De Zerbi: ‘Sassuolo not crafty enough’

Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi explained some of his decisions after a stoppage-time 2-1 defeat to Lazio. "The second half was one of our best this season."

The Neroverdi were seemingly heading for a creditable draw until Lazio's Felipe Caicedo scored the winner in stoppage time. 

Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi explained some of his decisions after a stoppage-time 2-1 defeat to Lazio. "The second half was one of our best this season."

The Neroverdi were seemingly heading for a creditable draw until Lazio's Felipe Caicedo scored the winner in stoppage time. 

"We tried to play and create scoring opportunities, but to get into those positions, you need to get away from your marker. And to me we were missing this in the first half, but in the second half I liked our play, perhaps one of our better halves this season in terms of quality," said De Zerbi in his press conference.

Midfielder Manuel Locatelli was tasked with man-marking Lazio's Lucas Leiva, but once Locatelli was taken off, the former Liverpool man exerted more control.

"Locatelli was tired. To put [Alfred] Duncan or [Mehdi] Bourabia out on the wing would've been a mistake, as it would've freed up [Jordan] Lukaku and [Manuel] Lazzari. The changes I made were the one that best fit the characteristics of the players available.

"Lazio scored a very shrewd goal. We are not a crafty side, but we have other qualities."

De Zerbi at 40 was the youngest coach in Serie A until he was overtaken by Thiago Motta, so is he pleased to see more young coaches in the league?

"I'm a bit sorry," he laughed. "I never agree when making the distinction between young and old, in general, and not just in football. I want to be ranked as good, not young or old."

Sassuolo travel to Turin to face Juventus next weekend.

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