Advantage Lazio in Coppa Italia Semi Final

Lazio came away with a well-deserved 2-0 home first leg win on Wednesday night in the Coppa Italia. A goal in each half from Serej Milinkovic-Savic and Ciro Immobile gave Lazio first win against Roma since May 2013 and give Lazio a brilliant chance of reaching the Coppa Italia final.

Roma started the strongest in the opening minutes of the game and nearly took a lead just 90 seconds into the game. A cross from the left hand side from Emerson found Edin Dzeko and his goal bound effort was deflected over the bar by Wallace.

Good play down the Lazio left by Jordan Lukaku resulted in the Belgian left back crossing in for Serej Milinkovic-Savic who towered over the Roma defence with a brilliant header which was parried away by Alisson in the Roma goal.

The game was starting to liven up midway through the first half as both sides were looking to create chances. Radja Nainggolan had a tame effort on goal which was comfortably saved by Thomas Strakhosa. Then at the other end Ciro Immobile stung the palms of Alisson with a long range effort and the rebound fell to Jordan Lukaku who fired over the bar. Immobile was causing the Roma defence problems then had an effort sail over the crossbar.

Lazio took the lead on the half hour, a blistering run from Felipe Anderson who then crossed into space for Serej Milinkovic-Savic to slide in before Kostas Manolas past the on rushing Alisson. Roma tried to make amends right away and nearly levelled just moments later, Radja Nainggolan with a defence splitting cross to Edin Dzeko who could only head over the bar un marked.

Ciro Immobile who was a real handful in the first half, got the better of Federico Fazio on the half way line and ran at the Roma defence. But had an effort from distance trickle wide of Alisson goal. Leandro Paredes with a deep curled cross found Edin Dzeko who got beyond his marker at the back post but the Bosnian striker could only volley his effort just wide of the goal.

Roma started off strong in the first half and really didn’t make that early breakthrough just over was punished by a brilliant move from Lazio and a great finish from Milinkovic-Savic. Lazio have caused Roma a lot of problems with the direct running of Felipe Anderson and Ciro Immobile, Roma back three has struggled to deal with it. Roma have had the majority of the possession and have struggled to break down a very stubborn Lazio back line.

Both sides had early opportunities in the second half, Leandro Paredes had a long range effort sail harmfully over the crossbar. At the other end Felipe Anderson hit a low daisy cutter just past the upright and it had Alisson scrambling to reach it.

Lazio were just whisker away from doubling their lead close to the hour, Ciro Immobile ran at the Roma defence causing problems again. Manolas managed to get the tackle in, the rebound fell to Marco Parolo who fired in an effort which hit the side netting. At the other end, Mohamed Salah went close to equalising thanks to a fierce angle drive which clipped the upright.

Roma were trying to break a deep setting Lazio side and had two good opportunities to level the game, Bruno Peres fired wide from distance. Then moments later a cross in from the right from Bruno Peres found Stephan El Shaarawy who fluffed his volley horribly.

Just moments later, Lazio broke down the right hand side thanks to the pace of Keita Balde who crossed in for Ciro Immobile who got the better of Antonio Rudiger to side foot home and celebrate under the Curva Nord.

Roma piled on the pressure in the last ten minutes but came against a blue wall of a well organised Lazio back 5 and they soaked up everything Roma chucked at them after conceding the second goal. It wasn’t the best performance by Roma, Lazio were brilliant and thoroughly deserved this win, came with a game plan to stifle Roma attack and hit them on the counter attack with the pace of Immobile and Felipe Anderson/Balde Keita and it worked well for Lazio. It’s going to be a tough turnaround for Roma but nothing is impossible, shame the second leg is 5 weeks away in early April.

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About Scot Munroe 56 Articles
#STFC and #ASRoma supporter, Calcio follwer. Cricket and WWE fan.

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