Maurizio Sarri found the positives in Lazio’s Champions League draw with Atletico Madrid, feeling their performance bodes well for the new season.
The Biancocelesti have so far failed to get off the ground in Serie A, losing three of their opening four games, but the team looked more impressive in their first European outing, matching up well against Diego Simeone’s side.
Lazio were unlucky to concede after 29 minutes and they pushed for an equaliser for the remainder of the match, eventually being rewarded when goalkeeper Ivan Provedel scored a sensational header in the final seconds to tie things up.
The goal seems like a lucky moment because it was scored by the goalkeeper but it’s an act of justice, we didn’t deserve to go out with a defeat.
In the first half we played significantly better, at half-time there was the risk of giving in to bad luck, Instead we remained in a difficult match because they have great ease in defending low in the area and have counterattacks and dribbling quality.
A well-deserved point with a good performance, despite everyone telling us that we are a team in difficulty, who have faced in the last three Napoli, Juventus and Atletico Madrid, three of the strongest teams in Europe.
Having achieved a victory, a defeat and a draw, therefore it means that we are in it at this level too.
He touched on the team’s slow start to the new season.
The moves are slow because the conditions of the pitch are disastrous. You always have to take three touches and we are the only team in Italy with over 98% of balls played low. Last year these days we lost 5-1 with Midtjylland. This year we are further ahead.
Our strong responsibilities are on the first two matches, then we showed that we can also play at a high European level.
The Lazio coach commented on the hard work of Luis Alberto.
Luis Alberto also reached this level last year after the World Cup. For us he has become an essential, very important player and has all the characteristics of a leader both from a technical and character point of view.
Sarri touched on the team’s reaction to Pablo Barrios’ 29th minute goal.
The message is that when we are in these moments we need to go beyond the incident, we must not abandon ourselves to bad luck, otherwise we enter resigned and have a second half which is not positive.
We also need to defeat the moment and in the end, we came out of it rightly at the head.
He spoke about the work of new signings Gustav Isaksen and Matteo Guendouzi.
They entered a very difficult moment in the match, they didn’t do badly but it’s clear that some time is needed, they are guys who come from different experiences so it’s a process of a few months that needs to be done.
They are happy with how they are applying it and I think there is considerable room for improvement.
Finally, Sarri looked ahead to Lazio’s next Champions League game against Celtic.
When we talk about a group that lasts six matches, the matches are all important and decisive. In Scotland the matches are not simple, they are an opponent to study.