Lazio continue their preseason camp at Auronzi di Cadore with a three-team mini tournament against Siena and Torino. Today and tomorrow the players will be given the chance to show coach Petkovic that they deserve a stay in the Biancocelesti shirt and as the days up in the mountains are coming to an end the chances to impress the new man in charge are getting fewer and fewer.
Lazio: Marchetti, Cavanda, Stendardo, Biava, Garrido, Gonzalez, Ledesma, Cana, Hernanes, Floccari, Kozak.
Siena: Pegolo, Terzi, Paci, Contini, Sestu, Vergassola, D’Agostino, Mannini, Rubin, Bogdan, Larrondo.
The first 30 minutes of the game was totally dominated by a 4-3-1-2 playing Lazio, with Siena being forced to defend most of the time. Three good chances were created by Lazio, but Kozak, Cana and Hernanes on a free kick, all missed the opportunities created.
Petkovic saw his men playing very aggressively in defense and as soon as the ball was intercepted there were light blue options to find in more than one position. Quite a few corners were created through the first 45 and Stendardo came closest to opening the goal on a header, but Pegolo made a wonderful save to force the ball outside his post.
As the end of the first half emerged Lazio fell a little further down the park, letting Siena take over possession as well as keeping Lazio away from their penalty area.
Added to that, Siena opened the scoring five minutes before the whistle. D’Agostini sent a well weighed ball to Larrondo, who beat the offside trap and chipped the ball behind Marchetti on the first attack on the Lazio goal. Not too well deserved, but the risks Lazio are taking by pressing high up the pitch became evident as Stendardo and Biava were easily overplayed as D’Agostini was given too much time on the ball.
The second half saw Cana again return to the centre of defense and Onazi introduced in the middle of the park, as Biava was substituted. Also in attack Petkovic went for one change; Alfaro was brought on for Kozak.
Lazio performed nothing of the positive football created during the first part of the game and it was not until Zarate was brought on for Floccari at 55’ that Lazio again managed to create a little bit of danger.
Garrido, Cavanda, Marchetti and Hernanes were all replaced by Zauri, Scaloni, Berardi and Rozzi with half an hour left and all the substitutions interrupted the flow of the game to an extent that the Lazio players looked out of position during much of the half.
When Candreva replaced Gonzalez with quarter of an hour left of the game Lazio also created the best chance so far in the game. The midfielder fired a shot after good work by Zarate far down the left hand side, but saw himself denied by the post.
Konko created another corner for Lazio shortly after having replaced Stendardo, nicely set up by Candreva and Alfaro but Pegolo got his fingers on the ball. In injury time Zarate set himself up after a nice dribbling run, but again the Siena custodian denied Lazio a goal.
Eleven shots on goal and a massive advantage at the start and end of the game was not enough this evening and the sole goal of Siena on their only attempt gave the end result. At 15.00 tomorrow the team will face Torino, hoping to make the most out of the last game before travelling back to Rome and entering the second stage of the preparations ahead of the new season.
Player Ratings: Marchetti: 6
Man of the match: Antonio Candreva
Only 16 minutes of the field, but Candreva had time to press. Siena's left back was unable to handle his running on the side, and he nearly made the score even with a great free kick.
Flop of the match: Emiliano Alfaro
The striker was unable to find much room up front, and when he finally got his chance on a header it went straight in the arms of Siena's goalkeeper Pegolo.
Honourable mention: Hernanes
Was all over the field today and his fitness looks to have improved. Directed the midfield, but also put in a good job to win the ball.