Lazio finally resembled the team that finished second in Serie A last season in their impressive 2-0 win away to Sassuolo.
The Biancocelesti have looked frustratingly inconsistent in the first two months of the new campaign but have finally started to turn things around under Maurizio Sarri, who has made it clear that things need to improve if the team want any hope of securing a top four finish this season.
With Sarri suspended following his red card in the win over Atalanta, assistant coach Giovanni Martusciello oversaw proceedings at the Mapei Stadium.
Lazio started a mix of fresh faces and the old guard, with players like Mateo Guendouzi and Valentin Castellanos starting alongside Pedro and Patric.
Lazio quickly took control of the match in Reggio-Emilia, subjecting Sassuolo to waves of probing attacks, and took the lead in the 28th minute after Luis Alberto nicked the ball in the final third, laying it off to Castellanos. The Argentine played a simple pass to Felipe Anderson, who easily guided it past Andrea Consigli.
The Brazilian winger was also involved in the Biancocelesti’s second goal seven minutes later, drilling a low cross into the Neroverdi box which wasn’t dealt with by Daniel Boloca, allowing Luis Alberto to slyly chip the ball into the back of the net, making it 2-0.
The second half saw Danilo Cataldi’s dipping shot hit the post in the 56th minute, before drama struck in the 62nd minute; Ivan Provedel seemingly caught the ball outside the penalty area, pushing referee Marco Di Bello to brandish a red card.
The officials carried out a VAR check and determined that Provedel had just managed to keep his hands inside the confines of the box, so his red card was rescinded and he was allowed to play on, letting the team breath a sigh of relief.
Lazio had a few close chances as the second half progressed and looked firmly in control as they saw out their 2-0 victory, picking up all three points in a confident showing against Sassuolo.