Wednesday January 23 2013
Marchetti – Lazio’s one-man wall

Federico Marchetti again frustrated Juventus as Lazio claimed a valuable away draw in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final. Luca Cetta salutes the in-form custodian.

Cometh the hour, cometh the Marchetti. There’s something about playing at Juventus Stadium which appeals to the Lazio shot-stopper. The capital club will take an away goals advantage into the return fixture next week and they largely have Federico Marchetti to thank for that.

After Federico Peluso climbed highest to give Juventus the lead, Stefano Mauri netted Lazio’s precious equaliser with just four minutes remaining. The captain admits Lazio suffered, but are thankful for their goalkeeper. “It is a positive result, although we struggled quite a bit in the second half. Marchetti made some really important saves.”

The second half action before and after the two strikes was dominated by the Biancocelesti glovesman. Following an opening 45 minutes in which he had little to do between being called upon in the first and final minutes, he was pivotal after the interval.

Marchetti evoked memories of November’s goalless draw from teammates and opponents alike. Sergio Floccari was full of praise: “We have a very strong goalkeeper. In matches where we suffer he becomes of added importance. Today Marchetti made some great saves – we’ll have to give him a superhero’s outfit. He was a protagonist just like in the League match.”

Meanwhile, Andrea Barzagli was one of those left frustrated but similarly in awe. “Is Marchetti enhanced against Juventus? It’s not just against us, as he is having a great season. He is a very good goalkeeper and showed that with some amazing saves in the League contest, as well as today in the Coppa Italia.”

In the Week 13 stalemate, Marchetti’s agile grace amid a barrage of Bianconeri goal-bound assaults denied Antonio Conte’s side maximum points. Even last term it took Simone Pepe’s acrobatic opener and Alessandro Del Piero’s inventive free-kick to find a way past the former Cagliari player. Neither would be present here to haunt the 29-year-old, for differing reasons.

During the second half, Luca Marrone’s penetrating ball found Alessandro Matri, but Juve’s only fully fit striker saw his volley wonderfully tipped over by the Veneto native. That was a taste of what was on the horizon. As Lazio survived a dual Arturo Vidal scare – he hit the post then fired wide seconds later – their No 22 amazed yet again. The Chilean looked certain to score when he connected with Mirko Vucinic’s pass. However, Vidal’s looping header was somehow clawed away on the line. It was stunning by Marchetti, who had to turn and fly goalward, making contact as he hit the white chalk.

The saves proved critical when Mauri reacted quickest to turn in Antonio Candreva’s corner from close range. The 1-1 scoreline ensures a goalless second leg will see Lazio through to a seventh Coppa Final and their first since triumphing in 2008-09.

Contrary to popular belief amongst stunned Bianconeri fans, the goalkeeper does perform heroics outside of their stadium. Tuesday’s match was the continuation of a fine season to date. Lazio sit third in Serie A, having conceded only 21 goals from as many matches. One reason is because they possess a goalkeeper of great reflexes, command and reliability.

What they do not possess, however, is a current Italian international. Marchetti won the last of his eight caps at the 2010 World Cup, but surely his form is worthy of a call-up. When speaking last November – after the display at Juventus Stadium – Cesare Prandelli failed to exclude the custodian, but conceded others are ahead in the pecking order.

“He is a goalkeeper who we are keeping an eye on,” stated the Azzurri boss. “I can assure you that he has not been excluded from the squad. However, at this moment in time, we have four important goalkeepers in Gigi Buffon, Salvatore Sirigu, Morgan De Sanctis and Emiliano Viviano. I can’t say what will happen in the future though so we will continue to consider everyone and then make our choices. Obviously that includes Marchetti as well.”

After his latest additions to the YouTube collection put Lazio on the brink of the Coppa decider, it will be hard for Prandelli to overlook a goalkeeper in impressive form.

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Have your say...
Daniel you do make a good point every keeper makes some dumb mistake and some more often than others a second chance at redemption for marchetti could be the motivation for consistent performances. We shall see I shouldn't have said never, but lets see what he does for the azzurri now that he is in the best form of his career.
on the 24th January, 2013 at 3:04pm
AL, it isn't "a few good games"! Marchetti was good very good last season, and has been fantastic this campaign. Sure he has the occasional moment, but tell me a keeper that doesn't-even the mighty Buffon makes the odd mistakes: Lecce last season, Samp this season. Marchetti has matured into a fantastic and has shown great consistency. Hernandez & Klose get all the praise, but Marchetti has been equally important.
on the 24th January, 2013 at 10:44am
grande Federico he is number 1
on the 24th January, 2013 at 9:27am
I have no doubts that Juventus will score at the Olympico next Tuesday, which means Lazio will have to beat us to get through and the Bianconeri haven't lost against Lazio or Roma in Rome since 2004. I have complete faith in the team, because over the last 18 months when we have had to win (the run in last season / last 3 Champions League group games) we have done.
on the 24th January, 2013 at 8:13am
That is the problem... Every team when playing against Juve - they playing like it's life or death for them.
Everybody wants to beat Juve,but not everyone can do it.See us on Saturday against Genoa,we know how to respond to all our critics.Forza Juve!!!
on the 24th January, 2013 at 5:43am
He's great but he's not better than Consigli. Consigli should be 2nd keeper for Italy.
on the 24th January, 2013 at 12:12am
I agree with Chris & Liazale, how can De Sanctis & Viviano be ahead of Marchetti ? And as for WC 2010, I was in Johannesburg when Italy lost to Slovakia. If it wasn't for Marchetti, Italy would have conceded more then 3 goals.

