Even though Lazio have been dealt plenty of adversity this season, they never seem to cease in their ability to earn back the respect of their critics in convincing fashion.
The weekend fixture against Chievo was a crucial time for the club, regardless of what story the league table might suggest. Lazio needed to win in order to restore some much-needed confidence after being stripped of Coppa Italia dreams. Furthermore, Pioli’s side had revenge on their minds since suffering a complete dismantling in their 4-0 defeat in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Redemption was well achieved in a 4-1 victory on Sunday, and on many fronts.
Lucas Biglia’s absence was a returning theme for the encounter, but Danilo Cataldi made sure to avenge his fallen midfield teammate by slamming home his first ever Serie A goal since joining the senior squad from the youth team. The Roman couldn’t contain his passionate celebration as he immediately ripped his jersey off and ran towards the Olimpico race track, showing just how committed he is to solidify his spot with the Biancocelesti for the future.
Etrit Berisha may not be the most consistent of goalkeepers, but he’s certainly no stranger to outstanding performances from time to time, and he made sure to produce one of those against the Gialloblu. An early setback from Bostjan Cesar could have dented his confidence, but the Albanian remained undaunted and showed some greatness from the penalty spot to deny Alberto Paloschi any spoils of his own late in the match.
These moments merely added to Lazio’s true strengths in wide men Antonio Candreva and Keita Balde.
The 20-year-old protege worked wonders in another spellbinding performance that included a staggering eight completed dribbles against Rolando Maran’s side. His ability to open up the game at will resulted in four attempts at goal, with just desserts arriving with his 90th-minute header well assisted by his Italian counterpart.
Candreva’s mastery on the day included his fifth converted penalty of the campaign across all competitions, as he notched a brace and assist. His performance garnered a match rating of 10/10 on WhoScored.com, as well as a spot in Forza Italian Football‘s team of the week for the third time running.
Although, the January transfer window is nearing its fateful conclusion very soon, which just might spell the end for one or more of the team’s top talents and cause more untimely concerns.