Tuesday April 23 2019
Lazio look for Coppa redemption

Football Italia’s Chief Correspondent Richard Hall looks at Lazio’s form throughout April and asks if they are capable of finishing the season in style.

“There has been so much talk about our bad performance on Saturday,” bemoaned Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi before his side’s Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against Milan. Is there any wonder, however, given already-relegated Chievo dashed Lazio’s Champions League hopes with only their second win of the season? Now, as their second trip to San Siro in less than two weeks approaches, the Aquile will be hoping that they can turn around what has been a bad month which has included some very negative Press. 

The Flying Donkeys visited the capital with few fans and even fewer hopes. Already doomed to Serie B next season, they had nothing to play for and yet shocked Lazio as they ran out 2-1 winners. The Romans were poor but shot themselves in the foot with two needless red cards for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto. The result compounded what has been a miserable month for Lazio, which started with defeat to SPAL before they drew at home to Sassuolo. Things didn’t pick up from there as they lost to Milan in an ill-tempered affair, before a win against Udinese offered some consolation. That was until the weekend - now Inzaghi has to pick his team up and try and finish the season on a high.

The semi-final against Milan is poised at 0-0, but the trip to San Siro will be a hostile one. In April’s League fixture, there had been a social-media row between Tiemoue Bakayoko and Francesco Acerbi. That rumbled onto the pitch with both teams clashing. After the game Acerbi offered his shirt to Bakayoko as a gesture of good will, yet the midfielder and teammate Franck Kessie went under the Curva Sud and paraded the Lazio shirt as if it were a trophy. This caused outrage and the pair were fined a total of €86,000 for their roles in the incident. Racist Lazio ultras were filmed singing, ‘this banana is for Bakayoko,’ sending the incident further into the disrepute and darkening Serie A’s image even more, in what has been just one of some high-profile racist incidents this term.

Both coaches want the focus to now be on the game and do not want any further incidents in tomorrow’s semi-final. Inzaghi is keen to turn his teams form around and when talking to Lazio style channel, said that his team need redemption in this fixture. While he was referring to the Chievo game in particular, one cannot think that he is also hoping for redemption for the previous Milan game and the teams form of late. He has a lot to lose, it seems, as ll Messaggero reported this week that Lazio President Claudio Lotito will review his Coach’s position should they fail to qualify for the Champions League or win the Coppa Italia. With Milan and then Fiorentina or Atalanta in the way for the Coppa and the fact that the club are four points off fourth place, these could be worrying times for Inzaghi.

The Biancocelesti’s remaining Serie A fixtures see them face Sampdoria, Atalanta, Cagliari and then Bologna, with the game against the side from Bergamo taking on extra importance. If successful in the semi-final, they could potentially finish the season with some dignity and a Coppa win and a top-six finish would not be seen as a failure. What is for certain is that this will be an entertaining affair as silverware is equally as important for the Rossoneri and Gennaro Gattuso is also under pressure to provide it.

For Lazio to get their redemption, they will have to focus simply with what is happening on the pitch and refrain from letting this match spill over. Inzaghi has done brilliant work in the capital, but his side’s recent run of form certainly isn’t enhancing his reputation. As he said in the week, they must be proactive, their key players must stand up and be counted and they must find a way to unlock Milan.

