Lazio Topple Inter To Go Second Behind Juventus

 

Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi gave warning his side are ready to fight for their first Serie A title since 2000 after moving into second in Serie A on Sunday, just one point off leaders Juventus after a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Inter Milan.

Juventus reclaimed pole position thanks to Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado’s goals as the Turin giants rediscovered their winning form 2-0 at home against Brescia.

Inter Milan dropped from top spot to third — three points behind the eight-time reigning champions — after falling to just their second defeat of the season.

“We need to stay humble and focused but I’m sure we will succeed. We have nothing to lose,” said Inzaghi.

“We know that Juventus and Inter are two great teams and we will do everything to fight to the end, knowing that it will be very difficult.”

In a fiery clash in the Stadio Olimpico defender Ashley Young broke through just before the break with his first Serie A goal for Inter Milan after his move from Manchester United.

The 34-year-old got his foot to tap-in off a rebound after Thomas Straskosha had cleared from former Lazio player Antonio Candreva.

A Stefan de Vrij foul on Ciro Immobile allowed the Serie A top scorer to slot in his 26th goal in 24 games this season, five minutes after the break.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic snatched the winner after 69 minutes amid confusion in front of the goal.

“We gifted Lazio two goals,” said Inter coach Antonio Conte as the northerners fell to their second defeat after Juventus in October.

Lazio extended their unbeaten run to 19 games as they target their second Scudetto, with a return to Champions League football on the cards for next season.

Ronaldo rested

In Turin, Argentine forward Dybala curled in a perfect free-kick six minutes before the break, shortly after Brescia’s Florian Aye was sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession.

Colombian Cuadrado tapped in the second from close range after a Blaise Matuidi cross with 15 minutes to go, to get back winning after two away defeats.

“We did what we had to do,” said Juve coach Maurizio Sarri.

Cristiano Ronaldo was rested, but veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini returned after a long injury layoff.

“Cristiano had to rest, he cannot play 75 games a year between the national team and club, we decided to let him recuperate,” said Sarri.

Sarri said 35-year-old skipper Chiellini had been desperate to get onto the pitch, after nearly six months off with a cruciate knee injury.

“He said it yesterday, he has made six months of sacrifices and wanted to play the last quarter of an hour, and I found myself next to him when he had already taken off his tracksuit.”

The champions did not have it all their own way against Brescia, who stay second-from-bottom, seven points from safety after extending their winless run to nine games.

Enrico Alfonso went off after just 10 minutes following a knock to the head, with substitute Brescia keeper Lorenzo Andrenacci pulling off some fine saves.

Mertens lifts Napoli

In Sardinia, Napoli got back to winning ways with a Dries Mertens’ 65th-minute goal sealing a 1-0 success over Cagliari.

The Belgian completed a give-and-go with Elseid Hysaj with the ball curling in with a deflection off the post.

It was the 32-year-old’s 120th goal for Napoli, one short of Marek Hamsik’s all-time record, and five ahead of club legend Diego Maradona.

“Dries is a phenomenon, a champion who makes difficult things seem simple,” said coach Gennaro Gattuso.

Gattuso’s side overtake Cagliari, moving up to eighth, two points off the Europa League berths, as Cagliari drop to 11th place.

Hellas Verona missed the chance to close in on fifth-placed Roma, who fell 2-1 at Atalanta on Saturday, with a goalless draw at Udinese.

In the Champions League race, Atalanta are fourth, six points ahead of Roma.

Verona, in the sixth, occupies the final Europa League spot ahead of Parma on goal difference, but stay four points behind Roma.

AFP

Lazio Fined €20,000 For Balotelli Racist Abuse

 

Lazio were fined 20,000 euros on Wednesday for the racist abuse some of their fans aimed at Mario Balotelli during their 2-1 Serie A win at Brescia at the weekend.

In its decision, the disciplinary committee of the Italian football federation (FIGC) referred to “racially discriminatory” chants in the 21st and 29th minutes, and “insulting chants” on three occasions, all aimed at Balotelli.

The disciplinary committee also requested further investigation saying it wanted, among other things, proof of Lazio’s “effective collaboration in identifying the individuals involved.”

Lazio, who after the game issued a statement condemning the behaviour of a “tiny minority” of fans, subsequently promised to “prosecute” those responsible.

Balotelli gave Brescia the lead after 18 minutes of the match on Sunday and shortly afterwards complained to the referee about the abuse.

“It’s already the second time,” Balotelli told referee Gianluca Manganiello after half an hour, with the latter replying: “Now I’ll take care of it”.

The referee briefly interrupted the match, and while an announcement was read over the stadium speakers reminding spectators that play would be suspended and their club penalised if they continued, Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi gestured in front of the visiting fans to stop the chanting.

