Francesco Acerbi reveals the defeat to Sampdoria spurred Lazio on to their victory against Borussia Dortmund. ‘We were perfect in every way.’
The 3-1 success in the Champions League came just days after a humiliating 3-0 Serie A loss to Samp, so what happened in the intervening period to create such a transformation?
“We looked each other in the eyes and could not repeat such a hideous performance as against Sampdoria. We were perfect this evening in every way, but that doesn’t mean we can now rest on our laurels, we’ve got to keep swimming, because otherwise we’ll sink quickly again,” the defender told Sky Sport Italia
Borussia Dortmund were allowed to keep possession for long periods, but hardly ever created dangerous situations upfront.
“Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus and Erling Haaland were all very dangerous and we needed to be a united, determined, solid team in order to both neutralise them and hurt Dortmund on the counter.
“The plan was to keep tight and not get stretched out, because Dortmund are very good technically at passing between the lines. We knew that when we won back the ball, they’d be unbalanced and we could send our forwards and attacking midfielders through.”
This was Acerbi’s first Champions League match in eight years, back when he was at Milan and of course before the two bouts of cancer.
“Tomorrow is another day, I am happy this evening, then tomorrow morning I’ll start focusing on Bologna. I only stop to celebrate if we win a trophy.
“We’ve got to keep our feet on the ground, otherwise if we get it wrong against Bologna, then this evening and the mentality we saw will all be for nothing.”