ITALY TROUNCE ALBANIA 2-0 AMID FAN TROUBLE

Italy defeated Albania 2-0 despite the disturbances from the fans of the visitors.


Albanian fans repeatedly disturbed the game, throwing flares and smoke bombs onto the pitch during the clash.

The coach of the visiting side Gianni de Biasi said he was “upset” with the fireworks during the games. He added that he “never thought” he would see such from the fans.

The fans started with the flares when the referee SlavkoVincic awarded a penalty in favour of the hosts. As Daniele de Rossi was about to take the kick, the flares came on. After the break, the game had to be paused for eight minutes and the players asked to leave the pitch.

The fans were threatened with warning that their team could get sanctioned if the disturbances continued. The warnings did little to stop the fans as the flares use continued.

One of the stewards was scared when fans threw flares onto him. He was assessed and declared fine but the skipper of the Albanian team AnsiAgolli had to appeal to the fans before play could resume. Continue reading ITALY TROUNCE ALBANIA 2-0 AMID FAN TROUBLE

Reja displays support towards Piola

The previous coach of Lazio, Edoardo Reja enjoyed having an impressive time as the coach of the Italian club as he rescued Lazio out of the relegation zone and into a middle section finish during his debut season as the coach of the Italian side.

The next season arrived and things continued going in favor of Lazio and Edoardo Reja as were they at the top of the Italian League, Serie A for a significantly long period of time but Reja decided to resign and step down from his managerial position at Lazio despite having constant claims and pleas for him to continue on.

On May 17 of 2012 Edoardo Reja resigned but he made his return to the club on January 4 of 2014, however his stay was not long as the Italian coach once more decided to resign and has been replaced by Stefano Pioli.

Lazio are currently located in the higher section of the Italian League and Edoardo Reja displayed his support towards Stefano Pioli as Reja believes that the current coach is doing things right.

“The President asked me, ‘and now who will I sign?’ And there were Coaches I recommended to him, Pioli was one of those. He is working well. He has brought a philosophy of play, it’s a good one, works well on the field. On the level of the game, although they have lost a few games, Lazio have their own identity’’

“It takes time to learn about the environment. And at Lazio there aren’t the conditions in which to experiment’’ Edoardo Reja said.

Lazio endured a rocky start of the season after losing 3-1 against Ac.Milan and a few weeks later enduring successive defeats against Genoa and Udinese but they have managed to pick themselves up and respond by smashing 4 goals past Palermo as well as claiming crucial triumphs over Sassuolo and more recently against Fiorentina.

Lazio Thinking Positively

Lazio started the new Italian Serie A campaign with a lot of positivity especially after having come close to qualifying for the Champions League this season. However, they suffered a defeat in the opening match of the season against AC Milan. This was one of the standout fixtures of the opening day, as Lazio were coming up against a team that had the former Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi standing in the dugout. Inzaghi recently replaced Clarence Seedorf and there has been talk that the former striker has tried to revolutionise the team in the hope of getting them back to top.

One of the exciting matches of the weekend, Lazio came on the wrong side of a 3-1 score. Milan were excellent throughout the 90 minutes, as they came out with pace and power especially with Stephan El Shaarawy being impressive. Lazio were unable to respond for much of the match, but towards the end they had a number of chances that were saved due to the brilliance of former Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez, who was making his debut for Milan. Lazio’s new manager Stefano Pioli, who was appointed in the summer in place of Edoardo Reja, was disappointed to see his team lose the opening match.

However, he said that Lazio were good enough to warrant at least three goals that would have helped them draw the match.

“I like the personality of the team, but especially in the first half we had to be more incisive and aggressive. In the first half we lacked a little bit of clarity, but not in the second. We created five or six scoring chances and deserved at least the three goals that Milan had. We made the right purchases in July. I know this group, and I know that this team has technical and moral values. The team is good, we’re growing. We want to return to Europe,” said Pioli.

Ludogorets Fights Back

Last week’s match between PFC Ludogorets Razgrad and S. S Lazio saw Slovakian national Roman Bezjak claim a 1-0 win over Lazio.

The first leg swung quite to & fro, but during an enthralling 2nd leg, Lazio took the upper hand in eighteen seconds as Brayan Perea put Lazio ahead. The hosts got even through Hristo Zlatinski and Roman Bezjak as Miroslav Klose seemed to see Lazio through till Quixada’s delayed intervention. Lodogorets gave just 2 goals during the group phase while Vladislav Stoyanov, the goalkeeper was outstanding at Stadio Olimpico. Nevertheless he was immediately defeated back to Razgrad.

