Friday, September 22, 2017

Lopez and Lazio dreaming of Europe

Lazio will ‘continue to dream’ of the Champions League according to assistant coach Giovanni Lopez after they beat Cagliari in Serie A on Sunday.

The Rome club took until the 85th minute of the match to break Cagliari’s resistance, when Mobido Diakite’s header sealed a 1-0 win.

With other results going their way, Lazio are now three points clear in third place, and on track to claim Champions League qualification.

With head coach Edy Reja serving a touchline ban in the stands, his assistant Lopez undertook the post-game media duties, and could not hide his delight after picking up three vital points.

“With this victory we can continue to dream of third place, especially considering the results of the other teams,” Lopez said.

“There are many games to go and we’ll have to see how we all go into the final sprint.

“This is an important goal, as it allowed us to win and put the run of two consecutive defeats behind us.

“We played well, with patience and concentration, creating quite a few scoring opportunities.”

Rivals Napoli and Udinese remain three points adrift of Lazio after being held to draws, while Roma (seven points behind) lost to leaders AC Milan.

With a host of players unavailable through injury, including Miroslav Klose, Senad Lulic, Andre Dias, and Francelino Matuzalem, Lopez admitted the extra load of Europa League fixtures earlier in the campaign was beginning to take its toll.

“We suffered a great deal when playing in the Europa League, especially as we had no strength in depth,” he said.

“We are in better shape physically even if there are still important players on the treatment table. Hopefully when they return we’ll still be in the race for third.”

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