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Have your say...
Keep the limited coach we have, see if he can grow, rid us of all these useless players and build a proper team. We are not realistically a CL team. imagine how embarrassed we'd get vs europes top. CL adds more pressure to a team that isnt ready to handle it. Player for player we lack quality.
on the 29th April, 2019 at 2:33am
@ Maldinis Heir Gattuso will not achieve 4th place. Its not going to happen. But neither would conte with this bunch. Gattuso isnt a great coach, far from it. But he can become one. I hope milan get EL, and gattuso stays. Because its the level milan are at. And if gattuso goes, all hope is lost, the mery go around starts all over again. How many windows has gattuso had, and how many players has he actually gotten in. New coach, new faith in players who doesnt deserve it.
on the 29th April, 2019 at 2:30am
@ mario milanista I agree with you to a certain degree. I think the issue with Gattuso is that he is quite inexperienced. Because he lacks experience he tends to be cautious. The team is unbelievably rigid which makes the players very easy to mark. When Paqueta plays he mixes things up a bit and we're a bit more fluid. If Gattuso gets us to 4th then he's achieved his objectives. If he doesn't then we might need to try with a different manager. I would love Sarri.
on the 26th April, 2019 at 12:33am
@ Jeremy You missed my point in your weird attempt to be argumentative. It's not necessary to be insulting. What I clearly said was that if Milan finish 4th Gattuso should stay and if they don't he should go. It follows if he goes we should replace him with Sarri. I am also not opposed to all transfers. I just want to focus on key transfers for key areas of weakness. Our key area of weakness is LF. Insigne is LF. To see what I'm doing there?
on the 26th April, 2019 at 12:29am
@ Jeremy You're right Jeremy, golf is played by humans and football is played by some other species. In many respects football is harder because it's a team game and so all 11 bits have to click into place for it to work. Suso, another player who remarkably played better for Genoa than Milan. Bonucci plays better for Juve than Milan. Higuain plays better for Juve and Napoli than Milan. Noticing a pattern here?
on the 26th April, 2019 at 12:25am
Point is, the recepie does not need to be too complicated. Gattuso does not trust hes players. Will not commit enough forward. Our defence isnt too great so it is understandable. But we play now as we did in 2007. Only without the quality to unlock uponents. The quality in passing and movement. Our striker always plays alone. It never mattered whos in the spot.Menez was the last striker that fit our team. Never passed, only dribbled. Thats what we need. Forward plays alone. Thats our makeup.
on the 25th April, 2019 at 12:44pm
Man for man Milan can atleast compete with that. Granted, both play 343, as did milan last night, but regardless of formation. you constantly see the teams overload the box. Overlap on the flank, crosses into the box with alot of players in the box.

Suso will not play Calabria / Conti through to save his life. Always want to do it himself, to get a shot of. Suso is a poor teammate, i said it even back when he was scoring loads and last season. Ego as fuck. He has qualities,but awful tendencies
on the 25th April, 2019 at 12:38pm
Man for man Milan can atleast compete with that. Granted, both play 343, as did milan last night, but regardless of formation. you constantly see the teams overload the box. Overlap on the flank, crosses into the box with alot of players in the box.

Suso will not play Calabria / Conti through to save his life. Always want to do it himself, to get a shot of. Suso is a poor teammate, i said it even back when he was scoring loads and last season. Ego as fuck. He has qualities,but awful tendencies
on the 25th April, 2019 at 12:38pm
Every milan pass, is a little too slow, is a little too inaccurate. The makeup of creativity in the squad are players who like to create for themselves, not others. Paqueta may be different, and also Jack, but all the rest look to shoot, which is why our strikers never have any service.

This has been the case for years however. We simply do not commit enough forward. There are two great examples in world football. Frankfurt and Atalanta. Both teams have a front 3 of good players.
on the 25th April, 2019 at 12:35pm
Gattuso does not trust he's players. And rightfully so. The quality is poor. It was poor even when we was winning. I have lost count of how many games ive falled asleep too.

I even went to San Siro, watched the first derby, and fell asleep in the stands. Yes i had had little prior sleep, but we are so poor.