The hosts kick started the game pretty well, but almost immediately, gave the match away while Balde broke the left down prior to bagging the 2nd fastest goal in the brief history of Europa league.

The first half was quite eventful post which Balde was caught offside, which was the 3rd caution before the half time. Following Balde team mates Bezjak and Konko were cautioned as well.

Just a little earlier than half time, Cosmin Moti followed for fouling Keita Balde. Again in the second half Lazio struck pretty early although not as dramatically like the first half. Unlike the first half they had to linger eight whole minutes before the breakaway was broken as Perea held on to  Onazi’s pass and ended with style.

There was no pause form Lazio at the initial stage of the 2nd leg with Antonio Candreva curling over post combining with Lucas Biglia. Nevertheless the 2nd goal they were worried about, soon came as Onazi sensibly weighted pass Perea, and he easily played past Stoyanov.

The champions from Bulgaria responded spiritedly while Bezjak cut down the deficit time, post putting off the woodwork. Espinho dissected the back line of Lazio as the stiker hit the ball via deflection the top corner.

WISHLIST

Lazio have made a list of players that include Ac.Milan’s Alessandro Matri, Juventus’ Fabio Quagliarella and Atalanta’s German Denis. There also are reports claiming that Lazio will be willing to offer Sergio Floccari in exchange of the player of Atalanta.

Floccari might make a move to a different club however as Bologna have entered the race on signing the 32 years old forward. According to Sky Sports, Bologna has already made an offer of around €800,000 for the former player of Genoa but Lazio are asking for at least €3 million in order to even consider selling their player.

Georgios Samaras is another player linked with Lazio. The Greek footballer is out of contract at the end of the current season and still has not made plans with Celtic on extending his stay with the club.

“Samaras is a footballer I really like personally, We were previously interested in him four years ago if I remember correctly, but nothing happened. Next week we will sit down with our manager Vladimir Petkovic to determine our movements in the transfer market.” The sporting director of Lazio, Igor Tare spoke concerning the reports linking Lazio with Samaras.

While Samaras could be seeing his way into Lazio, Miroslav Klose is likely to be nearing the last few months of his career at the Italian club. The German forward has a contract that expires in the summer and he has already been told that an extension will not be offered which has taken an interest on the Premier League side club Aston Villa who are believed to be interested in signing Klose.

When Klose was asked about his future he said: “I’ll have to assess where and for how long I can play. It is an important decision, to be discussed together with my family’’.

MONTERO RISES HIGH

Fredy Montero is on the spotlight of Lazio as the 26 years old Colombian striker is playing on loan from the Seattle Sounders and made a sensational debut with Sporting Lisbon by scoring a hat-trick.

Antonio Candreva, Hernanes and Ederson are some of Lazio’s top goal-scorers this season and taking into consideration that all of them are midfielders it is becoming clear why they are searching for a forward option that take off the pressure away from the center of the field of Lazio’s players.

Lazio however would have to wait until the summer transfer window in order to make a proper and official offer for the Colombian forward as he cannot be sold in January due to registration issues.

Montero is the all-time leading scorer for the Seattle Sounders with sixty goals and forty three assists across all competitions. He also scored 9 goals in 9 appearances for the Primeira Liga club in this season and all of these factors have attracted the attention of not only Lazio but also Roma as they have also shown interest in adding the player to their squad.

Another player on the watch list for Lazio is John Guidetti’s Manchester City who is currently playing Feyenoord after signing a loan deal with the Dutch club since 2011.

Even though Guidetti is making a number of impressive performances in Feyenoord it is not certain if a contract extension will be made and this gives the chance for Lazio to make a move.

Manchester City have a large amount of attacking players at their availability and some of those are: Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic which means that the English side could be interested in allowing Guidetti move to another club on another loan deal or maybe even release with on a permanent deal away from the squad of Manuel Pellegrini.

INJURIES COUNT

Lazio may have suffered only one defeat in the last five matches, but the rising injury count could prove to be a major problem for manager Vladimir Petkovic in the coming weeks. Ahead of the Europa league match with Trabzonspor, the Lazio manager expressed his concern about the players currently on the injury table. The team comes into the match on the back of a 2-2 draw with newly promoted Sassuolo, which has put them sixth in the table with 10 points. Key players like Miroslav Klose, Stefan Radu, Abdoulay Konko, and Bruno Pereirinha will be unavailable for this match.

Petkovic is unlikely to be worried about the lack of these players for the Europa league because the club is concentrating on the league. They have seen archrivals Roma start the season in great fashion. Roma are currently top of the Italian Serie A after winning all of the matches so far. Despite this long injury list, Petkovic is confident of getting three points away to a Turkish club. Three points from this match will put Lazio in a commanding position in the group after managing a 1-0 win over Legia Warsaw in the first round match.

