Club Focus – Lazio – Cassano and Sampdoria gun down Eagles in season opener

After last season’s fall from grace followers of the Biancocelesti will be harshly reflecting on the Serie A table this week. Their team is placed in 19th place after the first ten games of the Italian football season were completed over the weekend. With a few new faces brought in and a decent pre season under their belts the Lazio ‘tifosi’ went into this season with new optimism.
Alas it seems little has changed as Lazio limped away from the Luigi Ferrari’s with a 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria. A second half penalty from Antonio Cassano and a late strike by Stefano Guberti sealed their fate. However this result as solid as it looks, perhaps glossed over a match that was at least dominated by the Biancocelesti in the first half.

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All eyes were on new boy Hernanes, starting his first competitive match for Lazio. He did not let anyone down as he showed wonderful intelligence and skill in the midfield. Being partnered by Cristian Ledesma the pair had a decent game and both were not afraid to track back when needed. However as the game went on Hernanes seemed to tire with Sampdoria showing the Roman side that they were the fitter team.
Coach Edy Reja played cautious by packing the midfield and leaving Stefan Floccari up on his own. The deadly striker was anonymous up front with hardly any service.
Reja will not take any heart from the fact that they had 56% of possession. As is the age old saying in football, “you can have all the possession in the world but the only stat that counts is the goals.”
Lazio will be willing on their next fixture, but will have to wait an agonising two weeks to avenge their defeat because of the Euro 2012 qualifying games. There Lazio will host Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico.
On the transfer front club President Claudio Loltito has confirmed that the Biancocelesti are chasing at least two more players. However coach Edy Reja has put a warning to this by saying; ”If we do sign some players then someone will have to leave.” The coach confirming that Lazio have too big a squad – one of the largest in Serie A.
One of the players on the Lazio shopping list is Manchester City forward Roque Santa Cruz who has become surplus to requirements at Eastlands after the high profile signing of Mario Balotelli from Inter. Reja added; ‘ Santa Cruz is one of the players we are negotiating with but I do not know if you could consider the matter closed”. For Reja and Lazio ‘that matter’ will be that the Roman side have less than twenty four hours to claim the signature of the Paraguayan as the transfer window nears its closing.
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