Maurizio Sarri insists he has few regrets after Lazio slide out of the Europa League with defeat to Feyenoord. ‘Our elimination was all down to the Midtjylland game.’
The Biancocelesti only needed a point to be sure of qualification, and that result would’ve been enough to top the group considering Midtjylland beat Sturm Graz 2-0.
However, after Felipe Anderson hit the bar in the first half, Santiago Gimenez came off the bench and made the most of a collision between Patric and Ivan Provedel to score.
This means Lazio are out of the Europa League and will go into the Conference League play-off against a team that finished second in their group.
“The attitude was good for the whole game, we knew there were moments when we would be under pressure and we didn’t struggle much at all,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.
“What we should take responsibility for is that we created five chances to put the ball in the net and didn’t take any of them. That is what we were punished for.
“I saw a team that was alive, determined and ready to battle with some good football. On the night, we did not deserve the defeat, it was a very even match and the team did not disappoint me this evening.”
Luka Romero was sent off in stoppages for two petulant yellow cards in the space of 30 seconds, the red coming after he kicked the ball into the stands.
“It was not easy at that point, as the referee gave six minutes of injury time and there was barely any football during that period.”
All four teams ended level on eight points, so it ultimately went down to head-to-head record and goal difference.
Sarri was asked if he had regrets about the way the group developed and had to point to their shock 5-1 loss to Midtjylland.
“The draw with Graz was good and we would’ve beaten them at home without the red card. Where we really got it wrong was in Denmark, and that is why we are in third place behind them.”
Now Lazio drop down into the Conference League, where they will be in a play-off with one of the runners-up to enter the Round of 16.
“Our elimination was all down to the game with Midtjylland, we can afford to get one badly wrong in Serie A, but in the Europa League, one of six and you compromise everything, especially when goal difference comes into play,” insisted Sarri.
“I think after this evening’s match we can’t get too upset, because it was a tough team that created five or six chances, so I have few regrets about this particular game.”