Media watch: Smalling ‘lost himself’

La Gazzetta dello Sport writes Chris Smalling ‘lost himself’ in the Derby della Capitale, while Luis Alberto and Manuel Lazzari were the best players on the pitch.

The Biancocelesi pulled out a 3-0 win against Roma with goals came courtesy of Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto.

The ex-Liverpool man scored a brace and according to Il Corriere dello Sport he was the best player on the pitch with a rating of 9/10.

La Gazzetta dello Sport slams former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling writing the Englishman ‘lost himself’ and ‘doesn’t look like the same player he was last season.’

According to each one of the three Italian sports papers, however, the worst player on the pitch was Roger Ibanez who gifted Lazio the second goal.

Click here for the Football Italia player ratings.             

Lazio-Roma, player ratings from Italian sports papers:


Lazio: Reina 7; Luiz Felipe 7 (Patric 69 6), Acerbi 7, Radu 6.5 (Hoedt 83 N/A); Lazzari 8, Luis Alberto 8, Leiva 6.5 (Escalante 65 6), S Milinkovic-Savic 7, Marusic 7; Immobile 7.5 (Muriqi 83 6), Caicedo 6 (Akpa Akpro 65 6.5)

Roma: Pau Lopez 6; Mancini 5.5 (Mayoral 71 5), Smalling 5, Ibanez 4; Karsdorp 5, Veretout 5 (Pedro 46 5), Villar 5 (Cristante 60 5), Spinazzola 4.5 (Peres 71 5); Pellegrini 5, Mkhitaryan 5; Dzeko 5


Lazio: Reina 6.5; Luiz Felipe 6.5 (Patric 69 6), Acerbi 7, Radu 6.5 (Hoedt 83 N/A); Lazzari 8, Luis Alberto 8, Leiva 7 (Escalante 65 6), S Milinkovic-Savic 6.5, Marusic 6.5; Immobile 7 (Muriqi 83 N/A), Caicedo 6 (Akpa Akpro 65 6.5)

Roma: Pau Lopez 5; Mancini 4.5 (Mayoral 71 5.5), Smalling 5, Ibanez 4; Karsdorp 5, Veretout 5 (Pedro 46 6), Villar 5 (Cristante 60 5), Spinazzola 4.5 (Peres 71 5); Pellegrini 5, Mkhitaryan 5; Dzeko 5

Corriere dello Sport:

Lazio: Reina 7; Luiz Felipe 7.5 (Patric 69 6.5), Acerbi 7.5, Radu 7 (Hoedt 83 6); Lazzari 8.5, Luis Alberto 9, Leiva 7 (Escalante 65 6.5), S Milinkovic-Savic 7, Marusic 6.5; Immobile 7.5 (Muriqi 83 6), Caicedo 6.5 (Akpa Akpro 65 6.5)

Roma: Pau Lopez 6; Mancini 5.5 (Mayoral 71 5), Smalling 5, Ibanez 4; Karsdorp 5.5, Veretout 5 (Pedro 46 5), Villar 5 (Cristante 60 5.5), Spinazzola 4.5 (Peres 71 5.5); Pellegrini 5.5, Mkhitaryan 5; Dzeko 4.5




Ref watch: Lazio’s second goal should have been disallowed

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Lazio’s second goal against Roma should have been disallowed for a Manuel Lazzari handball.

Daniele Orsato had quite a busy night at the Olimpico on Friday when Roma and Lazio met for the first Derby della Capitale played behind closed doors.

Ciro Immobile broke the deadlock after 14 minutes and Luis Alberto doubled the Biancocelesti’s lead after 23.

The Spaniard’s goal, however, should have been disallowed for a Mauel Lazzari handball, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The ex Spal winger, in fact, recovered the ball inside Roma’s box, but touched it with his left arm before setting up the former Liverpool man.

“VAR should have noticed Lazzari’s touch,” writes La Gazzetta that, however, suggests Felipe Caicedo was not off-side.

VAR considered the Lazio striker was not interfering with play, as Pau Lopez had a clear view of the Luis Alberto shot.

Ref Ratings:

Corriere dello Sport: 5.5

Tuttosport: 6

Gazzetta dello Sport: 5.5


Highlights: Lazio 3-0 Roma

Lazio were simply in a completely different gear to Roma, dominating the Derby della Capitale by making the most of defensive errors.

