Friday, August 19, 2022

Milan 4-0 Lazio: Giroud brace helps seal Coppa Italia semi-final spot

SoccerNews in Serie A 9 Feb 2022


Olivier Giroud scored twice as Milan cruised into the Coppa Italia semi-finals with a commanding 4-0 victory over Lazio.

The France international took his tally for the season into double figures, with all 10 of his strikes coming in San Siro.

Giroud netted twice in quick succession just before half-time after Rafael Leao had opened the scoring for the Rossoneri in the 24th minute, while Franck Kessie completed the rout 11 minutes from time.

The reward for Stefano Pioli’s side is a mouth-watering clash with rivals Inter in the last four next month.

Milan had won just once in their nine previous Coppa Italia showdowns with Lazio, failing to score in the last five, but they ended that drought midway through the first half.

Leao raced onto Alessio Romagnoli’s well-timed throughball before neatly slotting past former Rossoneri goalkeeper Pepe Reina from a tight angle.

The Portugal international then turned provider four minutes before the break, squaring for Giroud to round off a quickfire Milan counter.

Giroud, who netted a match-winning brace against Inter on Saturday, was also in the right place on the stroke of half-time, peeling away at the far post to turn home Theo Hernandez’s low cross.

Lazio arrived at San Siro on a four-match unbeaten streak since a 2-1 defeat by Inter on their last visit to Milan.

But things got worse for them midway through the second half when talisman Ciro Immobile, who had been involved in five goals in as many appearances against Milan, limped off injured.

And the hosts put the icing on the cake in the 79th minute; a deep free-kick into the box was only cleared as far as Kessie, who drilled past Reina.

What does it mean? Milan momentum continues

The Rossoneri reached the Coppa Italia last four after a sixth win – including their extra-time success over Genoa – in eight matches across all competitions.

They also continued their impressive record in this tournament on home soil, having now lost just twice in 18 games.

Lazio, who inflicted both of those defeats, were unable to do so again as their four-match unbeaten run came to an end.

Another brace for Giroud

Giroud was at the double again for Milan just four days after his derby exploits.

The France international was generally quiet otherwise; his tallies of 23 touches and 14 passes the lowest recorded by any starting player for the Rossoneri.

But most importantly from a statistical perspective, he was in the right place at the right time to score two goals from both of his shots on target.

More Coppa Italia joy for Leao

Leao played a vital role during Milan’s win over Genoa in the previous round, striking in extra-time to put them on course for a 3-1 victory.

The Portugal international made another significant contribution for the Rossoneri here, putting them in front with a neat finish before demonstrating excellent awareness to assist the first of Giroud’s brace.

What’s next?

Milan look to build on their momentum on Sunday when they return to Serie A action against Sampdoria at San Siro. Their Coppa semi-final first leg is not until early March, with the return game set for April 19.


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