Lazio Disappoint in 1-1 Draw Against Sassuolo in Final Pre-Season Friendly

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.

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.

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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. 

At half-time, Lazio coach Sarri made two changes, taking off Milinkovic-Savic and Luiz Felipe, replacing them with Luis Alberto and Patric.

Just after the break, Neroverdi midfielder Maxime Lopez almost gave Sassuolo the lead, with his curling shot hitting the woodwork. 

In the 55th minute, Raul Moro was taken off and replaced with fellow young talent Luka Romero, who impressed in the remainder of the half.

MORE: Lazzari & Akpa Akpro Highest Rated Lazio Players in Draw With Sassuolo: The List

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.

The final set of changes came in the 84th minute when Gonzalo Escalante and Stefan Radu replaced Lucas Leiva and Acerbi.

The game ended 1-1, drawing Lazio’s pre-season preparations to a close. The Biancocelesti’s first Serie A game of the season is against Empoli on Saturday this week, at 8:45 pm local time.

Tags Acerbi Akpa Akpro Biancocelesti Felipe Anderson Hysaj immobile Italy Lazio Lazio vs Sassuolo Lazzari Lucas Leiva Luiz Felipe Maurizio Sarri Milinkovic Pre-season Raul Moro Reina Rome Sarri Sassuolo Sassuolo vs Lazio Serie A