Wednesday May 23, 2018  
  30/08/2015: Report: Chievo 4-0 Lazio
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Lazio and Chievo faced off today at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi in what was a tactically played affair. Maran had his men well prepared and hungry to pick up another victory to start their Serie A campaign. Marchetti was once again not able to start in goal due to his rib condition so Berisha picked up the slack. In the centre of defence for Lazio it would be De Vrij and Gentilleti shoring up the back four, both Basta and Radu started on the right and left hand sides respectively to support them. In midfield for Lazio it was Parolo, Cataldi and Lulic all picking up starts, this would be an important match for Cataldi to add to his equity and show his true worth. Keita led the charge for Lazio in the centre of the attack, he was supported on his wings by both Candreva and Kishna, their influence would be crucial today.

Lazio looked the early aggressors and had the lion share of possession and chances on goal but it was Chievo who emerged as the early leaders in the 13th minute from a Meggiorini shot on goal. The shot was deflected off Gentilleti and as a result Berisha was moving in the wrong direction, an unfortunate and unlucky bounce for Lazio. It could have easily been 2-0 just a minute later but Gentilleti made a decisive intervention on Paloschi. From the goal onwards Lazio looked deflated and Cheivo imposed themselves on Lazio and created several opportunities, however, Berisha was wise to their advances on target. Basta made yet another crucial intervention stopping a Paloschi shot from reaching Berisha, Chievo had their chances to add to their tally.
Kishna and Candreva started switching sides in an effort to add some confusion in attack for Lazio but Chievo were up to the challenge. In the 30th minute the inevitable finally happened and Chievo went up 2-0, a cross into the Lazio box was back heeled in front to Paloschi and he headed it in from close range on the six yard box, Lazio were being completely out hustled and the rout was on. Birsa made it 3-0 for Chievo just before half time off a great free kick, Lazio had no answers and the only thing they could do was pray for halftime. After 45 minutes it was 3-0 for Chievo and Lazio headed for the tunnel with nothing to think about other than the dismal performance they had just put on, a shocking display to watch.

The second half started with Pioli making his first two substitutions, Ravel Morrison came on for Lulic and Patric came on to replace Basta, anything would be better. It should have really been a fourth for Chievo only minutes into the second half but Paloschi sent his shot into the 32nd row with only Berisha to beat. Bizzarri made a great save on Parolo ten minutes into the second half to keep his clean sheet; he always seems to stand on his head against Lazio. Felipe Anderson came on for Candreva the ghost in the 59th minute and Pioli had played all of his cards.

Paloschi once again had a great opportunity in the 63rd minute but his header went just about a foot wide off target, he should have had a double hatrick today, Lazio’s backline was caught standing yet again, Radu continuously looked out of place. Paloschi, has his name been mentioned at all yet, broke away on goal only for Gentilleti to track back and make a great slide tackle away for a corner. Off the ensuing corner Paloschi headed one in only for it to be denied by an offside call, he looked level and it should have been four to nil. A minute later and it was Paloschi, no this is not an excerpt from a fiction novel, and finally it was 4-0 for Chievo, Lazio were once again outclassed at the back as Birsa exposed them only to set up Paloschi on a platter.

Lazio undoubtedly have some injury concerns and the Leverkusen playoff may have contributed to fatigue and a self-questioning state of mind but there are simply no excuses in this situation. Serie A will have disparity this year and we all know that every week is a battle to pick up points, to lose while leaving everything you have on the field is acceptable, to be outclassed in an away game in week two of the Campionato is unthinkable. Let’s hope that this is a learning lesson for Lazio and that they can return home after the international break to face a tough Udinese and put up a more adequate performance. The soul searching begins.

Forza Lazio!
Author: Michael Petricca
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