It was a dreadful performance from Lazio as Napoli easily cruised to a 4-0 victory at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Within the first ten minutes, the game was already far out of reach for the Biancocelesti as the Partenopei had tallied two goals. Despite Maurizio Sarri’s men having two good chances following these goals, Luciano Spalletti’s side ended any hope of a comeback with two additional goals in the 29th and 85th minutes.
Lazio will definitely want to put this performance behind them and look towards Udinese on Thursday as very few players were productive in this match. As for Napoli, they will definitely be pleased with their effort against the Biancocelesti and look to build off that form towards their next match versus Sassuolo on Wednesday.
Felipe Anderson Requires Rest
One player in particular whose form has dropped in recent weeks for Lazio has been Felipe Anderson.
In the first quarter of Lazio’s season, the Brazilian was arguably the club’s best player as he played well on a consistent basis, provided key goals and put forth quality performances that were vital for the Biancocelesti. He made strong runs, managed to get into good scoring positions, and won numerous challenges.
However, in recent weeks, Felipe Anderson’s performances have dipped. Since Lazio’s win versus Inter back in September, the Brazilian has lost a step in his game as he has looked slower, has failed to execute crosses into the box, has lost possession quite easily and has given up on his runs far too easily.
The winger has started in all 19 of Lazio’s matches this season and fatigue may be setting in. He has played nearly 1500 minutes and sitting on the bench this Thursday may be beneficial for him to reset mentally and physically as his game has taken a step back.
Raul Moro should be given the chance to prove his worth and start in place of the forward; although he has played minimal minutes this season, when he has appeared in matches, he has been effective.
Setbacks Continue to Occur
Earlier this season, Lazio had setbacks versus Bologna and Hellas Verona, where they had dreadful performances. This was the case once again versus Napoli, as the Biancocelesti were easily beaten in every aspect on the pitch. The midfield struggled to maintain possession, the defense conceded on multiple occasions as they failed to pick up their man and the forwards generated very few chances on the attack.
What was concerning was the attitude and effort from the Lazio players as they looked uninspired. Far too often the Biancocelesti will have a few consecutive good matches and follow up with a poor game. This happened under previous manager Simone Inzaghi and now repeatedly under new manager Maurizio Sarri. This was an issue that ex-Lazio player, Marco Parolo, also alluded to earlier this season, and has become a serious concern for this club.
This is an area that Lazio desperately needs to fix otherwise it could set them back this season. Whether the players have not bought into the new system, do not want to play for their manager, or have been complacent, Sarri needs to get all the players on board and on the same page. Consistency from this team needs to improve and has hindered them this season.
Away Form Just Not Good Enough
In nine matches across all competitions, Lazio has a record of nine wins, two draws and one loss at the Stadio Olimpico. Yet, when they’ve been the visitor it has been the opposite. In nine matches, they have two wins, three draws and four losses.
This is extremely concerning; they continue to play poorly when they travel to the opposing team’s city and, with half the season still to be played, this definitely needs to change. The Biancocelesti cannot afford to continuously be mediocre in other venues and drop points if they plan to finish in a top-four spot or, at best, a top-six spot so they do not miss out on the Europa League.
While Lazio’s recent performance against Napoli was forgettable, they will aim to turn it around on Thursday versus Udinese at the Stadio Olimpico.