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.”

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