Sarri: ‘Everything Changed Because of a Referee Who Isn’t Fit for This Level’

Maurizio Sarri was furious with the officiating in Lazio’s edgy 2-2 draw with Sturm Graz in their fourth Europa League outing.

The Biancocelesti took the lead in the match thanks to a Ciro Immobile penalty in the first half, but things soon went downhill after Manuel Lazzari received a controversial second yellow card just before the half-time break. 

William Boving netted an equaliser before the hour mark before Pedro gave Lazio the lead once again. Ultimately the Roman club couldn’t hold on and Boving netted a second, leaving things all square at 2-2 come the full time whistle.

Speaking in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Sarri first reacted to Lazio’s tiring draw with Sturm Graz.

I think that in the 11 v 11 we showed we were clearly superior, we didn’t take a risk and we created five or six chances. Playing every three days and being outnumbered is tough. 

It’s not that there were great moments of suffering, I’m sorry for having taken the 2-2 at a time when the game was under control, I liked the performance because they stayed in the game with determination.  

This is a type of game that makes the coach happy. There is great attachment to the shirt and cohesion of purpose in the way of thinking. In today’s game I see more positives than negatives. 

Everything was conditioned by a referee who cannot referee at this level, it’s a statement, not a criticism. The whole stadium saw it. It was a normal game and he managed to upset it. The foul on Gila was not even called by VAR.

He commented on the lack of protests coming from the Lazio squad.

You know how it would have ended if they protested, seeing how he booked Sergio I don’t know what he would have done for a squad protest. In the end they also did well.

He explained his squad choices and commented on the condition of defender Alessio Romagnoli.

I talk to the lads, the athletic trainers and the doctors and I get certain parameters and then I decide. There were numbers that were above average for some players because they were at risk and I preferred to rest them. This is also normal. 

Romagnoli played most of the time, we had a competitive line-up. On the choices there’s nothing to complain about, it’s ok, in 53 hours we have a game that has devastating physical characteristics. If someone rested even better.

Sarri gave his thoughts on the fact that all four teams in Group F are tied on five points.

Because we’re all tied on points I don’t want to finish fourth or third, I want to finish first, we’ll give everything in the next games and we’ll accept the standings that come out without doing a lot of maths. 

Immobile has a small problem with his tibia but it doesn’t stem from any particular episode, he was quite tired in the final and went out. 

Finally, Sarri commented on if Italian clubs were mistreated by referees in Europe.

The appointment of a German for an Austrian team is not exactly the best thing to expect. I don’t care, I don’t think about these things I just think that tonight’s referee is not up to this level and I don’t understand how he got here.

Tags Biancocelesti Europa League Italy Lazio lazio vs Sturm Graz Maurizio Sarri Rome Sarri Serie A Sturm Graz Sturm Graz vs lazio UEL