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Lazio manager Stefano Pioli says that he is extremely delighted with the way his team played in the 2-0 victory over Hellas Verona. Lazio have been one of the inform teams in the Italian Serie A in the last few weeks.
They have been unbeaten since suffering the 1-0 defeat against Genoa at the start of February. This form has seen them move into third place ahead of Sampdoria and Napoli, who have both slipped to more than four points behindPioli’s team. After having captured the third place at such a crucial stage in the season,Pioli will start dreaming about a Champions League spot.
Qualification for the Champions League will be an immense achievement forPioli, who came to the club only this season as the replacement for Edoardo Reja. Despite having an old strikeforce featuring the likes of Miroslav Klose, they have been able to build from the back. A major reason for the immense form has been Brazilian midfielder Felipe Anderson, who has nine goals in 21 appearances. This form has seen him being linked with the likes of Manchester City and United with a possible £ 30 million offer coming in the summer. For the moment, he is keeping things from the ground and was one of scorers in the victory over Hellas Verona. Read more »
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Lazio’s amazing run of form came to an end after the team suffered a 1-0 defeat against Napoli. This is a huge setback for the team currently chasing for a top three place.
This was seen as a six-pointer given that Napoli’s position as the third best team in Italy was under severe threat. Rafa Benitez’ team has now opened a two-point advantage over Lazio, but the race is still very tight at the top of the table. After the match, Lazio boss Stefano Pioli said that he did not envisage a defeat after having played so well against one of the top teams in the country.
Former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain scored the only goal of the game. This was the first defeat suffered by Lazio since the 3-0 loss against Juventus back in November. Read more »
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Ashley Cole is widely regarded as one of the best left backs over the last decade, but at 33 years of age, he was deemed surplus to requirements at Chelsea in the summer. The former Arsenal man not only announced his retirement from international duty, but he also surprised many by joining Roma on a free transfer. Since moving to the Italian outfit, he has been playing on a regular basis. This persuaded manager Rudi Garcia to start with the experienced campaigner in the Champions League group match against Bayern Munich.
Roma came into the match with a real opportunity to cement their position in the group after getting a 1-1 draw against Manchester City in the previous round. City were seen as the early favourites to finish second in the group behind Bayern, but the Premier League outfit are yet to get a win.
Hence, Garcia went with a strong line-up against Bayern but his players performed very poorly and were thrashed 7-1. This was one of the highest scores in the Champions League group stages. Cole was having a tough time against Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben and he was substituted at half-time. Garcia, though, has defended the performance of Cole by saying that the former Chelsea man was not the only one to play poorly against the Germans.
“The defeat against Bayern wasn’t just down to one player. Everyone got things wrong, the Coach included. Ashley has also had big games where he’s played well, such as the game with Manchester City not long ago [a 1-1 draw at the Etihad].
He’s feeling good, he’s always positive and he’s a great champion, he’ll be involved in the upcoming games,” said Garcia. Roma started the season in brilliant fashion, but their form of late has been rather worrying with just one win in the last five.