Wednesday Mar 29, 2017  
     
 
  29/10/2015: Report: Atalanta 2-1 Lazio
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Wednesday evening's game was very much a case of letting three points slip through your fingers as Lazio gave away a one-goal advantage to gift Edy Reja's Atalanta a last gasp 2-1 victory in front of home support.

Lazio took an early lead courtesy of Lucas Biglia's wonderful free-kick, and the visiting side had a number of decent opportunities to extend their lead while keeping Reja's men quiet at the other end. Sadly, the Biancocelesti were made to pay and now go into the weekend game against Milan with quite a lot of pressure to get a result. Stefano Pioli cannot afford to lose any more ground to the division's elite with the Derby della Capitale on the horizon, particularly as a loss in that game could make our bitter rivals Scudetto favourites.

That's getting a little ahead of ourselves. As of this now, Pioli should be looking no further than his television set. The goals we conceded to Atalanta look all too familiar. Edy Reja claimed after the game that he knows how to beat this Lazio, and made changes to bring about the desired result. Although it is typical of Edy to take credit for things that he doesn't necessarily control - such as Petkovic and Pioli's results at Lazio - he probably does have a point here.

Atalanta's equaliser was as simple as a ball whacked from one end of the pitch to the 1.65m tall Alejandro Gomez at the other end, whose cross to Lazio players in the danger area was miskicked by Dusan Basta into his own goal. We've seen Lazio not deal with deep crosses before; the 2-2 Derby springs to mind, or that goal Chievo scored earlier this season that will be remembered for the Meggiorini backheel assist. We've all seen Basta look uneasy dealing with a dangerous ball in our own box - we even saw it against Sassuolo last weekend.

The second goal which came when Atalanta countered down Senad Lulic's side and squared for the unmarked Gomez was reminiscent of the Sassuolo winner last weekend. Too reminiscent.

It calls the manager into question. Stefano Pioli described the Sassuolo loss as a 'hiccup', but this result puts that game in a different light, if previous losses to Chievo and Napoli - in which we conceded nine goals - didn't already set alarm bells off. The manager keeps pointing out how points are being dropped due to individual errors, but individual errors occur even when we win. Pioli has said many times in the past that his players do not know how to see out results, but it was he who opted for attack-minded substitutes, not the players.

There is more to this defeat than a couple of costly errors and now is the time to remedy the little things that have been hurting us for quite some time. Nothing is ever perfect and the manager shouldn't be expected to get things perfect all of the time, but seeing your team fall into the same traps every time they lose is a bad sign. Four losses in ten league games is worrying, especially when you know the quality of the opposition that lies in waiting. Forza Lazio!


Author: Cathal Mullan
 
 
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