Lazio will also have one eye on the important clash with Fiorentina on Monday.

“We will do everything possible to win and we are optimistic. Obviously, when the squad is fully fit and complete then we’ll have the opportunity to play better. It’s a shame, as we almost always seem to be missing players, but I don’t want to ‘burn’ the youngsters by putting too much on their shoulders. Trabzonspor are a typical Turkish team. They are very strong on home turf, aggressive and with quality foreign imports,” said Petkovic.

A defeat, however, will be bad for Lazio since Trabzonspor also won their first group match.

LAZIO DREAM BIG

Lazio manager Vladimir Petkovic has said that he wants the team to win the Italian Super cup that will take place in the second week of August. Lazio will be taking part in this final as the winners of the Coppa Italia, while the opposition – Juventus – will be coming in as the Italian champions. Juventus will certainly be the favourites for victory in this match, but Petkovic has seen enough promising qualities in his team to suggest that they will not die without a fight. Lazio finished last season in eighth position, but they were in with a shout to finish in the top three for most of the campaign.

An end of the season slump resulted in the team losing its way, but Petkovic has addressed this problem by signing a couple of players to add to the squad. This bigger squad will now be able to cope with the demands of the season according to Petkovic. He has revealed that he was hurt when Juventus thought that they would not be one of the title challengers, but he wants to prove them wrong. Lazio’s Coppa Italia victory was the first title won by the club since 2009, but the manager does not want them to stop there.

“We want to win the Super Cup, as we start the season trying to amaze and surprise. We need to focus on dominating our opponent at all times, no matter who they are. Antonio Conte did not name us as one of the title contenders, but he’s right because we were only eighth last season. Now the side is more complete with a bigger squad. It’s not over yet, though, as someone could arrive and others could leave,” said the Lazio manager. Juventus and Lazio will be facing each other on August 18.

BIGLIA JOINING

Lazio are expected to confirm their signing of Anderlecht midfielder Lucas Biglia in the next few days. Biglia, in the meantime, has expressed his delight at being able to come to terms with the club like Lazio. The Italian club came extremely close to finishing in the Champions League places last season. They managed to stay in competition with the likes of Napoli and Milan till the remaining few weeks of the campaign. They have been linked with several names in the last few weeks in a bid to strengthen the team.

The move is not official yet, but it is expected to be confirmed in the next few days. The Argentina international has great experience of playing in the European leagues. He has recalled that he has spent the last seven years in Belgium and it was probably the right time to move on. He has said that the club’s directors finally agreed his request to play for a bigger club in a more competitive league. Now, the deal has been agreed with Lazio. Lazio finished the Italian Serie A in the seventh position after being let down in the league table by poor form only in the last few weeks of the campaign.

They managed to rake up 61 points on the board.

“It is wonderful and I really wanted to join a more important League with a competitive team. Lazio is the perfect club for me and I am sure we’ll challenge for top targets next season. I couldn’t miss this chance. After seven years in Belgium, I feel ready to learn how another great League works. In January I sat down with the directors and they finally realised I wanted to play in a more competitive League,” said Biglia, who will be strengthening the midfield of the Italian team massively.

TEAM IS GROWING

The Lazio manager Vladimir Petkovic has said that his team are really growing in stature after they managed to beat Juventus in the Coppa Italia to progress to the final of the competition. The 2-1 win in the second leg handed Lazio the 3-2 aggregate victory. Petkovic was especially thrilled after having beaten a team like Juventus, who are currently top of the Italian Serie A table. Coming into the match after having had a 1-1 draw in the first leg, there was a real pressure on Lazio to prevent the away team from scoring early in the match.

They rode the pressure of the Italian champions in the first half and came out extremely well in the second half. Gonzalez opened the scoring for Lazio in the 52nd minute. However, a 90th minute equaliser from the defensive midfielder Vidal looked to have secured extra time for Juventus, but Floccari scored a very late winner to help Lazio reach the finals. It has not been the only success that the club has enjoyed in recent months. An impressive form in the league has meant that they are now third in the Italian Serie A table with an outside chance of winning the title.

“We are satisfied with the result and that was a crazy game at the end, but we had the right determination to take home the result. We deserve this joy and must always play at this level, as a great team cannot afford dips in intensity during a season. The squad is really growing and tonight’s performance proved it against a strong side like Juventus. Marchetti is having a fantastic season, not just in the individual saves,” said the Lazio manager, who is expected to bring in a few players in the January transfer window in order to strengthen his team.