We do not commit men forward.
on the 25th April, 2019 at 12:32pm
@maldini heir
Yes because golf and football are the same thing. You are the very man who says stop buying players and forwards and everytjing then you say Milan should buy insigne and sarri. You are the most clueless person here, the reason every striker struggles at Milan because everytjing behind them is average suso, your freekick wizard, and so on we have no quality to create play we lack a play maker. You blame Gattuso but if the teams sh#t then there is little any manager can do.
on the 25th April, 2019 at 11:08am
@ Jeremy I think you've seen I've given my views. Of course you know precisely why a player can suddenly forget how to score free kicks. And you have the answer as to what happened to Tiger Woods for 10 years. It must be a real skill to have such a deep insight into the human condition.
on the 25th April, 2019 at 10:16am
Maldini heir
I am still waiting for your 5-8 blogs going over the transfer process again and turnover of players?, Excuses Or maybe Milan just couldn't be bothered to be good or maybe we should hope and pray our freekick specialist will rekindle his form of 4 years ago in Germany!
Shocking result.
on the 25th April, 2019 at 8:06am
he should stay. He doesn't then we should go. If he goes then I think Milan should do everything to sign Sarri and Insigne. There's another one. Sarri. Gets a record number of points with Napoli and struggles to get Chelsea into the Champions League. What changed? What ever changes? Anyway it looks like another season without trophies. Hopefully we finish 4th and can build next season. Or else it'll be another roll of the dice with a different manager. Who knows?
on the 25th April, 2019 at 6:22am
If we can't get Piątek to score or Higuain or Kalinic or Silva or Bacca or any of the other myriad of strikers we've had to score it's a waste of time. One day something might click. Gattuso still might find the secret to. We simply don't know. What we do know is that Milan is the first "top" team that Gattuso has managed and his record was not great with his previous clubs. Why anyone at Milan thought he'd be the answer is beyond me but it is what it is. I've said before Gattuso gets us to 4th
on the 25th April, 2019 at 6:17am
collapsed and Allegri was gone by Christmas and we've not had a top coach since. We've also gone through hundreds. And we just have never got into the groove. Players do not excel at Milan. Look at Piątek. He's been good for Milan but he was sensational for Genoa. Just this season. How were Genoa, a team in 15th, creating more chances for Piątek than Milan, a team in 4th? How? Anyone? Anyone got an answer? Gattuso doesn't seem to. Until we find the answer everything else is a waste of time.
on the 25th April, 2019 at 6:10am
The other day I asked what would've happened if Milan had kept the core of players they had from 7 seasons ago. I picked that season because that was the last time we qualified for the Champions League. We also picked up more points between January and May than Juve. So basically by the end of 12/13 we were at the same level as Juve. The only players left from that squad are Abate and Zapata. The latter was the one player I had wanted Milan to sell the summer of 2013. The next season Milan
on the 25th April, 2019 at 6:03am
Gattuso seems as confused as Milan's form as me. Of course he's closer to the acton which kind of makes it less understandable. Football is difficult. We really have no idea why one week a team can play great and another a team can be terrible. It's not just football. We all have good days and bad days in the office. Tiger Woods was unbeatable in golf then there was an imbalance in his private life and he was out of action for 10 years. Suddenly he's back. What changed? Whatever changes?
on the 25th April, 2019 at 5:54am
finally milan are eliminated. really they also didnt deserve a cl spot. if lazio cant get it,hopefully it was atalanta which will take it
on the 24th April, 2019 at 10:33pm
Milan please beat these perennial cry babies, who seem to believe the whole world is conspiring against them and somehow manage to blame every bad performance on refs and federation, let's not forget how influential Lotito is in Italy. Every interview and every press conference by any Lazio official is nothing short of disgusting. Inter used to be my nemesis in Serie A, until this bunch of bozos came along.
on the 24th April, 2019 at 5:26am
I presume this will be one of those games that Milan players can be bothered with so we will hopefully get a reasonable display. The performance on the weekend against Parma was a disgrace. The players acted like they can't be bothered qualifying for the Champions League. It's impossible to judge the quality of the team if they players refuse to play properly. Fingers cross for a performance on Wednesday.
on the 24th April, 2019 at 12:47am
StevieBkNy is right; the bottom line is that Inzaghi has been given so little to work with. I thought Badelj might be a helpful addition but he has looked very ordinary; Berisha and especially Durmisi have grievously under-performed. And in January, while Milan acquired Piatek, Lottito acquired ... Romulo, whose distribution has been reliably unreliable. Lazio simply have too many first team players who would not get in the starting teams of their notional rivals. Simo is not the problem.
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 11:00pm
Lotito's comments are absurd as always. His Smithers signed nobody of note - Berisha Durmisi Proto Badelj - for peanuts or less - and they have all disappointed. Tucu Correa signed following the sale of Felipe - has been the only new signee - to earn some merit. Simo is stubborn 3-5-2 or 3-5-1-1 but with so little quality - it is tough to change too dynamically. I fear this is an end of an era with SMS and possibly Ciro, Alberto, etc. out in the summer. VERGOGNA!
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 7:54pm

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