Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri was exasperated when speaking to the media after the Champions League loss to Feyenoord, reflecting on the frustrations of defeat.
The Biancocelesti looked poor at De Kuip as the Eredivisie outfit cruised to a comfortable 3-1 win, looking in control throughout the 90 minutes. The consolation goal from Pedro came from the penalty spot, doing little to salvage some joy.
The defeat bumps Lazio down to third in Group E and piles on the pressure ahead of their return clash with Feyenoord in Rome on November 7, a game that could be crucial in determining the outcome of the group.
Speaking in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Sarri first reacted to Lazio’s 3-1 loss to Feyenoord.
It hurt due to timing, intensity, continuity. One going at 30 an hour and the other slowly, it’s normal for them to come from all sides. The problem is the attitude, with little personality.
We knew that this would have been the match, it’s difficult to digest the first half we played. The second goal can’t be conceded, the first was in the air. But the second wasn’t.
It’s equally clear that when they press you with this intensity then in the 20 final minutes, they give you something and so it happened.
If you stay in the game, they give you something, but what I didn’t like was the submissive attitude.
In the first half we were anything but a team of personalities. In this competition we are in deep water. We have to tread water so as not to drown. If we give 101%, we can save ourselves, otherwise we are going into terrible difficulty.
He was asked why the team failed to put up much fight at De Kuip.
We talk about the conscious aspects, I don’t think the boys had any less desire to play football than other evenings.
It’s better to lose a ball to play quickly than to touch it one more time. These are all unconscious aspects, difficult to ponder.
The coach commented on if he’d make the same choices in hindsight and if he got the starting lineup wrong.
This is one of those questions… In hindsight. If I would change something, I wouldn’t change where you think.
Let’s put it this way, we lost 3-1 and so yes (wrong lineup, ed.). It’s not like we’re going analyse a match lost because a player was out of tune.
Sarri was asked if he was worried about this defeat.
I’m worried about one aspect, the fact that this team, even in matches that do well, have 10 or 15 minutes of total emptiness.
That leaves you with a minimum of concern because there are matches in which you have lapses, and you pay dearly for them.
He commented on the difficulties of competing in the Champions League.
I find it hard to understand certain things. The character, whether you play in the Champions League or other competitions, should always be the same. The matches have started. I understand that there is more pressure in the Champions League…
But this competition involves this type of situations and opponents. I have a hard time understanding it. I would have liked it more to lose due to an excess of malice, I would have liked it more in terms of attitude.
Finally, Sarri discussed his decision not to start Mateo Guendouzi and Valentin Castellanos.
I was criticized for always making the same players play, now I’m criticized because I rotate too much… come to an agreement. I kept them on the bench because I had made them play on Saturday night.
Then against a team like that you go and choose the technique or physicality? I have more regret for not having Kamada play.
If we exclude the technical aspect, perhaps it was more of a Guendouzi game. And Ciro cannot be abandoned. If Castellanos is always played, Immobile will not ever bear fruit.