(FULL LIST) Europa League: Man Utd To Face Real Sociedad As Arsenal Draw PSV

A photograph taken on August 26, 2022 shows the group draw for the UEFA Europa League football tournament group stage 2022-2023 in Istanbul. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

 

 

2021 Europa league finalists, Manchester United, have been seeded to face Real Sociedad, Moldovan club outfit FC Sheriff and Cypriot team Omononia in the group stage of the 2022/23 tournament.

On the other hand, Arsenal face a tricky test in Group A of the tournament, when they lock horns with, Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s PSV Eindhoven and they also have Zurich and then a 3061kn trip to Norway to face  Bodo/Glimt.

Meanwhile, Mourinho’s AS Roma are drawn in Group C and will face Ludogorets, Spanish side Real Betis, HJK Helsinki

Monaco will take on Red Star Belgrade, Ferencvaros and Turkish champions Trabzonspor in Group H.

Dynamo Kyiv, who lost to Benfica in the Champions League play-offs, will face Rennes, Fenerbahce and AEK Larnaca of Cyprus in Group B.

Lazio and Feyenoord were drawn together in Group F, while French Cup holders Nantes — in their first European campaign in two decades — will play Olympiakos, Freiburg and Qarabag of Azerbaijan.

The group stage will begin on September 8 and concludes on November 3, earlier than usual due to the World Cup in Qatar.

This season’s Europa League final will be played at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on May 31, next year.

Europa League Group Stage in full

 

Group A: Arsenal, PSV, FK Bodo/Glimt, Zurich

Group B: Dynamo Kyiv, Rennes, Fenerbahce, AEK Larnaca

Group C: AS Roma, Ludogorets, Real Betis, HJK Helsinki

Group D: SC Braga, Malmo, Union Berlin, Union Saint-Gilloise

Group E: Manchester United, Real Sociedad, FC Sheriff, Omonia

Group F: Lazio, Feyenoord, Midtjylland, Sturm Graz

Group G: Olympiacos, Qarabag, SC Freiburg, Nantes

Group H: Red Star Belgrade, Monaco, Ferencvaros, Trabzonspor

Lazio President Claudio Lotito Receives Seven Months Ban

 

Lazio president Claudio Lotito has been banned for seven months and the club fined 150,000 euros ($177,000) for breaking Covid-19 rules, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced on Friday.

Club doctors Ivo Pulcini and Fabio Rodia were also suspended for 12 months each, the FIGC said, but the Roman club escaped a Serie A points deduction.

Lazio said in a statement they would appeal the decisions taken following an FIGC investigation of positive tests at the club in October and November.

Lazio were accused of failing to alert local health authorities when eight staff tested positive in late October, on the eve of a Champions League match in Bruges, and then in November, before another Champions League match in St Petersburg.

UEFA requires players and staff to undergo tests before European matches. At least one Lazio player was positive in UEFA tests but negative in Serie A tests in the same period.

The federation also criticised Lazio for “not having prevented” three players from taking part in a squad training session on November 3, despite a positive test the day before.

Lazio are also said to have fielded players in Serie A who should have been in “a period of compulsory isolation, in the absence of symptoms, of at least 10 days”.

FIGC prosecutors had requested a 200,000-euro fine for the club, a 13-month suspension for Lotito, and 16 months for the team doctors.

-AFP

Bayern Beat Lazio To Reach Champions League Quarter-Finals

Holders Bayern Munich qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday after a 2-1 home win over Lazio took them through 6-2 on aggregate.

Robert Lewandowski and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored either side of the interval as the Bavarians reached the last eight of the competition for the ninth time in their last 10 attempts.

Marco Parolo scored a late consolation for the Italians.

Details later

Dortmund Advance To Champions League Last 16

Players vie for the ball in the box during the UEFA Champions League group F football match BVB Borussia Dortmund v Lazio in Dortmund, western Germany, on December 2, 2020.  AFP

 

Borussia Dortmund reached the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday despite Lazio captain Ciro Immobile scoring a second-half penalty against his former club in a 1-1 draw in Germany.

The result at Signal Iduna Park means leaders Dortmund need a win at Zenit St Petersburg next Tuesday to be sure of progressing as Group F winners.

Lazio, who are second and a point behind the Germans, will also go through if they draw at home to Club Brugge the same night.

