Lazio: Bizzarri, Scaloni, Biava, Dias, Cavanda, Hernanes (78’ Konko), Onazi, Gonzalez (60’ Rozzi), Lulic (69’ Candreva), Kozak, Zarate.
Musa 05 Drakovic; Traviner, Marusko, Kramar, Horvath; Majer, Eterovic, Vas, Janza; Bohar, Fajic.
Lazio sent Mura 05 packing with a comfortable 3-1 victory and are ready for the group stage of Europa League. Many of the players who spent the weekend league fixture on the bench got a chance to show themselves, and two of them scored in a game that should have ended with an even larger margin.
Ahead of the first game in Serie A at Olimpico this season many had come to see the team they have been waiting for all summer. New signing Ciani sat next to President Lotito and both heard and saw their presence through the game, whilst the players tried to make the positivity continue on the pitch. Petkovic seems to have the team better prepared than many thought and Mauri, Ledesma, Marchetti and Klose all sat out a game where Lazio dominated the pitch fully.
Hernanes has already ran more in three games than he has under any previous season and tonight, despite not being totally dominant, he again showed his presence for Lazio. Onazi continued to impress on the pitch and despite the weak opposition the Romans seem to have a gem in the Nigerian. The duo put pressure together with Zarate and Lulic on the Mura defense and after a couple of failed attempts Kozak opened the scoring for the home team. A nice turn with the ball after a Zarate attempt and a neat finish left Drakovic chanceless at 30’.
The Argentinean, as always much debated during the times of the mercato, has been left outside the starting eleven in the opening two games and the attacker looked hungry but frustrated through the game. He got one of tonight’s goals to his name though, five minutes before half time he sent the crowd screaming after having played the ball nicely behind the custodian.
Ten minutes into the second 45’ Kozak doubled his tally as he snapped up a lose ball and converted it nicely and through the rest of the half the striker should have gotten more goals to his name. The total dominance of the possession might have deserved even more goals, but as a game was already decided by such margin the last bit of concentration went missing. Zarate, Candreva , Lulic and Kozak went close from inside the penalty area, while Hernanes and Onazi missed shots from outside the box through the second half.
Towards the end of the game the changes made by Petkovic combined with the upcoming game in 72 hours allowed Lazio to leave the creating of chances overtake the work at the back. Having only forced Bizzarri to one qualified chance before minute 88’, the visitors got one goal back through Travner.
Tomorrow will be a stressful day for all Biancocelesti fans as the transfer market reaches its end and the Europe League will get its groups decided. With three straight wins Petkovic has gotten off to the kind of start he could have hoped for in beforehand, hopefully Lotito will have delivered him good news before the end of the day. Picture gallery : http://lazioland.com/GallerySub.htm?AlbumId=531