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Lazio vs Udinese 0-0: Biancocelesti forced into stalemate

While there was plenty on the line at the Stadio Olimpico this evening, Lazio were forced into a 0-0 stalemate against Udinese within match-week ten of the Serie A.

Within the opening minutes of the fixture, emotions were running high as both teams moved forward with an immense amount of pace and urgency, resulting in quite a handful of fouls being given by the referee.

After an explosive ten minutes, Udinese managed to ease into the game and began building out of the back in fine fashion, making it extremely difficult for Sarri’s men to contain them.

Within the 12th minute of play, Makengo did well along the flanks after being found by Udogie as the Frenchman beat his marker with a brilliant flick into space and burst with pace out-wide. The central midfielder found Pereyra across the second post, who laid the ball off for Samardzic at the edge of the box. The German prospect  pulled the trigger and his staggering strike went off the bar.

Le Zebbrette sustained their intensity within the offensive phase of the game as Beto’s header following Pereyra’s brilliant delivery went narrowly wide, and Samardzic’s great effort on goal after swerving past his marker following a great pass from Deulofeu was blocked by the Biancocelesti back-line.

Despite an underwhelming start for Sarri’s men, the capital club began to find their groove as they became more fluid and creative within the final third of the pitch.

A sublime run from Italian winger Zaccagni created a void within the Udinese defensive shape as the winger performed a well-executed feint to drag is marker in order to create space after receiving a pass from full-back Marusic. However, his effort on goal was well stopped by Silvestri.

Lazio continued to cause mayhem as they found openings through their swift movements when in-possession as Milinkovic-Savic broke the lines with a brilliant one-two combination to find Felipe Anderson, as well as a well-delivered cross from the Brazilian attacker in order to find the skipper in-behind to connect with a powerful header. However, both dangerous opportunities were diffused by the Udinese shot-stopper.

The remaining 25 minutes of the half were cagey as both teams failed to create any threatening occasions in front of goal, forcing both teams to enter the locker rooms with the scoreline all square after the official’s whistle.

Following the break, Sottil’s squad managed to get a fine grip on the fixture as gained control of momentum on the pitch. Early chances were created as Udogie’s header from Samardzic’s long-range cross went wide of the target, as well as the Spaniard Deulofeu’s curling effort following a poor clearance by Lazzari that went to the side of the goal.

In order to cope with the current circumstances, Sarri brought on the Spanish maestro Luis Alberto in exchange for Cataldi, who struggled in the central area of the pitch this afternoon. The 30 year-old provided composure on the ball, allowing the Biancocelesti to circulate the ball with precision and ease.

Shortly after coming onto the fixture, the central midfielder distributed a perfectly taken corner to find Casale, but the former Verona center-back failed to hit the target despite being within close-range of goal.

While it seemed Lazio were on the cusp of scoring, wing-back Udogie broke on the counter and slipped through the left flank with great pace and dispatched a diagonal cross to Pereyra. The Uruguayan released a low-driven shot, but Provedel did well to alleviate the stress with an acrobatic save to push the ball out-wide.

With under five minutes remaining, a victorious aerial duel for Wallace enabled him to header the ball into space to pick out Deulofeu. The 28 year-old striker did well to protect the ball against Lazzari and fired a missile towards goal, but his audacious attempt rattled the cross-bar.

In the end, Lazio and Udinese were forced to share spoils in a scoreless draw. Despite Lazio dominating possession and causing danger through the middle and out-wide when in-transition, they lacked the clinical touch although numerous opportunities were architected.

The absence of leading-goalscorer Immobile within the second half after being forced to come off the pitch due to a muscular injury caused the Biancocelesti to suffer from not having a focal point within the front-line.

As it stands, both clubs sit joint-third as each side possess a total of 21 points, three points adrift from the league-leaders Atalanta. Although the the capital club only obtained one point within their home ground, Lazio have managed to keep a clean sheet for the fourth league-game in a row, extending their unbeaten run to six-consecutive games across all competitions.

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21 years old, football writer for Footitalia. Calcio is my life and passion.
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