Lazio Coach Sarri on Win Over Empoli: “I Give a Very High Mark to This First Game”

By Apollo Heyes -

Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri was happy with the Biancocelesti’s 3-1 win over Empoli last night.

Speaking to multiple Italian media outlets (via LazioNews24) yesterday, the 62-year-old Italian coach first discussed the match in an interview with Sky Sports Italia.

In this moment we are in full construction, we found a difficult team to face, we did well for 65 minutes then we dropped. Playing at these temperatures is a parody of football. 

It wasn’t a foregone conclusion to win here and bring home the three points. If we want to continue to score, we have to do something more. 

I owe Empoli a lot, I’ll always be linked to the environment.

He commented on the comparisons between Napoli and his Lazio squad.

From a technical point of view there are few similarities, from a moral point of view yes. Napoli were more ready for my requests.

The 62-year-old Italian coach did not want to talk about the transfer window.

It bores me when you journalists only talk or ask questions about the transfer market, when you talk about other things I like you more.

MORE: Match Report: Sarri’s Lazio Cruise to 3-1 Win Over Empoli in Serie a Opener

Sarri then spoke about the game with DAZN, first touching on his memories of Empoli.

For me it’s exciting to come here to Empoli, I’m attached to this team and I know I owe a lot. Here football is played in an extraordinary way.

He commented on the state of coaching in Italian football.

Apart from the European Championship, I don’t think the national teams represent a movement.

However, we have been trying to make football here for a couple of years and I must say that I am sorry that a coach like De Zerbi has left.

The former Juventus and Napoli coach discussed the positive signs seen in the match.

Tonight we saw some good things and we came out with the ball at our feet as I like. 

But we must remember that this team comes from years with a different path, so it is normal that the percentage of that type of game is still low.

He spoke about the performance of Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva.

He always has his man on him in the set-piece phase. In the defensive phase he has to be careful not to favour tackles between the lines. 

He made a few mistakes in defence, especially at the start, but then he grew.

Sarri spoke about the squad’s commitment to his ideas.

In training we’re starting to do things quite well or at least according to my requests. 

It’s to be expected that other habits will emerge in the game, but I’m confident because the guys are working hard.

The Biancocelesti coach commented on the performance of some individual players.

Milinkovic-Savic is a cheerful guy so it’s easy to get on with him. Luis Alberto is a bit behind because of some injuries, but my first thought when it was 3-1 was to include him. 

Pedro? He did very well. He has this brilliance, combined with technique and tactical ability that make him a great player.

MORE: Video: Manuel Lazzari Gives Lazio a 2-1 Lead Over Empoli

Sarri then discussed the win over Empoli with Lazio Style Channel.

I wish Empoli all the best for a high level season, this pitch will not be a walk in the park for anyone, they are a brilliant team and I’m happy to have got three points.

He touched on what he saw from Lazio in the game.

The team is extremely available, I was afraid of the first twenty minutes because they were sparkling and brilliant, we knew we had to suffer in the initial part. 

We’re starting to come up with ideas in training, we’ve had five or six exits from the back at a different level, they must become 25 or 26. 

Going down in the first half can be difficult, but we did well to react. We managed it with the ball, then we ran out of gas for too many players, but we remained focused.

The 62-year-old Italian coach commented on the debut of new winger Pedro.

Pedro is a guy with enormous experience, great technique and physical brilliance, he can give something in every sense. 

Lazzari is growing in the interpretation of the role, he can become an excellent full back, he is trying hard and has many margins for improvement. He’s naturally devastating when moving forward.

The former Napoli coach spoke about Empoli’s defensive play in the match.

Today the inside spaces were extremely closed and the buildup must necessarily go through wider spaces, but our idea is to develop also through the middle.

MORE: Video: Ciro Immobile Converts Penalty Kick to Give Lazio a 3-1 Lead Over Empoli 

To conclude, Sarri spoke about the game in a press conference to gathered reporters.

I give a very high mark to this first game. These are difficult times for everyone. A lot of teams have changed coach and way of playing, I think many will have problems. 

At these temperatures it’s difficult to play, it’s so hot. We’re like the English and German leagues now, we play with the same fixtures and I don’t understand why. 

Ours is a team under construction and we faced a tough team that made it difficult for us, because they are newcomers and they played on their own pitch.

The 62-year-old Italian coach highlighted some positive points from the 3-1 win.

The grade is high because we went down after three minutes and we got back on our feet and then turned it around. Luis Alberto is a bit behind and we’ll soon have him back to full fitness. 

I chose to include him in the 1-3 because I needed the dribbling and I wanted to manage the game with him. Lazzari had a great game and he’s learning how to play full back. 

This is an important step in his career. He’s progressing and will improve. Milinkovic-Savic had a great game while Pedro was brilliant even though he has little training in his legs.

Finally, Sarri gave his closing thoughts about the win.

The best aspect of the game was to go down and get back up after one minute. I liked less the fact of trying to manage the result in the last half hour when I prefer to keep playing, but at certain temperatures it is difficult. 

I dedicate the victory to the fans and I thank them for supporting us and helping us in the most difficult moment of the match. They responded with numbers and participation.

Tags Biancocelesti Empoli Empoli vs Lazio Italy Lazio Lazio vs Empoli Maurizio Sarri Rome Sarri Serie A