Juventus and Lazio played out one of the games of the day on Saturday as the reigning champions were beaten 2-1 by the visitors. With Napoli looking to continue their outstanding record this season in their game against Roma, it was vital that Juve picked up all three points, something they failed to do.
Indeed, Lazio were worthy winners in the end as the hosts failed to really come good on their second-half dominance. Douglas Costa opened the scoring for the hosts against the run of play before a second-half brace form Ciro Immobile won the game for the visitors.
Substitute Paulo Dybala had the chance to steal a point for Juventus, but he saw his spot-kick saved by Thomas Strakosha, who ensured Lazio would be leaving with all three points. The penalty save was the last action of the game and it sent the travelling fans into ecstasy as they took victory at the last.
From Lazio’s thrilling win, here are the five things we learnt:
Lazio indebted to Strakosha
It was the most unbelievable of finishes in the game as Juventus were given a penalty, which would have given them a point with the last kick of the game. However, Paulo Dybala’s penalty was saved well by Thomas Strakosha to hand the visitors a superb victory.
There was a lot of debate over whether the penalty was given correctly, but the referee deemed it such after calling for a video replay. On first glance, it seemed as though the tackle was a fair one despite being very robust. For those that deemed it a good challenge, they will say justice was done as Strakosha saved Dybala’s spot-kick and won all three points for his team.
It was an incredible ending to an enthralling game.
Juventus look shaky at the back
When anybody talks about Juventus, the phrase ‘outstanding defensively’ tends to be the first thing to come up. However, against Lazio, they struggled massively with the visitors applying pressure and breaking their defence on numerous occasions.
Juve were indebted to Giorgio Chiellini on a number of occasions as he read the game brilliantly to make vital interceptions and blocks in his own box. However, Juventus were breached twice inside the opening eight minutes of the second-half to go 2-1 down and, honestly, they looked anything but sound at the back.
What was incredibly interesting was their reaction to going behind, as they decided to throw everything forward almost immediately, inviting the counter-attack. While they needed two goals to win, they had much of the second-half to find the goals.
With Napoli enjoying an incredible start to the season so far, Juventus will have to improve markedly if they are to keep pace with the leaders.
Lazio rewarded for their pressure
The visitors looked very good in the first-half as they kept Juventus’ chances to a minimum and carved out a number of their own. However, Lazio fell behind to a well taken Douglas Costa goal and the away fans were left cursing their luck.
However, they started the second-half brightly and got their reward early on as Ciro Immobile struck twice. This allowed the visitors to take more of a backseat in the game and defend with more men, and hit Juventus on the counter-attack, which almost paid off on a number of occasions.
Ultimately, Lazio’s patience, despite falling behind, won them the game.
Paulo Dybala should have started
There was a moment in the 69th minute that reminded everyone in the stadium of the class of Juventus’ talisman. The ball bounced towards Dybala with an opponent closing him down, to which he calmly flicked the ball above the Lazio man before striking a crisp volley towards goal. The shot itself was blocked, but that sort of collected and skilful touch was missing from the first-half as far as Juventus were concerned.
The decision to bring Dybala on was met by rapturous applause. The sort of performances he was able to put in last season against Barcelona in the Champions League saw his stock rise massively.
He almost managed to seal a point for Juventus late on with a sublime strike from nothing that came cannoning back off the post, but he will sadly be remembered in the game for missing a penalty with the last kick of the game.
Immobile is making a name for himself
What a second-half performance it was from Ciro Immobile. The striker was in outstanding form on the day as he punished Juventus twice in a matter of minutes. First, he was released into the box as he finished low past Gianluigi Buffon and into the bottom corner to bring the teams level, before he both won and scored the penalty, beating Buffon again by sending him the wrong way.
Immobile was a constant nuisance on the day as he used his strength and pace to give Juventus’ defence a real headache and he eclipsed the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic, who were very poor in the game and made to look worse by their counter-part.
Immobile has now scored 11 goals in the league and 15 in all competitions, making him the most prolific strikers in Italy this season. If he can keep this sort of form up then a massive money move could beckon this summer.
Juventus: Buffon 6 – Lichtsteiner 6 (Sturaro 5), Barzagli 6, Chiellini 7, Asamoah 5 – Khedira 6 (Dybala 7), Bentancur 5, Matuidi 6, Douglas Costa 6 (Bernardeschi 6) – Higuain 5, Mandzukic 5.
Unused Substitutes: Benatia, Cuadrado, Alex Sandro, Pinsoglio, Szczesny, Rugani.
Lazio: Strakosha 8 – Jacinto Quissanga 6, de Vrij 7, Radu 7, Marusic 6 – Parolo 7, Lucas 6, Milinkovic-Savic 6, Lulic 7 (Gabarron Gil 6), Luis Alberto 6 (Nani 6) – Immobile 8.5.
Unused substitutes: Caicedo, Vargic, Ramos Marchi, Dos Santos Nascimento, Cavaco Jordao, Di Gennero, Murgia.
Referree: Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni.
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