With a number of teams vying for top four, Lazio desperately needed to claim the three points against Frosinone to maintain pace. While the biancocelesti weren’t at their best, Simone Inzaghi’s men did just enough to get the victory and remain in the race for top four alongside Milan, Atalanta, and fierce rivals Roma. As a whole, Inzaghi will be pleased with his side’s recent form, given their indifferent end to 2018. Here are three positives from Lazio’s win against Frosinone.
Opting to give Lucas Leiva a rest, Inzaghi fielded Milan Badelj at the heart of midfield and tasked him with shielding the defence. Until now, the Croatian hasn’t lived up to expectations and has largely disappointed when given a chance. Against Frosinone, however, Badelj was at this best and demonstrated exactly why Lazio were so eager to snap him up this past summer.
The former Fiorentina man finished the game with the most aerial duels won, the most tackles, and the most ball recoveries. When Frosinone looked dangerous, Badelj was typically there to clear; something Inzaghi will be hoping continues, especially considering the biancocelesti are competing on three fronts.
Another positive from last night’s win and in Lazio’s recent games in general is the return to form of Luis Alberto. Last season, the Spaniard was among the side’s most influential players, yet failed to recreate that this year. After struggling for the better part of the first half of the season, the former Liverpool man seems to have put his inconsistent past behind him and has emerged as a key player again. Against Juventus, Luis Alberto was phenomenal between the lines and was unlucky not to find the back of the net on a couple of occasions.
Last night, the Lazio playmaker registered an assist and was among the side’s most dangerous players before being subbed off due to injury. Considering his upturn in form, the Lazio faithful will be hoping his knock isn’t too serious. As Inzaghi’s men are about to head into the business end of the season, Luis Alberto will need to be at his best again.
Other than the return to form of key men, Inzaghi will also be pleased with the clean sheet. For the first time in over a month, the biancocelesti did not concede a goal and looked solid throughout, outside of a few scares. Led by Francesco Acerbi, Lazio were comfortable at the back and now have an accomplished performance to build off of moving forward. In addition, Danish fullback Riza Durmisi got his first start of the season and helped out nicely in his own third.
All in all, it wasn’t Lazio’s best game, yet, there are still many positives for Inzaghi to take from the performance. While it may only be Frosinone, the biancocelesti appear to have finally put their early season blues behind them, and look ready to challenge for top four. With Milan, Roma, Atalanta and even Sampdoria eyeing Champions League football, it won’t be easy, but if their recent performances are anything to go by, they’re in it with a real shot.
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