Friday Apr 28, 2017  
     
 
  18/02/2013: Making Amends
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Since the start of the year, Lazio have only managed two points in four league matches. Despite an impressive performance against Napoli last Saturday, coach Vladmir Petkovic is hoping that last year’s winning trend will start to take unfold again in the coming weeks.

Saturday's encounter with Napoli gave us all an indication as to what Lazio can do this season. Although it has been a dreadful start to the new-year for the Biancocelesti, Petkovic is happy with recent performances, considering a run of bad results.

“Against Napoli we had several opportunities to make it 2-0, but weren’t sharp enough to finish them off. It’s a shame we did not win this evening. The first half was excellent, but we also did well after the break. Walter Mazzarri played with four strikers at the end, yet we hit the bar after their equaliser and could’ve won. We need to be more aggressive in the box.”

Missing Miroslav Klose through injury was always going to be problematic, but it seems Sergio Floccari has taken advantage of his new starting role and is starting to emerge as Lazio’s top striker.

Regarding Floccari, Petkovic said that “When a striker starts scoring, he gains confidence. Sergio works hard for the team, but is also managing to score lots of goals.”

Lazio’s league form has been quite predictable in recent seasons. With a great first eleven, the first half of the season has seen Lazio emerge as Scudetto contenders in the run up to Christmas. However, form has been a concern when returning from the new-year, and injuries and tiredness start to occur.

The aim for this season is without a doubt, qualification for the Champions League. I strongly believe that this is not beyond Lazio’s reach. Even without the goals that Klose provides, Floccari has showed us that he can fill in for the German international when needed.

After a disappointing result against Napoli at the weekend, Petkovic took his squad to Germany to face Monchengladbach in what was going to be a real test of character from the team. The match ended in a 3-3 draw, and it was an overall impressive performance from Lazio.

A fantastic match saw Lazio concede three penalties, outlining that frailties from set-plays are an issue that the coach needs to work on before facing Siena on Monday.

It was great however, that Floccari found the score-sheet yet again. The almost forgotten Libor Kozak also bagged a brace to remind Petkovic of his presence amongst the bench. Lazio now take a precious three away goals back to Rome for the second leg, a match that Petkovic and Lazio will be very confident of winning.

“I am very happy to have rediscovered the Lazio I last saw a few months ago. We are alive, playing good football and I hope we can take the same approach in the second leg with numerous fans putting pressure on the visitors the way that we experienced it in Germany.”

“Floccari did very well again, but he is not the only one, as the goals come from teamwork. I must compliment my squad on the way they behaved. We’ll try to absorb and forget it tomorrow so we can already start focusing on Siena.”

Despite a lot of controversy regarding certain players in recent months, Lazio will be extremely glad to have extended the contracts of Andre Dias, Ogenyi Onazi, Alvaro Gonzalez and Senad Lulic.

Monday’s fixture against Siena is a hugely important match for Lazio. Without a win so far in 2013, the Biancocelesti face a rejuvenated Siena side who will be confident of winning themselves, after overcoming Inter with ease last Sunday.

Last year’s trip to Tuscany to face Siena saw Lazio receive a 4-0 thumping, so eyes will be wide open this time around. If the Aquile are serious about a third place finish, it is vital that winning form resumes on Monday.

Author: Ben Lally
 
 
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