“Lazio fans that were today at the stadium SHAME ON YOU! #saynotoracism”, Balotelli posted on Instagram after the game.

Racist incidents have been a recurrent problem in Italian stadiums in recent seasons.

In addition to Balotelli, Inter Milan stroker Romelu Lukaku, AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, Fiorentina’s Brazilian Dalbert and Ronaldo Vieira of Sampdoria have already been victims this campaign.

AFP

Lazio Defeat Juventus To Win Super Cup

Lazio’s Italian forward Ciro Immobile runs after the ball during the Supercoppa Italiana final football match between Juventus and Lazio at the King Saud University Stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 22, 2019.
GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

 

Lazio won the Italian Super Cup for a fifth time on Sunday, defeating Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus 3-1 in a game played in the Saudi Arabia capital of Riyadh.

Lazio, the only team to have defeated Juve in Serie A this season, were in front through Luis Alberto after just 16 minutes.

Paulo Dybala levelled just before the break but Bosnian international Senad Lulic restored Lazio’s advantage in the 73rd minute.

Danilo Cataldi added a third in the fourth minute of stoppage time from a free kick after Juve’s Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur had been sent off.

Lazio Remain Third In Serie A After Sassuolo Victory

File: Lazio’s Italian forward Ciro Immobile 
Tiziana FABI / AFP

 

Felipe Caicedo snatched a late winner to keep Lazio third in Serie A with a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday just ahead of city rivals Roma, who beat Brescia 3-0 with England defender Chris Smalling involved in all of his side’s goals.

Champions Juventus maintained their grip on the top of Serie A with a 3-1 win at Atalanta on Saturday, to stay one-point ahead of Inter Milan who eased past Torino 3-0.

The two Roman outfits are now third and fourth respectively before Cagliari, a point behind in fifth, play lowly Lecce later on Sunday.

Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile struck to put Lazio ahead after 34 minutes in Sassuolo with his 15th league goal this season.

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But struggling Sassuolo pulled back a goal back through Francesco Caputo just before the break.

Ecuadorian Caicedo came off the bench to seal a fifth consecutive league win in injury time to keep Lazio seven points behind Inter Milan in third place.

Roma are now two points behind their local rivals after defender Smalling scored and set up the other two goals in a victory over bottom club Brescia.

Smalling, on-loan for the season from Manchester United, headed in the first from a corner after 48 minutes in the Stadio Olimpico.

The 30-year-old then provided the cross that allowed fellow defender Gianluca Mancini to volley in eight minutes later, with Edin Dzeko completing the rout on 66 minutes after Smalling’s headed assist.

Brescia, now coached by 2006 World Cup winner Fabio Grosso, remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

Forward Mario Balotelli was dropped for Sunday’s game because of his lack of commitment in training.

The Italy international tried to play down Thursday’s training ground bust-up with Grosso.

“Recovery! Coming back soon, for the moment let them talk,” the former Marseille attacker said in a post on Instagram showing him undergoing physiotherapy.

Elsewhere, Samuel Di Carmine scored the only goal as Verona piled the pressure on Fiorentina, despite Franck Ribery returning after his three-match suspension.

The Tuscany side is in tenth place with just one point from their last three games.

AFP

Lazio Loan Badelj To Fiorentina

Milan Badelj of Lazio during the Italian Serie A football match SS Lazio v Chievo Verona at the Olimpico Stadium in Rome, Italy on April 20, 2019. Matteo Ciambelli / NurPhoto

 

Fiorentina have signed Croatia midfielder Milan Badelj on a season-long loan from Lazio, the Stadio Artemio Franchi side announced on Monday.

Badelj returns to the Tuscan outfit just a year after leaving for the Italian capital on a free transfer, with the club’s sporting director Daniele Prade revealing in an impromptu press conference they have an option to buy him at the end of the loan period.

“I had the choice to stay at Lazio or return here. I chose the latter, even though I didn’t think there was any chance of it happening given that I left on a free,” the 30-year-old said at the conference.

Badelj, who spent four years at Fiorentina before his move to Lazio, has played more than 40 times for his country, scoring once as they reached the final of last year’s World Cup.

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He won the Coppa Italia with Lazio last season, although he played no part in the final as Simone Inzaghi’s side ran out 2-0 winners over Atalanta.

Italian-American media magnate Rocco Commisso bought Fiorentina in June, ending the 17-year ownership of the Della Valle family led by billionaire Diego Della Valle, the head of luxury group Tod’s.

Hopes are high that 69-year-old Commisso, chairman of cable television provider Mediacom group and owner of the New York Cosmos, can breathe new life into Fiorentina after they escaped relegation to Serie B on the final day of last season.

