Without doubt, the euphoria of the Lazio fans at completing a remarkable comeback against Atalanta would’ve been short-lived.
After the adrenaline rush of watching their side overturn a three-goal deficit in the space of 21 minutes wore off, they were left with the reality that a point that doesn’t do an awful lot to help their Champions League objective.
We know Lazio are unpredictable. We know they are as capable of blowing teams away as they are of suffering total capitulation.
This season may be less than two months old, but there is already plenty of evidence that these same old issues are as present now as they ever were.
Lazio led against SPAL and Cluj and lost both games. They had to come from behind twice against Bologna and then missed a last minute penalty that would’ve won the match.
But their first half performance on Saturday was the most shambolic, disgraceful display a Lazio side has offered for a long, long time.
After some effort, it’s hard to think of anything that comes close to matching it in recent memory.
They were like headless chickens, scattered almost randomly across the pitch with no apparent structure to tie them together. It was like the eleven men on the pitch had never met before, let alone played together.
Atalanta were good, but they didn’t need to be. Simone Inzaghi handed the Bergamaschi the keys to the city and asked them to come in and help themselves to whatever they want.
After the break, the transformation was remarkable. Suddenly there was urgency, belief, conviction in what they were doing.
Ciro Immobile’s penalties may have ended up being the talking point, but if it wasn’t for some top saves by Pierluigi Gollini Lazio could well have won.
It defies logic that the same set of players are capable of performing in such radically different ways either side of a 15-minute break.
The worrying thing is that there doesn’t appear to be an answer to this problem and until one is found, it will continue to stop the club from registering that sought-after top four finish.
Claudio Lotito claimed earlier in the week that he had given Inzaghi a ‘Ferrari’ of a team and it was up to him to do it justice.
It was less a Ferrari and more a rusty tractor during the first half, sitting forlornly in a field without a driver or an engine.
Lazio may have revved the engine again in the second half, but the comeback and the result by no means should save this team from being forced to undertake a serious review of what went wrong.
Until some mental fortitude and resilience is instilled into this team, their bipolar nature won’t go away. And it’ll continue to cost them.