Edy Reja says Lazio are “not dead yet” in the race for third, but insists they were right to protest Udinese’s goal. “Everyone saw what happened.”
The Biancocelesti were clear in the last Champions League spot a few weeks ago, but are now on level terms with Udinese, Inter and Napoli.
Federico Marchetti received a four-match ban and Andre Dias a three-game stop for their furious protests at Udinese’s second goal, as the team thought they heard the final whistle and stopped playing, but it was coming from the stands.
“Everyone saw what happened, the images are clear,” said the Coach. “We thought the game was finished, then saw referee Bergonzi wave to continue. We conceded a goal that I consider to be irregular, as our players had stopped.”
Reja also suggested the phantom whistle was not from a fan in the stands, but rather a member of the Udinese staff.
“Our sensation was that the whistle came from near to the pitch. We then understood that Bergonzi wanted to resume with a toss-up after disallowing the goal, but then it didn’t happen. Anyway, we must focus on Siena now. Udinese are behind us and the club have made their steps to appeal.
“We are not dead yet. We have the same chance of finishing third as we did before. We will begin by winning tomorrow and trying to turn the light back on, as Siena are out last opportunity to stay in the race.
“Winning is indispensible, as we need a reaction and to find some calm again. Unfortunately, I have to evaluate the fitness levels of Tommaso Rocchi, Francelino Matuzalem and Giuseppe Biava, while we have very few options in defence. We might even have to change our system.
“I can say that in my entire career I have never experienced a season like this with so many injuries and other issues off the field.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!