AFP

Inzaghi Renews Lazio Contract Amid Juve Rumour

Simone Inzaghi, head coach of SS Lazio, before the Serie A football match between Torino FC and SS Lazio at Olympic Grande Torino Stadium on May 25, 2019 in Turin, Italy. Credit: Massimiliano Ferraro/NurPhoto)

 

Simone Inzaghi has extended his contract as coach with Lazio until 2021, the Serie A club confirmed on Thursday.

“The decision to continue this journey together is the result of shared planning, strengthens the bond between the two parties and confirms the unity of intent needed to achieve our sporting objectives,” the team said in a statement.

Inzaghi, who played as a striker for 11 years with Lazio and won the club’s last Serie A title in 2000, took over as coach in 2016.

The 43-year-old won his first major trophy as a coach in this year’s Coppa Italia and had been linked to the vacant coaching positions at champions Juventus and AC Milan.

Lazio finished eighth in Serie A this season but qualified for the Europa League as Coppa Italia winners.

AFP

Lazio See Off Atlanta To Win Seventh Coppa Italia

Lazio’s Italian coach Simone Inzaghi and his team players celebrate as they hold the Tim Cup trophy during the trophy ceremony after winning at the end of the Italian Tim Cup final match between Lazio and Atalanta, on May 15, 2019 at the Olympic Stadium in Rome.
Isabella BONOTTO / AFP

 

Late goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Joaquin Correa guided Lazio to a 2-0 victory over Atalanta as the Romans lifted the Coppa Italia for the seventh time on Wednesday.

Serb Milinkovic-Savic came on after 79 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico and headed home the opener three minutes later, before Correa sealed victory in the closing seconds of the match.

The victory books Lazio a ticket to next season’s Europa League.

AFP

Immobile’s Goals Fire Lazio To Fourth Position In Serie A

Lazio’s Italian forward Ciro Immobile celebrates after scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A football match Lazio vs Spal at the Olympic stadium in Rome on November 4, 2018.
Tiziana FABI / AFP

 

Ciro Immobile scored two early goals as Lazio beat SPAL 4-1 to move fourth in Serie A and into the Champions League places on Sunday.

Simone Inzaghi’s side bounced back from a home defeat to Inter Milan to move ahead of AC Milan, who play in Udinese later Sunday.

Immobile scored after 26 and 35 minutes to bring his tally to eight league goals this season with Danilo Cataldi (59) and Marco Parolo (70) adding two more in the second half.

Lazio with 21 points from 11 games are ten points behind leaders Juventus, who continued their unbeaten run with a 3-1 win over Cagliari on Saturday.

Italian international Immobile volleyed in the first after 26 minutes off a Cataldi corner, past SPAL goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, brother of Lazio midfielder Sergej, who was also playing at the Stadio Olimpico.

But the celebrations were short-lived with Mirco Antenucci tapping in the equaliser for SPAL two minutes later.

Vanja Milinkovic-Savic denied Immobile from close range and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic sent over before Immobile’s second.

Felipe Caicedo broke through the SPAL defence and set up Immobile, whose shot took a deflection off Filippo Costa over the SPAL goalkeeper.

Blunders by SPAL’s Brazilian defender Everton Luiz allowed Cataldi and Parolo to break through in the second half, but Immobile was denied a hat-trick by the woodwork.

SPAL, a club from Ferrara in Emilia-Romagna, stay 15th after their seventh defeat of the season.

Lazio next host French club Marseille at the Stadio Olimpico in the Europa League on November 8, before travelling to Sassuolo in Serie A.

AFP

Marseille Drawn With Lazio, Frankfurt In Europa League

Marseille Drawn With Lazio, Frankfurt In Europa League
Former Netherlands midfielder Aron Winter holds the slip of Olympique de Marseille during the draw for UEFA Europa League football tournament at The Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on August 31, 2018. Valery HACHE / AFP

 

Marseille, last season’s beaten Europa League finalists, were drawn with Lazio and Eintracht Frankfurt in a strong Europa League group on Friday.

Arsenal were handed a seemingly easier task against Sporting Lisbon, Azerbaijani club Qarabag and Vorskla of Ukraine.

The other English club in Europe’s second-tier competition, Chelsea, will play PAOK Salonika, BATE Borisov from Belarus and Hungarians Vidi.

Scottish champions Celtic are in a group that includes the two Red Bull-owned clubs — Salzburg, a beaten semi-finalist last season, and Leipzig — as well as Rosenborg of Norway.

Rangers, a fourth seed, face a tough task progressing on their return to Europe against Villarreal, Rapid Vienna and Spartak Moscow.

Dudelange, the first club from Luxembourg to reach the group stage of the competition, were handed a trip to the San Siro to play AC Milan, who have won eight European trophies and will also face Real Betis and Olympiakos.

Antoine Griezmann, who scored twice in last season’s final as Atletico Madrid beat Marseille 3-0, was named the Europa League player of last season.

