Following Lazio’s impressive 3-1 win over Inter, Jerry Mancini looks back on an excellent showing from Maurizio Sarri’s side…
It was an inspiring performance from Lazio on Friday night as they won 3-1 versus Inter at the Stadio Olimpico. An incredible pass from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in midfield to Felipe Anderson, who was left unmarked inside Inter’s box, opened the score. This goal was canceled out shortly after half-time by Lautaro Martinez.
However, Lazio showed resiliency and got two magnificent goals late in the second half from Luis Alberto and Pedro, the latter guaranteed the victory.
Lazio were dominant in all areas of the pitch as they made it difficult for Inter to sustain any momentum. The Biancocelesti limited their space in the final third, won several key challenges, were composed and organized in the backend and played with high intensity.
Lazio remain unbeaten this season and have shown a different demeanor on the pitch compared to their recent campaign. They’re fighting for loose balls, players are tracking back to support the defense, they’re making the simple pass and are not over committing in difficult situations.
Although it’s still early into the season, the defence has looked more organized and composed. This was an area last year that created problems late into matches for Lazio.
“We’ve been sending some good signals lately, as we go through periods of being under pressure without actually risking much at the back,” Lazio manager, Maurizio Sarri, said to DAZN.
“This team has gained in solidity and organization, so we are capable of beating anyone on the day, but our problem has always been consistency. Now we need to follow this, ride the wave and not think it’ll be any easier against different opponents.
“The issue has always been one of mentality. If there are few players who feel fatigue or tension, that spreads even to those who haven’t played as much and ought to be fresh. That’s what we need to work on.”
The partnership of Alessio Romagnoli and Patric has been a major factor to Lazio’s improvement in the backline. The Biancocelesti signed Romagnoli this summer transfer market and he has started off well in the early part of the season.
Romagnoli had a strong performance versus Inter as he showed good awareness, made key challenges and acted as a leader, keeping the defense stable and composed. He had the most clearances with eight, one interception, won two aerial duels and a pass accuracy rate of 96.2%.
Prior to Sarri’s arrival, Patric’s performances were poor with Lazio. Consistency was an issue for the Spaniard as he struggled on most nights and was at the forefront of critical mistakes late into matches and showed little improvement each season.
However, Sarri has helped the centre-back reinvigorate his game and become an integral part to this club. Patric has come a long way with Lazio as he’s battled adversity which has helped him grow as a player.
Patric played a simple yet effective game versus Inter. He didn’t overcommit in key situations, made the simple pass when needed and, similar to Romagnoli, showed good awareness. They did a great job defending Inter striker, Romelu Lukaku, as he had minimal space to work with, was indecisive and wasn’t clinical. The forward was rarely noticeable and didn’t create any difficulty in the final third.
While Lazio’s team performance was outstanding and the defense continues to improve, Danilo Cataldi dominated the midfield battle.
Cataldi played a significant role in Lazio’s midfield and was effective at both ends of the pitch. Defensively, he proved he was not a liability as he didn’t commit himself high up the pitch. He showed good composure, was well positioned in the midfield and limited Inter’s chances.
Nicolo Barella and Marcelo Brozovic had mediocre performances and this was partially due to Cataldi’s ability to pressure them throughout the match. The Lazio midfielder was decisive, quick to win loose ball challenges, gave them minimal time when in possession and cut down their space. He showed confidence and played with a high tempo.
When Cataldi made a poor pass, he was quick to react to regain possession. He protected the ball very well in order to limit his turnovers. On the offensive side, he was effective in set piece situations as he delivered quality crosses into the goal area and made vital passes when needed.
He finished the most touches on Lazio with 78, two key passes, one successful dribble and 3/3 accurate long ball passes. It was a simple, concise and calm match from Cataldi, who showed great maturity.
“Cataldi? Yes, I think he had a good game,” Sarri stated to DAZN.
“Growing performance of a boy who has good skills and who will carve out a season as a protagonist.”
Jerry Mancini | GIFN