Sarri: ‘The Europa League is beautiful, Lazio must give an answer’

epa09434367 Lazio's coach Maurizio Sarri reacts during the Italian Serie A soccer match SS Lazio vs Spezia Calcio at Olimpico stadium in Rome, Italy, 28 August 2021. EPA-EFE/ANGELO CARCONI

Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri said the Europa League ‘is a beautiful event’ and wants a reaction from his players after the defeat to Milan in Serie A.

The Biancocelesti start with a trip to Turkey in the opening round, as Galatasaray await when the Europa League begins tomorrow.

Sarri, who has been given a two-match ban in Serie A for his sending off towards the end of the match against Milan, wants to see his men bounce back in the cup he won during his time at Chelsea.

“The Europa League is a beautiful event,” Sarri said at a press conference. “The championship gives you an idea of the season you have had, in the cups you must be lucky too.

“I have lived a Final, it gives you enormous sensations. With the Conference League it’s even more difficult, our group is at a great level.”

Lazio coach Sarri suspended for two games

Former Fiorentina and Milan coach Fatih Terim is in the opposite dugout tomorrow and Sarri recalls the ‘impact’ he had on the Viola.

“He didn’t spend a long time at Fiorentina, but he had a strong impact on the Viola,” Sarri said. “I have studied all of these great coaches.

“Then you continue, and you don’t realise what you have taken from one and the other.”

Sarri said he has depth enough to get ‘guarantees’ from all the players.

“If someone is tired, I will be able to insert some new ones. But not to make them happy,” Sarri said. “Tomorrow, I will field the best possible formation, I will choose the players who will give me the most guarantees.

“At this moment we cannot afford disruptions, but let’s see who can alternate.”

Sarri wants a reaction from Lazio after the defeat to Milan in Serie A, when he was sent off and later given a two-match suspension.

“Tomorrow, we have to give an answer to ourselves,” Sarri said. “If we succeed, we will be happy for our fans too.

“So far, we have had two good games and one not. For me, it was predictable, those who didn’t expect it haven’t yet realised what we are doing.

“This application involves a rejection phase, now I have to work to make it as short as possible.”

However, he said he didn’t expect the suspension of two games in the League, as he reacted to Alexis Saelemaekers’ showboating towards the end of the game and then to the sending off.

“I didn’t expect it. I have one ban for a threatening attitude. In the tunnel I got another ban because I told the referee: ‘You let a little boy take the mickey out of me’.

“It has been recorded that I used two words of blasphemy, but I have witnesses and I have warned my lawyers: if there’s only one chance in a million, I want to take legal action.”

Sarri said he will not say who starts tomorrow, when asked about Vedat Muriqi.

“The first to know who will be on the pitch are my players and they must know it from me,” he said. “I have taken Muriqi into consideration from the beginning and he’s working hard.

“Last year he was unfairly criticised, this year he will carve out an important place for himself. Tomorrow, he will be part of the match, I still have to decide is he will start.”

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