Manuel Lazzari had a fantastic performance, as twice in the opening 23 minutes, he caught Roger Ibanez napping on the edge of his own penalty area to create the goals for Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto.

It was all the Aquile at the empty Stadio Olimpico, Luis Alberto curling a wonderful third into the bottom corner to complete his brace.

Edin Dzeko had the only genuine Roma opportunity at the 85th minute, denied from point-blank range by Pepe Reina.

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Smalling ‘so disappointed’ by Roma defeat

Roma defender Chris Smalling finds it ‘hard to put into words how disappointed we are all feeling’ after a 3-0 Derby della Capitale defeat to Lazio.

The Giallorossi were dominated from start to finish, with Manuel Lazzari twice catching Roger Ibanez in possession to create early goals for Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto, then the Spaniard got a third after the restart.

“I think there are crucial moments in the game and we will all study this game and try to understand why, especially after that second goal, heads dropped and we gave them the ascendancy,” Smalling told Roma TV.

“We need to reflect and then focus on the next games, because ultimately we knew if we won this game we would be so close to that first position, and now it’s about making sure there’s a reaction and we push on. Because tonight was not a true reflection of how we have been playing.

“It’s hard to put into words how disappointed we are all feeling tonight. A lot of disappointment. How we have been playing recently, that is not a fair reflection of how we have been doing.

“Mistakes led to two of their goals and after the second goal I think it made the match extremely difficult. But there was still a lot of time to be played. Just pure disappointment tonight. For everyone. For the whole club.”

Roma didn’t have a genuine shot on goal until the 85th minute, when Edin Dzeko tested Pepe Reina from close range.

“In all games there are mistakes, there are things that happen that are beyond your control, but I think we can all agree that there was enough time to get back into the game and turn things around,” added the English defender.

“We have to look at how we can change the mindset, especially after that second goal. But we don’t have too much time to feel sorry for ourselves and be disappointed, because big teams need to react and ultimately we have two important games next week and everyone needs to have a reaction because we can’t let this change how we have been playing and dominating games recently.

“So we need a big reaction next week, with two home games.”


Lazzari: ‘Lazio back to our best’

Manuel Lazzari maintains Lazio were back to last season’s form in their humiliation of Roma and explains what happened on that second goal.

He was comfortably Man of the Match in the 3-0 triumph, as he twice harassed Roger Ibanez off the ball to set up goals for Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto in the opening 23 minutes, then also played a part in the second Luis Alberto strike.

“The derby is always the derby, the players feel that as well as the fans, so we knew that we had to be very aggressive from the start to stop Roma passing the ball around cleanly.

“We did that from the first minute to the 96th and that’s how we won the game,” the wing-back told Sky Sport Italia.

“It’s our third consecutive victory, we are unbeaten in four, so I think we already had our turning point this season. We were better than Roma tactically, technically and in terms of aggression, so winning a derby like this gives us an extra boost.”

For the first time in many months, Lazio look like the same team that challenged Juventus for the Scudetto last season.

“I agree, Lazio were incredible this evening in every way. We had an impeccable approach, were aggressive and chose the right pass when attacking. This was a return to last season’s Lazio and we want to continue like this.”

There were some complaints over the second goal, as Lazzari went down after robbing Ibanez for the second time and his arm might’ve grazed the ball as he fell.

“I’ll be perfectly honest, I got in front of him and he touched me with his leg from behind. If it hadn’t been a goal, I think it would’ve been a clear penalty.

“From what I felt, the ball didn’t touch my arm. I kind of assumed it was a penalty anyway. I went to ground, the referee let the game continue, so I got up and passed it back to Luis Alberto.”

Lazzari is 27 years old, but only made his Serie A debut in 2017, having spent most of his career in semi-professional sides.

“I do think back every now and then to where I started from and they were difficult years, especially in the lower leagues, when you feel like giving up football after a bad game.

“I’m glad that I reached this level, with a team that challenged for the Scudetto and is now in the Champions League Round of 16. I really couldn’t ask for more.

“I hope to set an example for young players who were in my position, as you must never give up in football.”