Lazio were thoroughly outclassed by Atalanta in a concerning 2-0 loss, a match that summarised the recent issues plaguing Maurizio Sarri’s side.
The Biancocelesti kicked off the new year with inconsistency a key theme, losing to Lecce in their opening game of 2023 before dropping points to Empoli. Positive signs were shown in back to back wins over Sassuolo and Milan, but the Roman outfit were unable to generate any momentum and quickly slipped back to a shaky position.
Heading into the match with Atalanta, Lazio had drawn their last two league outings, against Hellas Verona and Fiorentina, and were hungry to finally pick up three points again as they looked to take an important step forward in the race for a top four finish.
Unfortunately for Sarri and Lazio, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side showed why they’re one of the favourites for a Champions League spot with a punishing performance at the Stadio Olimpico. Despite having just 40% of the ball and completing over 200 passes less than the home side, Atalanta were far more dangerous in possession, generating an expected goals of 2.84.
Davide Zappacosta put la Dea ahead after just 23 minutes with a quick curling shot from the edge of the penalty area, which crept past a leaping Ivan Provedel into the top corner. Rasmus Hojlund, who was the best on the pitch in the clash, was rewarded with a simple goal in the 65th minute, poking in a low-drilled ball across the box to give his side a comfortable cushion to defend from.
The Biancocelesti may have completed 549 passes to Atalanta’s 332, but they only managed 13 shots overall, 10 less than the away side. With an xG of 0.93, the team were disappointingly deserved losers in front of their passionate supporters, forcing the team to dig deep and bounce back if they want to stay in the race for a top four finish.