make a comfortable low save. But Lazio were the ones to deal the first blow – inside 90 seconds
Joaquin Correa was played a deft pass from the left-hand side, thanks to a one-two with Immobile. He made his way into the Milan penalty box with utter ease, drawing Gianluigi Donnarumma out of his line and rounding him off with an easy tap-in.
Minutes later, Lazio missed the chance to go 2-0 up within five minutes. Star striker Immobile unleashed a shot directly in the path of the young Italian shot-stopper, who made a fine save from point-blank range.
Milan tried to regain some control of the match and they did but were rather let down by lack of the killer pass or ineffective finishing – with Calhanoglu, Mario Mandzukic and Alexis Saelemaekers all coming close.
Pepe Reina was ever-present, reeling in wonderful saves time and again. Francesco Acerbi, Stefan Radu & Marusic played a key role in maintaining a tight defensive line.
Towards the end of the first half, a failed possession-play by Milan was pounced upon deep within the Lazio half and sent forward in the path of Manuel Lazzari. The Italian made no mistake in tucking the ball in, only to see the goal disallowed a minute later for offside after a VAR review.
Lazio 2-0 Milan: Joaquin Correa Strikes Again
Another failed Milan attack struck back in a deadly manner, this time five minutes into the second half. A tackle on Calhanoglu followed another counterattack.
Correa led the frontline in a one-on-one situation against loanee Fikayo Tomori, who was turned inside-out with a feinting dribble by the Argentine. Going past Tomori, he had little to think about before unleashing a fantastic finish.
Lazio 3-0 Milan: Immobile’s Cherry on the Cake
Ciro Immobile tripled Lazio’s tally a few minutes after his masterful chip over Donnarumma only just kissed the post before heading back into play. Lazzari’s clever play on the right-wing ended the ball in the Italian marksman’s feet. He took one touch and slotted home in the bottom left corner – nothing the 6’2″ tall goalkeeper could do about.
Franck Kessie almost got a consolation goal after striking the crossbar – a shot that summed up Milan’s forgetful night. The Rossoneri were outplayed by a clinical Lazio side led by Correa & Immobile. The story was the same for Milan as in the first half, where key factors in the final third let them down.
Lazio have made it ten victories in a row at home only for the third time in history – first in 1937, followed by a streak in 1974 and now in 2021. The Biancocelesti are well in the race for a top-four spot as the Rossoneri continue to suffer from yet another defeat.
Lazio still sit in 6th place, with 61 points – five behind Milan and having played a game lesser than their table rivals. The side face Genoa on the next matchday.