Lazio’s win in the Derby della Capitale could be a turning point for the Biancocelesti and Apollo Heyes highlights where Maurizio Sarri’s side still need to improve to become genuine top four contenders.
Lazio’s 3-2 Derby della Capitale win over Roma last weekend was a decisive moment for coach Maurizio Sarri.
The Biancocelesti environment seemed a little shaky ahead of the challenge, but the strong performance by the squad has seemingly set the Roman club back on the right track.
Sarri’s appointment at Lazio back in June of this year lit a spark in the Italian capital, with the Biancocelesti faithful incredibly excited to see the 62-year-old coach in charge following the painful departure of Simone Inzaghi to Inter weeks prior.
The former Napoli and Juventus coach was emblematic of president Claudio Lotito’s desire to continue the team’s growth in the post-Inzaghi era, and the work on the transfer market was positive enough, with players like Pedro, Felipe Anderson and Toma Basic all putting pen to paper.
The two opening wins against Empoli 3-1 and Spezia 6-1 set the Lazio fanbase into a frenzy, with many believing that the 62-year-old Italian coach could even lead the team in a title fight this season.
Things changed following the 2-0 loss to Milan, and a 1-0 loss to Galatasaray the following week only spoilt the party in Rome further, suddenly causing doubts amongst many.
Draws against Cagliari 2-2 and Torino 1-1 provided a little hope, with the team clearly understanding Sarri’s requests and movements, even if they only picked up two points out of a possible six.
The derby against Roma was always going to be crucial, especially with the Giallorossi’s appointment of legendary coach Jose Mourinho.
The Derby della Capitale victory restored faith in Sarri’s project at Lazio, with the team and fans having fun together in the Stadio Olimpico on that fateful Sunday evening.
This electricity continued earlier this week with the 2-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow and Sarri’s philosophy again became more obvious, the players finally starting to adapt to his 4-3-3 tactical setup.
Lazio’s quick vertical movements, short and fast passes, and usage of wingers have been a highlight of his time in charge so far, with Spanish veteran Pedro and returning Brazilian winger Felipe Anderson finding strong form under the 62-year-old Italian coach.
Immobile has also started the campaign well, netting six goals in the opening six games, proving his star status to the former Napoli coach.
Another positive note is the work of Spanish veteran Pepe Reina, who is clearly well-suited to Sarri’s system and has already proven his abilities with the ball at his feet.
So far, the major issues relate to both the midfield and the defence; Sarri has struggled to find a balanced midfield three and has tried out multiple 3-man combinations, sometimes leaving stars Luis Alberto or Sergej Milinkovic-Savic on the bench to look for more defence stability.
The team’s defensive organisation has also been a little shaky, emblematic in the early goals conceded against Empoli and Spezia as well as Cagliari’s first goal in the 2-2 draw.
Lazio’s attacking movements under Sarri have clearly developed and the squad are slowly adapting to his Sarrismo philosophy, although the midfield and defensive issues need to be resolved if the Biancocelesti are to have a real chance in the title race this season.