Maurizio Sarri was clearly frustrated with his squad following Lazio’s 2-1 loss to Lecce, underlining the lack of focus at the Stadio Via del Mare.
The Biancocelesti initially took the lead over the Puglian side in the first half after a Ciro Immobile opener, but the home team found a second wind after the half time break, taking a 2-1 lead thanks to Gabriel Strefezza and Lorenzo Colombo. The defeat and Inter’s win over Napoli sees Lazio drop to fifth in the league table.
Speaking in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Sarri was first asked if the playing surface at the Via del Mare was to blame.
Needless for you to take the p*ss out of me. On the pitch I did not say anything. Either read the whole interview or avoid asking certain questions. You can be provocative even with fairness.
He tried to explain what happened to Lazio at half time.
We have been asking for a year and a half what happens at certain times. We had a very good approach to the game, then some warnings came at the end of the first half. We had gone too deep without conceding much.
The second half we triggered Lecce’s reaction. A game that started with a high level of quality ended with a low mental level. This year we had reduced these moments, but clearly we are not healed.
The Lazio coach was asked about the racist chants coming from some of their away supporters.
I don’t want to be uncaring, but I swear to you that from the bench nothing happened. During the break I asked the referee why since I could hear the chants from the Lecce fans toward Umtiti.
I don’t want racism to be associated with Lazio fans because they are only the minority and not the majority of fans.
Sarri spoke about if he felt responsible for this loss.
I feel as responsible as everyone in the squad, even more so since one change, that of Milinkovic-Savic, was also wrong. Even on the bench we were in mental confusion, like the team on the pitch.
He touched on if he had a lack of options on the bench.
In my opinion Marcos Antonio came in well, he gave us dribble when we didn’t have any left. At that moment of the game the bench needed Messi given the inertia of the game. Putting the cross on these guys who entered is not the case.
He commented on if there was a physical drop in the second half as well as a mental one.
The physical drop is an excuse that should not be given to anyone, neither to the staff nor to the players. We went out like a match. You won’t hear me talk about a physical problem, otherwise we would have lost energy consistently, but we went out.
The 63-year-old Italian coach explained why Pedro started over Felipe Anderson.
Pedro these days was giving the feeling of being alive and I wanted to exploit him immediately in the match. Then there would have been space for Felipe Anderson, it’s a simple choice.
Sarri discussed how Lazio can suffer from aggression by the opponents.
Lecce was aggressive from the beginning, only first we sent it wide and then we suffered. Then that we are not a team, apart from a few individuals, of great speed is a matter of characteristics.
We run a lot, but we don’t have a lot of sprints. On displacement we cannot do anything. Lazio are my team that runs the most in recent years, the one that ran the least was Chelsea.
Finally, Sarri spoke about if Lazio were suffering from a lack of humility.
It can be lack of humility or superficiality. Having the feeling that the opponents cannot hurt us, getting out of the game for a moment and then never getting back in. Why are we cocky?
In the end who the f*ck are we. Excluding Pedro, I don’t see players there who have won it all. I think it’s more superficiality in some moments.