Friday October 23 2020
Immobile beats Haaland but Lazio need more

Ciro Immobile outplayed Erling Braut Haaland in Lazio's win over Borussia Dortmund, but Lee Bushe believes the Biancocelesti striker needs more help to carry the burden in search of success.

Just three days before their Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund, a result that upset the football betting, Lazio had what Simone Inzaghi described as “one of the worst performances [the’ve] ever delivered”, as they lost 3-0 to a Sampdoria side who were battling relegation last season.

It wasn’t just about the defeat - itself embarrassing - but also the manner by which that defeat was handed out. Lazio seemed to be lacking in confidence and direction from the very beginning and there didn’t seem to be any attempt to stage some sort of comeback once Sampdoria took the lead.

Consequently, their 3-1 win over Dortmund just days later took many by surprise. It wasn’t just about the victory - itself impressive – but, once again, also the manner by which they earned that victory. Lazio were energetic and aggressive, creating plenty of chances while also displaying a degree of defensive solidity; the polar opposite of how they played against Sampdoria on Saturday. The star of the show, was, of course, European Golden Shoe holder Ciro Immobile, who managed to bag himself a goal and an assist against the team he once played for.

It’s rare that Immobile will come across a striker as ruthless in front of goal as he is, but Tuesday was an exception. Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland exploded onto the scene last year and has quickly established himself as one of Europe’s most prolific goalscorers. Indeed, the Norwegian was the second-highest goalscorer in the Champions League last season, scoring ten goals in just eight appearances.

The stage was set for a battle between Haaland and Immobile to see who can outscore each other, but in the end, both strikers managed to get a goal apiece. This doesn’t tell the full story about their overall performances, however. Haaland - like the rest of his Dortmund teammates - was oddly quiet through most of the game; his spectacular thunderstrike in the 71st minute being his only moment of note.

Immobile, on the other hand, worked tirelessly for his team. While his goal was more opportunistic and less aesthetically pleasing than Haaland’s. The Italian could also take his revenge on German media who said he was ‘Dortmund’s worst signing ever’ when he joined the Bundesliga giants from Torino back in 2014.

His assist for Lazio’s third demonstrated just how important he is for the Biancocelesti even when not in front of goal; he sprinted with the ball into the box - outpacing the Dortmund defenders - and squared it to a waiting Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro, who powerfully struck it into the back of the net.

The contrast between Lazio’s performances against Sampdoria and Dortmund have raised questions of whether the Biancocelesti are becoming too reliant on Immobile to get a result. This is due to the fact that the 30-year-old was suspended for Lazio’s humiliating defeat to Sampdoria, but present for their victory over Dortmund. Something similar happened when Immobile was suspended for the Milan game back in July. The Biancocelesti seemed devoid of confidence during that game and were thumped 3-0. It was a result that marked the beginning of Lazio’s decline towards the end of last season.

If the Biancocelesti need the presence of Immobile to lift the whole team, then Inzaghi has a problem on his hands. He can’t be expected to start each and every game this season, especially when Lazio are playing twice a week. The arrival of Vedat Muriqi could remedy this somewhat, but it requires the Kosovan to develop into a regular goalscorer for the Biancocelesti, so his teammates are calm about where the goals are coming from should Immobile be absent.

Inzaghi should also still be concerned about Lazio’s league form and their ongoing injury crisis amid an already thin squad. He’d be hoping that their win over Dortmund will provide his team with the self-belief needed for his team to improve their domestic performances and climb up the table. A top-four finish is not beyond the realms of possibility at this point, though they wouldn’t want to lose any more ground.



Have your say...
My last comment on this thread, because it's become a den for trolls. Explain to me why, if he's a great striker: 1) None of the top clubs (I mentioned previously) want to sign this overrated, overhyped garbage player 2) He ALWAYS fails with La Nazionale. Check già stats, it's 1 goal in 4 matches (IIRC) 3) He NEVER performs when it matters in crunch games, against top teams, in top matches etc. 
on the 26th October, 2020 at 6:01pm
Coppainfaccia71 and Ljubo are quite right, Lazio have won two European trophies, Cup Winners Cup and Super Cup, since Juventus won any. It might be back in 1999 but it still counts!

