Maurizio Sarri reacted well considering Lazio’s painful last minute loss to Milan last night, trying to pick out the positives.
The Biancocelesti took an early 1-0 lead following a Ciro Immobile opener, but the evening soon turned sour for Sarri and his squad as the Rossoneri refused to give up, pushing hard to find an equaliser before scraping a winner in the dying minutes of the match.
Speaking to gathered reporters in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Sarri first discussed how much regret he had following the full time whistle.
The regret is strong because the team gave everything they had tonight. We had a high level first half, in the second half, as was predictable, we dropped because it was a very difficult week for us, we had some players with fever, some until yesterday.
It was clear that not many of us could play 90 minutes. We suffered for 10-15 minutes after the 1-1, after the changes we came back into the game and we lost it because of a silly mistake, a mistake at a time when there was no more suffering.
The regret is for that, but I have to give credit to the guys who, with all the difficulties they had, fought until the end.
I’m not interested in gossip. I think it’s a bitter laugh that comes out in a situation like that, but let’s talk about football.
He then touched on the on-pitch argument between Acerbi and Adam Marusic.
When you concede a goal in the 92nd minute in the locker room there are a lot of tough confrontations.
I didn’t see it, I’ll tell you when I see it. Then they’ll tell me what happened that I don’t know.
Sarri was not too impressed with the performance of the referee in yesterday’s game.
There you get into a delicate matter. A team that protests decisions has personality, it depends on how much you are allowed to protest. So it’s not a question of personality, but of strength.
I think you all saw the refereeing tonight. I’m biased, but I had the feeling that he was refereeing one way on several occasions.
The 63-year-old Italian coach spoke about his limited options on the bench, a limiting factor in the fight for Champions League qualification.
Having Pedro on the bench tonight would have been important, but it’s also clear that having a top-level alternative to Immobile is almost unfeasible.
Immobile is doing extraordinary things and before you take him out you have to win 3-0, otherwise you question ten thousand times about taking him out. It’s very difficult to find a high-level player who can accept the situation here as a centre forward.
Finally, Sarri reflected on his words ahead of the match, where he stated that Milan can punish teams even when they’re not dominating.
In the first half we were rightly ahead, then in the second half after the 1-1 we had the worst moment of the match because we suffered a lot. At the end of the game, after the changes we made, the situation was much rebalanced and we weren’t conceding anything anymore.
Then it’s clear that Milan can be dangerous even when they’re not dominating, because they have two or three players who have uncommon acceleration and so even with a single action they can hurt you. This is part of the characteristics of their players.