Lazio slumped to a disappointing 1-1 draw in their final pre-season friendly against Sassuolo on Saturday.
Coach Maurizio Sarri picked the following Starting XI for the match:
Lazio (4-3-3): Pepe Reina; Manuel Lazzari, Luiz Felipe, Francesco Acerbi, Elseid Hysaj; Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas Leiva, Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro; Felipe Anderson, Ciro Immobile, Raul Moro.
The Biancocelesti were mostly in control throughout the first half, with Ivorian midfielder Akpa Akpro impressing as he took Luis Alberto’s spot in the starting 11.
Akpa Akpro was rewarded for his strong performance in the 32nd minute when he scored a clean header from a corner.
La sblocca @JDAkpa al 31′!
— S.S.Lazio (@OfficialSSLazio) August 14, 2021
Three minutes later, Lazio showed the signs of Sarrismo, with a quick vertical movement starting from Lazzari, who passed to Milinkovic-Savic, quick touch to Felipe Anderson, back to Lazzari who then played a cross for Immobile, who should have scored but got his footing wrong.
Just before half-time, a floating cross in the box posed a threat, but Reina managed to stop the initial shot, although he parried it directly in the path of Hamed Traore, who scored the equaliser.
Just after the break, Neroverdi midfielder Maxime Lopez almost gave Sassuolo the lead, with his curling shot hitting the woodwork.
Immobile was taken off in the 72nd minute and replaced with Vedat Muriqi, with Sarri making two more changes only six minutes later. Akpa Akpro and Felipe Anderson made way for Andre Anderson and Joaquin Correa in the 78th minute.
Lazio remained fairly disappointing in the second half, failing to properly implement Sarri’s ideas, showing how more time is needed to fully adapt to his 4-3-3 system.