Marchetti deserves to be Italys number 2 shot stopper & Prandelli needs to open his eyes & mind, he needs to select players on merit & not by name.
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 9:12pm
Seriously I don't get it they let go Del Piero I know hes not young but he could be decisive when used. Hes better than vucinic, matri, quag, 100 more than bendtner.

To letting him go just beyond my understanding, hes been there longer than anyone, score more than anyone, yet they wouldn't give it a chance for 1 more year.

We need a finisher !!!!

All in all forza juve
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 7:46pm
Yeah dis guy av been in gud form since 2 seasons ago,I tink he has done enough 2 b recall 2 d national team,A̶̲̥̅♏ a nigerian bt after ma darlin super eagles I go Fø̲̣̣я̅ d italian national team
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 5:36pm
Super Marchetti..!!!! This guy is on great form ready to be Italy number 2! Mauri should be re called to the Azzurri he always did well when called apon! Great chance now for us to go through to the final. Can never write of Juve though always a danger! but when needed to win Lazio can do it esp at home! be nice for us to be in the final as I would fancy our chances of winning it! IMO winner of this 2nd tie will win the coppa!
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 4:47pm
Daniel you are right about Marchetti he is a different keeper to the one 3 years ago. You are also spot on about Juve. Llorentes supposed arrival in the summer is a great bit of business however they need him now. Also they should try everything to get Drogba now. Celtic are a top team, forster their keeper is very good also hooper, samaras and Wanyama will cause Juve lots of problems. Juve will have to fight tooth and nail to get through, they must be more clinical up front.
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 1:33pm
Ok a few good games everyone wants him recalled to the azzurri yes he is in good form and would deserve it but I would say no this guy will never work for nazionale bottom line watch and see just like giovinco. Disgraceful in 2010 WC won't ever forget that Idc the inexperience he had should have been ready to go.
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 1:32pm
IMO, Juve need two fowards. Firstly a creative forward, (Giovinco isn't the answer). They really miss Del Piero in this respect. Not only was he outstanding technically, he was also very smart with his decision making. And obviously, they need a clinical. consistent forward. The current quartet are just too inconsistent, and lack a little composure. As for Marchetti, I think that is time that we forget about WC 2010. He has moved on and is much more assured now. Gauge players on current form!
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 12:30pm
It is crazy to put De Sanctis and Viviano ahead of him.. Viviano is warming the bench at Fiorentina, while De Sanctis does some crazy amateur stuff sometimes that only himself could explain (for example last round against Fiorentina).

I won't say anything about Sirigu cause i don't watch Ligue 1 that often, but i hardly believe he is in a better shape than Marchetti at the moment. Marchetti is at least the 2nd or 3rd best italian goalkeeper at the moment, and one of the best in the world..
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 11:58am
DAM marchetti !! we should have won !!
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 11:34am
The only reason I see why Marchetti is behind average at best golies such as Sirigu, De Sanctis and Vivviano is his performance in the 2010 WC. However, what people seemed to forget is that back then the whole of Italy, especially the defence was abysmal, and Marchetti lacked the experience and perhaps more importantly the confidence to shine on the big stage. However, he certainly deserves another shot.
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 11:23am
He has been exceptional this season, along with Consigli. If Prandelli overlooks these two & continues to select the useless De Sanctis & Viviano, then I will have serious doubts over both his competence and meritocracy rules. But then, Prandelli has already contradicted his own rule with Balotelli. He has been useless at City,(performance & attitude), yet he continues to call him up.
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 10:56am
please include Marchetti into Azzuri squad, this time it is for sure he can do better than Buffon.
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 10:50am
He's a great gk no doubt but Juve's finishing is way below par- best finish of the night came from a midfielder.Vidal's header was too weak and all other saves seemed just a bit more than routine for him. I'd give anything to see Del Piero in a Juve shirt again- he would've bagged a good 10 goals had he been given the same minutes Matri got this year, Trez would've been the capocannonierre! We need a bloody STRIKER! And we need a backup for Asamoah, Peluso and De Ceglie won't cut it anymore
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 10:48am
good keeper no doubt had an amazing night with some class saves / cant help but say that its sooo blatently obvious juve need quality up front! lastnight proved it AGAIN! Esp when you think we make VUCINIC look like a superstar good player yes, goal scorer NO!
on the 23rd January, 2013 at 10:21am

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