Griezmann, a World Cup winner with France, also finished fourth in the UEFA player of the season award announced on Thursday and won by Croatian Luka Modric, a winner in the Champions League final and runner-up in the World Cup.

The first round of matches will be played on Thursday, September 20

AFP

Ronaldo Makes Winning Home Debut As Juventus Beat Lazio

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Lazio on August 25, 2018 at the Allianz Stadium in Turin. PHOTO: Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo made a winning home debut for Italian champions Juventus with Miralem Pjanic and Mario Mandzukic scoring in a 2-0 win over Lazio on Saturday.

Ronaldo, 33, played a role in Mandzukic’s second goal of the night on 75 minutes after Pjanic put the hosts in front at the Allianz Stadium.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner joined the Serie A champions from Real Madrid on July 10 in a 100-million-euro deal but has yet to score his first competitive goal.

Juve have now won their opening two games after last weekend’s 3-2 success against Chievo in Verona.

Lazio — fifth last season in Serie A — have had their worst start to the season in over a decade following last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at home against Napoli.

In the first home game for the seven-time defending champions, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa started on the bench, with coach Massimiliano Allegri opting for Federico Bernardeschi and Mandzukic to spearhead the frontline with Ronaldo.

Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio had ended Juventus’s two-year unbeaten home Serie A run last year, but apart from a Luis Alberto shot after an hour they failed to threaten.

Germany international Sami Khedira rattled the woodwork after 19 minutes for the home side, with Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha diving to keep out a Bernardeschi angled drive.

But the hosts broke through on the half-hour when Mandzukic knocked down a cross for Pjanic to power a half-volley into the corner.

Lazio’s Marco Parolo missed a chance to equalise when his header flew over the bar just before the break.

Ronaldo came close after 63 minutes but headed just wide after connecting with a Joao Cancelo cross and again threatened on 71 minutes but Strakosha tipped over.

Cancelo then set up Ronaldo for what looked destined to be his first goal for his new club, but the Portuguese star failed to control the ball in front of goal and Mandzukic fired home.

It was the first time that Ronaldo has not scored at the Allianz Stadium, having found the net three times for Real Madrid against the Italians.

Ronaldo’s next chance for his first goal will come against promoted Parma next Saturday.

Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti faces an emotional home debut as Napoli coach against old club AC Milan later on Saturday.

Ancelotti spent most of his career at AC Milan with the 59-year-old winning three Serie A and four European titles as a player and coach with the northern giants.

AFP

Hard-Core Lazio Fans Want Women Banned From ‘Sacred Place’

Players of Lazio observe a minute of silence for the victims of Genoa’s Morandi Bridge collapse, prior to the Italian Serie A football match Lazio vs Napoli at the Olympic stadium in Rome on August 18, 2018. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

 

Die-hard ultra fans of Italian top-flight side Lazio want women banned from their “sacred place” of the front rows in the stadium, according to reports in Italy on Sunday.

A flyer being attributed to Lazio ultras was circulated before the team’s opening Serie A game — a 2-1 loss to Napoli — at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday.

“The Curva Nord for us represents a sacred place. An environment with an unwritten code to be respected,” read the flyer signed “Direttivo Diabolik Pluto”, which was circulated on the north stand which Lazio fans occupy in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

“The first rows, as always, we experience them as if they were a trenched line. We do not admit women, wives or girlfriends, so, if this is the case, we invite you to position yourself from row 10 onwards.

“Those who choose the stadium as an alternative to the carefree and romantic day at Villa Borghese (one of the main parks in Rome), go to other areas.”

Lazio’s ultras fans have often courted controversy and the club were fined 50,000 euros last year after supporters displayed stickers showing Holocaust victim Anne Frank in a Roma shirt along with anti-Semitic messages.

Bitter city rivals Lazio and Roma share the Olympic Stadium.

Lazio, Atletico Record Home Wins In Europa Clashes

Lazio, Atletico Record Home Wins In Europa Clashes
Lazio’s midfielder from Brazil Felipe Anderson (2ndR) scores during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg football match against FC Salzburg on April 5, 2018 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. TIZIANA FABI / AFP

 

Italian club Lazio and Spain’s Atletico Madrid won the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final matches on Thursday.

Lazio edged a six-goal thriller 4-2 against Salzburg as all four home sides took an advantage into the second leg.

Meanwhile, favourites for the competition Atletico eased past Sporting Lisbon 2-0 after Koke put the 2012 winners ahead in the Spanish capital after just 22 seconds.

Antoine Griezmann’s 24th goal of the season also put Diego Simeone’s men on the brink of a fifth European semi-final in his seven seasons in charge.

Elsewhere, RB Leipzig lead French giants Marseille 1-0 as German international striker Timo Werner got the only goal for the Bundesliga side.

AFP