What a lovely Sunday and weekend overall. roma lost at home in the first match as their new owner took over the club. Inter lost as well and Juve drew. Now Lazio needed to win at all cost to create a gap with roma and Juve and they did just that. After a fantastic performance at such a difficult venue, Edy Reja`s boys returned victorious with a more than convincing 1-4 win.
Edy Reja started without Zarate, who was benched being late for Lazio`s last training session before the match. Floccari started instead. Brocchi was also out due to a muscle problem and was substituted by Bresciano in the middle who accompanied Ledesma. Sculli then picked a muscle injury and it was Zarate`s turn to get in.
Lazio dictated the play from the very beginning of the match. The ball possession was convincingly in Lazio`s advantage. Catania players failed to make a single threat to Muslera. Lazio was patiently building their play with particularly Lichsteiner very active from the right. Catania was defending well nevertheless and conceded little to our players. However, 40th minute was being played with Lichsteiner received the ball and tricked two Catania defenders thinking he would cross (as usually with his right foot). Lichsteiner made a soft cross with his left foot, the ball found Mauri who headed it backward in the Andujar`s right post. Hernanes, who was following the action in a perfect fashion made a little run and arrived just in time to tap-in. 0-1 for Lazio. Patient game paid off. And it was only after we scored that Catania, through always dangerous Maxi launched a shot towards out goal. Catania striker was cornered well by Biava so he was not in the best position to fire a precise shot. As a consequnce, the ball we at least half a meter to Nando`s left bar. Zarate was horrible in the first half, but this time, he was apparently saving his best for the second 45 minutes.
Started with Catania equalizing after 20 seconds. Lazio players were still warming up, when the host side started a quick move towards our goal which ended with Maxi firing a cunning shot which Muslera saved very nicely, but unfortunately Schelotto was running towards the goal unmarked and the saved ball by Nando reached him, who had no trouble to slot it in. 1-1 and Lazio players were not aware what stroke them.
To be honest, once Catania equalized, I feared the Bologna match would repeat, when we scored first and then retired in our box, but this time ragazzi did not let that happen. They did not lose their cool and began again constructing with patience. Catania players though they had a chance and began pushing, but little did they know that such a tactic would cost them dearly. Shortly after that, Zarate made a brilliant move passing 2 Catania defenders like they did not exist, and made a lovely assist to Mauri who tapped the ball in. 1-2. Several minutes after, Hernanes picked a ball in the middle, managed to pass some Catania defenders, passed the ball on the right to Zarate who beat the offside trap; Mauro brilliantly passed the ball to Floccari who was running alone towards the box and slotted the ball in. 1-3.
Then the fourth one was all Mauro Zarate. He again received a ball some 20 meters from the goal but was brought down by a Catania player. A free kick was awarded which Mauro took…and what a goal that turned out to be. Zarate finished his best 45 minutes since arriving in Lazio with a style to seal the final 1-4.
It is difficult to say more that we wish to see this team play like this more often. Against Napoli, Parma and Catania Lazio proved that they deserve a CL spot.