Immobile, who failed to make his mark in the Bundesliga after an unhappy 2014/15 season at Dortmund, converted a 67th-minute penalty to cancel out Raphael Guerreiro’s goal just before half-time.

The draw could have come at a cost as Dortmund defender Mats Hummels had to be helped off after Immobile trod on his ankle in the dying stages.

Even though their star striker Erling Braut Haaland dropped out just before kick-off, Dortmund did enough to reach the knockout stages.

Haaland, the top scorer in the Champions League this season with six goals in four games, was sidelined by a leg injury.

Dortmund have not said how long he will be out for.

In his absence, captain Marco Reus moved further upfront and Dortmund deservedly went ahead just before the break.

Lazio’s veteran goalkeeper Pepe Reina, 38, played out a weak clearance which was snapped up by Dortmund midfielder Thomas Delaney.

The Dane moved the ball quickly to Guerreiro, who passed off to teenager Giovanni Reyna and sprinted into the area onto Thorgan Hazard’s final pass, which he fired past Reina a minute before half-time.

However, Immobile was a constant menace for Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki, who palmed away a fierce shot with an hour gone.

Guerreiro made way for Nico Schulz as Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre strengthed his defence, but the substitution soon had repercussions.

Schulz had only been on three minutes when he lunged into a clearance in the area and made contact with Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Lazio were awarded a penalty which Immobile duly converted.

Lazio finished the stronger and only a superb diving save by Burki just before the final whistle pushed Immobile’s well-struck effort around the post.

Immobile collided with Hummels late on and the 2014 World Cup winner needed assistance in leaving the pitch.

AFP

Italian FA Probe Lazio Over Possible Violations Of COVID-19 Protocol

File photos of Lazio players at the Olympic stadium in Rome on August 18, 2018.  AFP

 

Lazio are being probed for possible violations to coronavirus health protocols, the Italian Football Federation announced on Tuesday.

The FIGC said in a statement they had “opened an investigation into Lazio to ascertain any violations of the health protocols aimed at containing the Covid-19 epidemic”.

The Serie A club left for Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Zenit Saint Petersburg without star striker Ciro Immobile, goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha, and midfielder Lucas Leiva.

Italian media report that the absence of the three players, who also missed last week’s 1-1 draw at Club Brugge, is linked to coronavirus tests carried out before their planned departure for Belgium in line with UEFA protocol.

However, Italian international Immobile and Leiva both played in Sunday’s 4-3 win at Torino after tests carried out by Lazio.

“We are accustomed to this emergency situation, it saddens me not to have available the players who fought to reach the Champions League,” coach Simone Inzaghi told a press conference in Russia, without specifying whether or not the players were positive for the coronavirus.

Explanations have already been requested from Lazio management after two inspections carried out by Italian football authorities at the team’s training center in the past week.

The FIGC added that it had already asked Lazio for the new tests carried out before the match against Zenit.

Immobile, the European Golden Shoe winner last season, scored in Lazio’s opening Group F win over Borussia Dortmund, as the club returns to the Champions League after a 13-year absence.

AFP

Entire Lazio Squad In Quarantine After COVID-19 Positives

Players of Lazio observe a minute of silence for the victims of Genoa’s Morandi Bridge collapse at the Olympic stadium in Rome on August 18, 2018.  AFP

 

Lazio, already deprived of several players, announced on Saturday that it had put its entire squad in quarantine after positive coronavirus tests. 

Lazio fielded a depleted team in Brugge in the Champions League on Wednesday and drew 1-1 without last season’s top European scorer Ciro Immobile and midfielders Luis Alberto, Manuel Lazzari, Lucas Leiva and Djavan Anderson.

The club said in a statement on Saturday that it had conducted a further round of tests on Friday.

“Some members of the team group tested positive,” it said without giving any names.

It is the first time Lazio has explicitly confirmed cases of Covid-19 in its squad after talking about “doubtful” tests during the week, even though it omitted players from its squad.

“The whole team will repeat today’s checks in order to identify the players that can be used in tomorrow’s match between Turin and Lazio,” the club said.

“The positive results were placed in isolation at home while the team will observe a period of quarantine under active supervision by the medical staff.”

Lazio are 12th in the Italian Championship and travel to Petersburg to play Zenit in the Champions League on Wednesday.

AFP

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.

READ ALSO: Colombian Midfielder Uribe Pens Four-Year Contract With Porto

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