Edy Reja admits Lazio’s Europa League chances are significantly reduced by a 3-3 draw with Verona, “but we still believe.”
The Biancocelesti had been leading twice at the Olimpico this evening, then trailing 3-2 with 10 men before an equaliser in stoppages.
“We still believe in Europe, even if the difficult fixture list is against us,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“It often happens that we go in front and can’t maintain a lead. Perhaps it’s a drop in concentration levels, we always make a few mistakes.
“The draw is no good to either team. A side like ours can’t be scoring three goals and conceding just as many. The third goal was an issue of the defence being tentative and lacking smarts. We should’ve made Verona fight harder for their goals.
“Our hopes aren’t over yet, we still have the head-to-head with Inter. When I arrived I told the lads that I didn’t come here for a transitional season, but to have an objective. We were getting close, but never made that definitive step up in quality.
“I don’t know if the limitation is with the Coach or the team. I don’t know. I can’t say the squad didn’t give it their best.”
Verona were furious at the equaliser, as a penalty was awarded for Michelangelo Albertazzi’s challenge on Miroslav Klose in injury time.
“Earlier Lucas Biglia had a perfectly good goal disallowed, as there was no push,” insisted Reja, who had a row with Verona Coach Andrea Mandorlini after the final whistle.
“I saw a touch on Klose, so at times they give those penalties, at other times they don’t. There was a lot of adrenaline and I went to salute Mandorlini, who was very angry. I told him to go back and watch the replays and he lost it. It’s normal at that point that I’d react too, but it ended there and we cleared the air soon after.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!