Tuesday Sep 26, 2017  
     
 
  13/07/2014: Auronzo di Cadore: Day 3
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The third day of pre-season training begins with the anticipated physical workout. Once the players are all stretched out, Pioli begins some ball possession exercises. Lazio have been working with the 4-3-3 with the clear goal of testing it out in tonight's friendly against CS Auronzo, and there is no let up in the preparations. Eventually, the team being working on the construction of play and in particular, the counter-attack. Pioli's teams were well-known for their defensive security and counter-attacking plays, and it seems that with better players at his disposal, Pioli will continue to stick to his guns. 

The manager can be heard asking his attackers to drop deep in order to link up more easily with the midfield when counter-attacking. Onlookers note Pioli' almost obsessive attention to detail. In leaving no stone unturned, Pioli now begins to look at set-pieces and in particular, how to defend them. The training session closes with some shot practice.

The evening session sees Lazio welcome CS Auronzo, although in reality, it will be the "visitors" who feel more at home. These friendlies have become a regular thing and we've become accustomed to seeing Lazio make the scoreboard produce double-figures. Today was no exception, although only just, as Lazio ran out convincing 10-0 winners. Pioli fielded two separate teams in each half and they were as follows:

1st half (4-3-3): Strakosha; Basta, Novaretti, Filippini, Radu; Ledesma, Antic, Vinicius; Felipe Anderson, Rozzi, Keita

2nd half (4-3-3): Berisha; Konko, Ciani, Cana, Braafheid; Cataldi, Elez, Mauri; Oikonomidis, Djordjevic, Pereirinha

Lazio take a 4-0 lead into half-time. The pick of the bunch was the opener as Felipe Anderson finds Rozzi who subsequently lobs the keeper. Antic and Felipe Anderson scored rebounds, the former's goal largely due to a Keita effort that rattled the post. Lazio's final goal of the half came as Auronzo's Pitarevic put the ball past his own keeper.

The second half was dominated by Pereirinha, who bagged himself a hat-trick. The Portuguese player - now being featured in a more preferable advanced role - wreaked havoc from the left-wing. Captain Mauri and Filip Djordjevic broke up Pereirinha's goalscoring exploits with their own goals. CS Auronzo did get a little time to gather their breath when Marchetti was brought on to rapturous applause but it was 90 minutes of sustained excellence from Lazio. The rout was completed when the substitute Cavanda made it ten. Pioli was happy; Lazio pass their first test - if we can call it that - with flying colours.
Author: Cathal Mullan
 
 
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