Serie A Match of the Week – Genoa vs Lazio

Genoa-Lazio was pretty decidedly the best match of the weekend, as the Griffon managed to stay in the game despite conceding early and going down two goals in two separate occasions.

The Biancocelesti came in having torpedoed Inter in a pivotal clash last week, while the Rossoblù had not lost in a month as they had beaten Cagliari and Bologna and tied with Atalanta and Fiorentina in the last four rounds.

Simone Inzaghi lost Francesco Acerbi to a calf ailment during warmups, so Denis Vavro got his first Serie A start, and Adam Marusic and Felipe Caicedo were selected over Manuel Lazzari and Joaquin Correa for the second week in a row. Davide Nicola welcomed back Lasse Schone in the midfield, where Francesco Cassata replaced the suspended Stefano Sturaro, while Andrea Favilli was chosen as Antonio Sanabria’s partner, as Goran Pandev was banged up and Andrea Pinamonti under the weather.

After just two minutes, Marusic cut inside from the right flank on a through ball by Caicedo, stayed upright and kept forging ahead despite the simultaneous tackle of two defenders and fired it under the crossbar with a slide. The Ecuadorian striker tried to double the lead at the 14th minute, but Mattia Perin denied him with a great one-handed save. The home team was mostly dangerous through Schone’s free kicks and Favilli hit the post with a header on one, then Cassata failed to find the mark on the tap in.

The Eagles came out guns blazing after intermission: after Luis Alberto put it just wide from great position, Ciro Immobile got his usual goal by gathering the ball after Caicedo had been stripped in the box and slotting it right near the box with surgical precision. However, the Griffon refused to go down without a fight and scored immediately thereafter, with Petar Ankersen perfectly teeing up Cassata on the edge of the box and the midfielder blasting it home after being allowed to take aim.

Pandev tired to chip it over Thomas Strakosha, but the ball ended up over the bar. Just as the home club was gaining steam, Lazio re-established a two-goal cushion at the 70th minute thanks to a splendid free kick by Danilo Cataldi, who put it right over and behind the ball despite being pretty close to the net.

Genoa were a little disorganized in their charge, but were awarded a penalty kick for a handball with three minutes to go and Domenico Criscito made no mistake. However, they did not manage to muster a clear-cut chance in the stoppage time.

The Biancocelesti prevailed for the 18th time in the season and kept pace with Juventus, so the difference in the standings is still just one point. Instead, in the fantasy game, Cataldi and Immobile snatched four points for scoring, Marusic was docked one because he was booked and Caicedo earned two for an assist. Despite their goal, Cassata and Criscito accumulated the same amount because Genoa conceded multiple times.

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