Match Review Serie A

Juventus 1-2 Lazio Match Report

October 15, 2017 - 11:30 am


 Juventus 1-2 Lazio

Scorers: Douglas Costa 24 (J), Immobile 47, pen 54 (L)

Juventus took the lead through Douglas Costa but Lazio fought back with a brace from Ciro Immobile to end the Bianconeri’s two-year unbeaten run at the Juve Stadium.

Biggest winner/biggest loser:

I’m trying to draw positives from a 2-1 loss against a team that have failed to beat us at home in the league since 2002….so you’ll have to forgive the negative and pessimistic tone. The biggest winner(s) were ex-Juve striker Ciro Immobile, his teammates and Simone Inzaghi – Credit must go to the Lazio coach for the way he has set his team up and the way he continues to get the best from them while improving each season. They rightly deserve all the praise.

Rather than single out one individual, i think the biggest loser on the night has to be the Juventus team as a whole, including Max Allegri. To lose the unbeaten home record is one thing, but to lose it in such a match where we failed to create anything much of note and looked off the pace the entire night is unacceptable. Yes, it’s still early in the season and yes, there is still plenty of time to improve, but we shouldn’t have to improve at this stage. It seems we learned little from the draw against Atalanta and our inability to hold onto a lead and kill off a match is becoming a slight concern. Much more needed and better expected in the midweek match against Sporting Lisbon.


Takeaways from the performance/areas of improvement:

I would love to see us play well for 90 minutes against a ‘bigger’ side – It doesn’t need to be a stellar, all conquering, awe-inspiring 90 minutes, just a good, consistent display where we don’t switch off after the first goal and it doesn’t take us being a goal down to start playing.

The biggest area of improvement for me has to be the defence. I understand the need to rotate and the need to accommodate the more senior players like Barzagli and Benatia, but for the sake of the team, surely we should be sticking to the best/strongest CB pairing? Allegri is full of praise for Rugani and vice-versa, so why is he repeatedly kept away from the ‘big’ games? I think we’re starting to see our best starting XI take shape and certain players should be resigned to a bench role while others should be playing more consistently. Thirteen goals conceded already in all competitions should be telling for the coach, especially when 5 of those goals came from the same team – Aren’t there lessons to be learned in that?

A final word on Gonzalo Higuain who needs to improve drastically on the poor displays he’s offered in recent weeks. He had at least 2 clear goal-scoring opportunities against Lazio, both of which were wasted.


Injury updates:

Sami Khedira is back, although he looked absent for large periods of the match and perhaps needs another game to be fully fit. Claudio Marchisio and Marko Pjaca are back in training which is a massive boost although there’s no update on Benedikt Howedes and Mattia De Sciglio, neither of whom made the team list for the Lazio match. Miralem Pjanics’ absence has been felt the most and he’s expected back within the next 2 weeks.


Outlook for next fixture:

A home game against a Sporting Lisbon side that has only won one game in their last five should be a straightforward proposition, but with the way we’re playing at present, I think it’s better to err on the side of caution. We *should* win comfortably, which means we will likely scrape a 2-1 victory.



Out-thought and outfought by a Lazio side that never gave up. Much like Atalanta, they’re a side full of confidence and rightly so. Inzaghi deserves so much praise and credit for the way he lined up his team and the half-time team talk that saw them score twice within 10 minutes of the restart. The team looks balanced, even with all the absentees from the squad which says something about the desire and hunger of the players this season – A lesson could be learned.


Best new signing on the field:

Somewhat reluctantly, I’d give that award to Douglas Costa. Reluctantly, because he offered little else beside the goal and was only good in brief periods of the game. In all honesty, I think Federico Bernardeschi offered more in his brief cameo and I really feel he should be starting more matches.


Manager Review

I’m not one to unfairly criticize the Mister, but some of his selections were bizarre. I can understand the need to shift to a 3-man midfield and the starting trio were the best available, even though they didn’t work all that well together. Other than that, it was a truly pedestrian display, low on invention or ideas, stale and stagnant up front and fully of mistakes at the back.


Formation/squad selection grade: C+

The defensive selections were strange – Barzagli was carrying a knock from international duty so why on earth would he be played over Rugani? Asamoah at left-back? Granted, Sandro had to travel back from Brazil but if he’s fit, he should be starting every match. The same could be said for Dybala who didn’t feature for Argentina and made enough of an impact from the bench when he was bought on with 20 minutes to try and create something. I’m also not entirely convinced by Costa, despite his goal, and see more potential in Bernardeschi playing from the outset.




Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner (Sturaro 72), Barzagli, Chiellini, Asamoah; Khedira (Dybala 65), Bentancur, Matuidi; Douglas Costa (Bernardeschi 55), Higuain, Mandzukic

Lazio: Strakosha; Bastos, De Vrij, Radu; Marusic, Parolo, Leiva, Milinkovic-Savic, Lulic (Patric 83); Luis Alberto (Nani 72); Immobile (Caicedo 76)

Ref: Mazzoleni

Saved penalty: Dybala 98 (J)



foot12Man of the Match: Giorgio Chiellini

foot13  Flop of the Match: Andrea Barzagli

foot14  Corners: 4

foot05  Pass Accuracy: 88%

foot00  Shots on Target: 6

foot07  Total Shots: 18

foot01  Ball Possession: 60%

foot08  Formation:  4-2-3-1


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  • Avatar
    Martin Badger October 15, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    It is not rocket science – without Pjanic there is no midfield. It really is as simple as that. Getting rid of Lemina and Rincon was good because neither of them were any use at all. But they haven’t been replaced with any quality. As for Khedira – he is a player I dislike intensely. He is very slow-moving and slow-thinking and it’ s a total mystery to me what anybody sees in him. Higuain is going through a personal nightmare and if he doesn’t improve very quickly they should seell him or give him away in January.

    • Avatar
      Dar Black October 15, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      +1 Khedira.

    • Avatar
      E.Micallef October 16, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      I don’t think it is easy for Higuain to play the Allegri style of football. What kind of service is he having? I saw Liverpool vs Man Utd in the weekend. Man Utd played Allegri style. Leaving one man upfront. It’s not easy. And for Khedira he is a substance player returning from injury. Maybe Lazio from the beginning was not a particular good match to be sent on the pitch again.

  • Avatar
    Jack Handey October 15, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    – Bernardeschi made a genuine impact and showed flashes of what he can do for the first time. I know he had a goal and assist against Atalanta, but they were both right-place-at-the-right time events.
    – Khedira is such a likable guy and a true professional, but he drags the team down. I hope Allegri finds a way to minimize his time.
    – Bentancur was a bit off today, perhaps because of fatigue and new partnership with Khedira. Plus both Atalanta and Lazio have marked him a lot more closely than previous opponents.
    – Dybala’s penalties are a mysteries. In recent times, he used to kick them high into the top corners where GKs can never reach. His last two were low and they were predictably saved. He has essentially cost us 3 points so far (2 vs. Atalanta and 1 here)

  • Avatar
    Jas October 16, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Hats of to Lazio but they were just lucky that’s all. Higguain can’t finish if his life depended on it, I don’t know where this guy head is at but it’s not in the game anymore. But this is not a team that will challenge for champions league folks, our defense is average at best. When has Juve allowed this many goals? I blame part allegri for this, you can’t gel a team if you’re rotating players every game. Especially when it’s not even performance related. Rugani was the only one not to play for W.C qualifiers yet he’s benched… in what world does this make sense? Allegri made the fatigue excuse but he is becoming more and more of a hypocrite. Also, not a single youth player in the squad for the last two games, come on now!!!!

    • Avatar
      B1anconer0 October 16, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      I agree! Have Juve even played two games in a row with the same starting XI? I guess allegri wants to keep everybody happy. He just needs to pick chiellini and rugani as starting cb’s. Also two starting wingers! Imo you just don’t put sandro,dybala.. on the bench against lazio. They already had pjanic injured, why the hell would you weaken the squad further?! Constant squad rotation shouldn’t be happening in mid october..

  • Avatar
    E.Micallef October 16, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Seeing the formation above there is a clear gap between midfield and attack. According to comments during match Allegri wanted Costa (a pure winger to centre himself leaving LINCH alone on that flank).

    Let me make myself clear.

    It is most inappropriate to play Costa on the right when he is a clear LW.

    Manzu is a centre forward not a striker but a centre forward non the less sometimes for heaven sake we could play with two forwards.

    We are missing Pjanic.

    The longer we take to start Rugani the longer it will take for him to settle in. We cannot play Rugani one game and leave him on the bench for the rest of the year.

    If you don’t play Dybala at least play Bernardeschi.

    I’m starting to like Inzaghi.

    Good day to you all.