Tuesday February 26 2019
Coppa: Lazio let Milan off the hook

Lazio dominated the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final, but their finishing left a lot to be desired and it was another 0-0 draw with Milan.

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The second leg is on April 24, while Fiorentina and Atalanta are the other semi-finalists.

The Aquile were in the middle of an injury crisis, missing Wallace, Jordan Lukaku and Valon Berisha, with Stefan Radu suspended and Luiz Felipe not fully fit. The situation was so bad that Bastos started just one day after returning to training, with Patric forgiven for his tantrum at being substituted against Sevilla last week. The Rossoneri rested Ricardo Rodriguez and Hakan Calhanoglu for Diego Laxalt and Fabio Borini, with Mattia Caldara, Giacomo Bonaventura and Cristian Zapata still out.

Lazio have not beaten Milan since a 4-1 Serie A drubbing at the Olimpico in September 2017, in which Immobile scored a hat-trick. That was followed by a defeat and now four consecutive draws, including last season’s two goalless semi-final ties, with the Diavolo going through on penalties.

Tiemoue Bakayoko’s snapshot was deflected and the Lucas Paqueta follow-up charged down, while Patric pounced on a Suso error and surged forward to smash his powerful finish wide.

Ciro Immobile should’ve at least found the target on a Romulo assist, but drilled wide from the edge of the box.

Milan were forced into a change when Franck Kessie went off with a thigh injury, making way for Calhanoglu.

Joaquin Correa slalomed into the box and went down under a Paqueta tackle, but it looked to be clean and the referee waved away penalty appeals.

Moments later Lazio were again furious with Mateo Musacchio’s arm flailing across Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s face. The hosts started to pour forward towards half-time, desperate defending to prevent Correa tapping in the Immobile pull-back, plus Marco Parolo and Lucas Leiva attempts from distance.

Krzysztof Piatek finally got some service after 49 minutes, running on to the Paqueta through ball and his finish deflected wide of the near post by Patric, but Lazio remained the more attacking side.

Milinkovic-Savic’s header looped off target and Alessio Romagnoli was fortunate Immobile was offside before a push inside the penalty area.

Donnarumma smothered finishes from Milinkovic-Savic and Correa, but the latter should’ve done better from a promising position, and Davide Calabria crucially intercepted a through ball as Lazio swarmed forward.

Patric was fortunate he only got a yellow card for a reckless scything down of Borini, but Immobile was frustrated when he broke on the counter and his lob beat Donnarumma only to bounce off the inside of the post. The offside flag did go up eventually, but neither knew that at the time.

Substitute Felipe Caicedo’s attempt was deflected wide and Bastos nodded a corner over, while Piatek couldn’t keep his header down on a Borini overhead kick assist.

Lazio 0-0 Milan

Lazio: Strakosha; Patric, Acerbi, Bastos; Romulo (Marusic 89), Parolo (Luis Alberto 74), Leiva, Milinkovic-Savic, Lulic; Correa; Immobile (Caicedo 81)

Milan: G Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Laxalt; Kessie (Calhanoglu 29), Bakayoko, Paqueta (Biglia 85); Suso (Castillejo 74), Piatek, Borini

Ref: Orsato