Thursday April 22 2021
Lazio contest Napoli penalty decision

Lazio assistant manager Massimiliano Farris maintains it was ‘a different match’ after the controversial Napoli penalty, eventually losing 5-2.

Farris was again standing in for coach Simone Inzaghi, who is self-isolating at home with COVID-19.

This was a head-to-head for fifth place and Lazio now sit five points adrift of Napoli, albeit with a game in hand against Torino.

“It cannot and must not compromise our journey, because we have a very important game coming up on Monday with Milan,” assistant manager Farris told Sky Sport Italia.

“We can consider the game in hand against Torino as a ‘bonus’ we have on top of the others and another potential three points.”

The match was immediately in the thick of controversy, as after five minutes both teams had penalty appeals, with Napoli receiving the spot-kick for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic catching Kostas Manolas on the head with his studs.

“There were two games today. The first lasted five minutes until the penalty, and it was different after that. Milinkovic gets the ball. There’s another angle where you can see he gets the ball.

“In the football I played, which admittedly was not much in Serie A, when a defender put his head down like that, he was penalised. At most you could give an indirect free kick for dangerous play, but not a penalty.

“Ironically, the VAR should’ve looked at the incident that occurred at the other end moments later, when Lazzari was brought down.”

Lazio did pull two back for 4-2 with Ciro Immobile and a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic free kick.

“The fresh legs came on and the two goals boosted our confidence to fight back, but we also have to give credit to Napoli for their excellent goals.

“The possession statistics were quite even. I think overall we knew that we had to defend very well tonight and we didn’t do it enough.

“We went into their penalty area several times and Tucu Correa hit the upright when it was 2-1. Serie A games are in the balance and can change quickly. Don’t forget a few days ago we risked losing the win against Benevento because we switched off and were punished for it.

“Admittedly, the fifth goal knocked the wind out of us, but we fought hard to the end and did everything to get back into it.

“Now hopefully we can have our leader back in his place on the bench.”