Baggio10 you are forgetting the Cup Winners Cup which ran as a separate competition alongside the UEFA Cup and Champions League until 1999. But of course you are right that Parma won the UEFA Cup.

Immobile or Haaland? Well, only one is ever going to be at Lazio so it has to be King Ciro!
on the 26th October, 2020 at 4:06pm
105 - Since 2016/17 (his Lazio debut season) Ciro #Immobile has scored 105 goals in Serie A, at least 32 more than any other player in the competition (Mertens 73 the second one in this period). Top.

Pintuclownocchio, lets have a bet, I say Immobile will be Serie A best scorer by significant margin when your expert view time frame of 10 years will be complete! You sound like confident and well researched guy, surely you wouldn't back down?!
on the 26th October, 2020 at 9:02am
it was Parma who beat Marseille 3-0 in uefa 1999
on the 25th October, 2020 at 1:36pm
@Ljubo The Big Bozo Clown

You intellectually-challenged, Milan won the Champions League in 2003 and again in 2007, and Inter won the treble in 2010, the last time and Italian club won something elite.
I've not mentioned them either.

That's because you need to have performed historically and in the present (last 10 years).

A club which purposefully underperforms in Europe to concentrate on domestic challenges, and then FAILS in that aspect, consistently, is a laughable club.
on the 25th October, 2020 at 7:32am
Lazio won the last UEFA Cup winners cup in 1999. They won in the same year European Super cup against Manchester United who won Champions league that year and both domestic titles. And that was for real and not on PES/FIFA. All this information is on internet so edjucate yourself.
on the 24th October, 2020 at 5:13pm
@ Coppainfaccia71
I mentioned Juventus because they should be a model for the other teams in Serie A regarding planning ahead - e.g. new stadiums.
on the 24th October, 2020 at 3:07pm
Lazio have won 2 European titles? Where, in FM/PES/FIFA? Or in your imaginary Calcio? LOLOLOLOLOL !!!! WHEN exactly have Lazio won, and WHAT? The only titles worth discussing anywhere, in descending order of importance, are: UEFA Champions League UEFA Europa League Scudetto/EPL/Bundesliga/La Liga UEFA Supercup
on the 24th October, 2020 at 3:02pm
One of the elite teams? Why mention Juve, Lazio have picked up two European Trophies since Juve last won in Europe. So they've won Serie A with a budget 3 times the size of everyone else, buying the best players from their rivals...just sore that Immobile out scored and out classed Ronaldo twice last season.
on the 24th October, 2020 at 12:12pm
It's time for Lazio to build a 45.000 seater stadium to gain an extra 40-50 mill per year like Juventus. Welcome to 2020. A time for state-of-the-art stadiums.
on the 24th October, 2020 at 11:00am
Lazio need a new 45.000 seater stadium to compete with the top 20 teams in Europe financially. They don't have more than 3-4 superstars and 15 good players.

Off topic.
Muriqi looked slow.
on the 24th October, 2020 at 9:47am
I'd say Immobile's goal was more aesthetically pleasing than Haaland's, a lovely dinked finish. Muriqi didn't look up to much when he came on......
on the 23rd October, 2020 at 8:36pm
A guy who's a 1-D artist; who has never, EVER, alone delivered a masterclass performance in his entire career; who never adds anything to his team when the chips are down; and who NONE of the top clubs want to sign despite him having won the Capocannoniere


A kid who's just burst on to the scene, who has performed in the UCL already and looks to have an extremely bright future ahead of him if he plays for one of the elite teams (Madrid, Barca, Bayern, Juve, Liverpool)

LOL, good 1
on the 23rd October, 2020 at 2:56pm

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