Sunday, December 12, 2010

Italian Serie A Round 16 - Juventus vs Lazio - Review

Juventus have consolidated their place in the top four of the Serie A with a win against Lazio. The victory sees the Bianconeri reach 16 games unbeaten in all competitions. Lazio have slid down to fourth place after the loss, which could've just as easily been a draw. The 2-1 victory, gives the Bianconeri something to build upon as they try to close Milan's six point gap at the top of the Serie A.

The game was the most anticipated clash of the Serie A this week, and to be honest the game did not disappoint. The first half was evenly contested by the two teams. However it was Juventus who opened the scoring early with Giorgio Chiellini heading a beautifully delivered corner from Aquilani. Lazio remained very composed as Zarate started to find his feet. The "go-to" man was rewarded when some poor Juventus defending, led to a goalmouth scramble and as the ball fell to Zarate's feet and the Argentinian did what he does best, scoring once again this season.

However the goal sured up Juventus' defence and the Old Lady began to move forward in attack. Alberto Aquilani was instrumental in the midfield constantly threading long balls forward not to mention that he hit the crossbar twice in the first half, while Felipe Melo his midefield counterpart, played exceptionally well ensuring he won every ball presented to him. Lazio through Andre Dias remained solid at the back countering every attack presented by Iaquinta and Quagliarella.

The second half saw a shift in possession with Juventus coming out to dominate the play. Juventus winger Milos Krasic began to drible at the Lazio defence and a number of breakthroughs saw crosses begging to be finished. Mid-second half Simone Pepe added some extra attacking flair when he was substituted on for Marchisio. But it was to be Sissoko's introduction for Aquilani that would prove the difference in the tough encounter.

Four minutes of injury time were added on and it looked as if both managers were content with a draw, as both had brought on defensive players. In the 92nd minute Del Piero (on for Quagliarella) lined up a shot from a free kick, which forced Muslera into a world class save. A Melo dispossession late in injury time, led to a pass to Sissoko. The Mali international then thread a long ball through to Krasic who utilized his speed to get the better of the Lazio defence. His trademark cut-in run led to a shot which could only be parried by Muslera into his own net, giving Juventus a victory with the last kick of the match.

The Bianconeri were derservant of a goal, yet Lazio will feel hard done by with a solid defensive peformance proving not enough against the impressive Turin giants.

Final Score - Juventus 2    -    Lazio 1
                        Chiellini 2          Zarate 15
                        Krasic 94

Man of the Match : Alberto Aquilani (Juventus)