Eight-Man Lazio Fall to Milan in Seriously Fierce Clash

In one of the fieriest matches in recent memory, an eight-man Lazio fell to Milan in a painful defeat after a draining 96-minute clash.

The Biancocelesti came into the match desperate to pick up some points after recent losses to Fiorentina and Bologna, needing to bounce back ahead of the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clash with Bayern Munich. 

Milan were also hungry for victory, having dropped points in their prior two league matches to Atalanta and Monza, results that piled further pressure on coach Stefano Pioli ahead of the final three months of the season.

Although tensions would soon explode, the match at the Stadio Olimpico started calmly, with both sides having a few exploratory attempts through Olivier Giroud, Matias Vecino and Felipe Anderson.

In the 12th minute, Mike Maignan came flying off his line to challenge Valentin Castellanos for the ball, bringing down the Lazio striker. The home side protested for a penalty, but referee Marco Di Bello wasn’t interested.

The only other moment of tension in the first half was a yellow card shown to Maurizio Sarri in the 23rd minute after his frustrations on the sidelines.

The second half is where tensions truly flared; Luca Pellegrini picked up a yellow card for a clumsy foul in the 50th minute and seven minutes later he was involved in the first key moment of the duel.

Castellanos was brought down by the flailing arm of Ismael Bennacer in the 56th minute and the ball bounced into the Lazio half, where Pellegrini picked it up. He hesitated for a moment as Christian Pulisic ran up to challenge, and he ultimately brought down the charging American winger.

Di Bello brandished a second yellow card to the Lazio full back, sending him off and leaving the home side to face Milan with just 10 men for the remaining 30 minutes or so.

With both sides committing various fouls across the second half as play progressed, Milan began to take control of proceedings, having a few decent chances through Giroud, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tijjani Reijnders.

Lazio had the chance to take the lead in the 75th minute when Gustav Isaksen and Ciro Immobile linked up in the Milan penalty area, but the Biancocelesti captain’s shot went just wide.

The Rossoneri thought they’d found their goal moments later, but a VAR check chalked off Rafael Leao’s attempt due to offside, keeping things goalless.

As the final few minutes of regular time began to play out, Milan finally took the lead in the 88th minute after a rebound following two saves from Ivan Provedel fell to Noah Okafor, who smashed the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Tensions truly flared after this and heavy challenges, arguments and brawls ultimately saw an exasperated Di Bello send off both Adam Marusic and Mateo Guendouzi, leaving Lazio with just eight players for the final whistle. 

Tags AC Milan Biancocelesti Italy Lazio Lazio vs Milan Milan Milan vs Lazio Rome rossoneri Serie A