The Rise of Lazio

Posted on May 13, 2020
epa08259155 Lazio?s Ciro Immobile in action during the Italian Serie A soccer match between SS Lazio and Bologna FC at the Olimpico stadium in Rome, Italy, 29 February 2020. EPA-EFE/GIUSEPPE LAMI

SuperSport viewers on DStv and GOtv have been witness to a fantastic Serie A season in 2019-20, with one of the most interesting aspects of the campaign being the rise of Lazio to challenge Juventus and Internazionale for the title.

At the time of writing, Lazio are placed second on the Serie A table, just a point behind leaders Juventus with 12 rounds of the season remaining.

The Roman side boasts the best defensive record (24 goals conceded), second best attacking record (60 goals, bettered only by Atalanta’s 70) and the league’s leading scorer, Ciro Immobile (27 goals).

Manager Simone Inzaghi has done a tremendous job in making Le Aquile a balanced team, one which is no longer completely reliant on the brilliant Serbian midfielder Sergei Milinkovic-Savic.

Alongside the extraordinary scoring form of Immobile, Lazio have seen Joaquin Correa and Luis Alberto come into their own as creative forces in the team’s attack.

Add that to a stern defence, led by goalkeeper Thoma Strakosha and veteran defenders Stefan Radu and Francesco Acerbi, as well as a seemingly unbreakable team spirit, and you have a potent mix which looks capable of challenging for the Scudetto.

Lazio have not won a Serie A championship since 1999-2000, a time when Inzaghi was an up-and-coming striker in a Le Aquile team led by Sven-Goran Eriksson. Significantly, however, the current manager sees a lot of parallels between that team and his own, hinting that a Scudetto triumph is not beyond their reach.

“I see a similar atmosphere. I see lads who care for each other, a coach that has to make dozens of difficult decisions every day that are accepted. I remember at the time, we all listened to what Sven-Goran Eriksson said and accepted his decisions,” explained Inzaghi.

He added, “I dreamed when I took this job four years ago of taking the club to success, of getting back into Europe regularly and we did that, of winning silverware and we won three trophies in the last four years.”

Beating serial champions Juventus to top spot will be no easy task for Inzaghi and Lazio, but they have the balance, fire power and resilience to push the Bianconeri all the way and play a major role in what promises to be a thrilling conclusion to this Serie A season.

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