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  13/12/2013: Match Report Europa League: Lazio - Trabzonspor 0-0
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Line-ups:
Lazio: Berisha, Cavanda, Biava, Novaretti, Radu, Ledesma, Onazi, Anderson, Ederson, Keita, Floccari.

Trabzonspor: Kivrak; Bosingwa, Yumlu, Bamba, Demir; Adin, Akgun Colman, Malouda ; Alanzinho, Henrique.

Top spot of Group J was at stake when Lazio welcomed Trabzonspor to Stadio Olimpico. With a two point advantage the Turks would settle for a draw, while the Italians were hoping to avoid second place and by doing so also avoid facing one of the Champions League teams entering the competition in the knock-out stages.

Accordingly, Lazio dominated the possession throughout the game and created enough chances to win the game but the game ended in a goalless draw and the home fans jeered off Petkovic and the team from the pitch.

Compared to many of the games in the Serie A, Lazio did manage to create some good chances out of the massive possession. Especially in the first half many were feeling that Lazio should have opened the scoring. With Biava back in the team and with Radu and Ledesma present as well, Novaretti and Cavanda had the support needed to form a defensive partnership that looked solid for the full 90 minutes. Berisha in goal did not have much to do and not a single advanced goal scoring opportunity was recorded for the visitors and whatever there was to do Berisha did it well. The midfield looked livelier than ever and despite playing with one isolated attacker in Floccari there were chances made that seemed to push Lazio in the right direction.

Apart from some decent attempts from Ederson, Keita and Floccari, it was in the last five minutes of the first half where the scoring should have been opened. Floccari missed a good header and shortly after Ederson went close through an overhead kick that saw the ball miss the goal by a small margin. The best chance fell to Anderson though, but the young Brazilian missed an open goal from a perfect position straight in front of

When the teams got back after the interval hopes were high that Lazio would capitalize, show some strength, grab the first spot and gain some confidence for the crucial Livorno game that waits on Sunday. The reality was completely different though. Petkovic had not managed to fuel the players whatsoever and even though the defensive duties were well handled, the attacking department went missing for the full second half.

Petkovic did try to shake things up by inserting Hernanes and Candreva and a little later Klose made his return, but neither could help out in handing Lazio a much needed win. The latter did set up a brilliant goal scoring opportunity in the dying minutes, but despite a perfect chance of rushing into the penalty area and tap in 1-0 no one made the run and Klose was visibly irritated by the lack of commitment shown by his comrades. Hernanes and Candreva looked as poor as they usually have this season and neither brought the desired quality to the side.

Straight after the game Petkovic again underlined the team does everything well but scoring goals and blamed much of the lack of quality and commitment on the players focusing too much on the Livorno game already. Lazio were through even if a loss had been recorded, meaning the concentration was rather focused on the life saving win that will come against Livorno. When Petkovic was reminded that Lazio had not won a game in the league since October he responded by saying “…the last thing this team needs is more negativity…”.

Author: Khashayar Kashefi
 
 
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