Sarri: ‘Lazio running on empty’

by | Oct 3, 2021 14:36

Maurizio Sarri explains Lazio were ‘running on empty both physically and mentally’ in their 3-0 defeat to Bologna. ‘This is what happens when you play with your head in the clouds.’

The Aquile flew from the highs of their Derby della Capitale win over Roma and Europa League victory against Lokomotiv Moscow to the lows of this 3-0 hammering at the Stadio Dall’Ara.

Musa Barrow opened the scoring with a curler, then provided assists for Arthur Theate and Aaron Hickey, although Pepe Reina allowed the third goal to squirm under his arm.

Serie A | Bologna 3-0 Lazio: Sinisa stuns Sarri

Inevitably, the Biancocelesti were weakened without injured hitman Ciro Immobile, but barely managed a shot on target.

Since the 2019-20 season, Lazio have played five games in Serie A without Immobile, picking up just one point.

“We arrived at this game running on empty in every conceivable way,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia, having already complained beforehand that they were rushed into playing so soon after Thursday’s Europa League game.

“Bologna were alive, determined, fired up, while we were empty both physically and mentally. It’s a game we have to take into consideration in order to understand how it happened, but also try to forget it as soon as possible.”

Sarri insisted that the lack of squad rotation was not responsible for the setback.

“When you are tired, everyone is tired, from the staff to the phyios, and it even affects those who haven’t played as much. It’s a matter of mentality above all, of being able to constantly stay focused. Lazio have always been a team of ups and downs over the years, so there’s clearly something that needs to be worked on.

“We are the only team to play after 61 hours. I told the lads we’d fight with the Lega Serie A over this scheduling, but it mustn’t become an alibi.”

Lazio are still struggling to get to grips with Sarri’s 4-3-3 formation after years of Simone Inzaghi and 3-5-1-1.

“Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are very good at running with the ball at their feet, not so much when it comes to defending or sacrificing themselves by tracking back. They have the quality, it just depends on what they want to do.

“In general today, every player wanted the ball played to feet, never making the movement to reach it. Basically, we closed up the spaces by ourselves.”

To make matters worse, Francesco Acerbi saw red late on for dissent and will therefore be suspended for the big game against Inter.

“About 15 minutes before that, I told my staff on the bench that this was the classic game where you get a red card. This happens when you are playing with your head in the clouds.”

Maurizio Sarri Felipe Anderson

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