In a showdown between the two Italian icons on Tuesday night, Lazio put up a stunning marker at the Olympic Stadium as they stormed their way to a 4-0 rumble against Milan.
With Serbian ace Sergei Milinkovic-Savic opening the scoring just four minutes later, Maurizio Sarri’s side never looked back as they fought their way past the Rossoneri side, who are going through a rather public home fight.
With Mattia Zaccagni, Luis Alberto and Felipe Anderson scoring on either side of the break, Lazio are enjoying a much-anticipated January flurry.
By breaking into the top four and showing the most flawless performance of their Serie A campaign, the Eagles have also increased the pressure on Milan’s side, which is on a five-match winless streak.
During what was a shock for Sarri’s team on Tuesday night, we took a look at the key topics of discussion at the Stadio Olimpico.
Lazio turned a real corner
Marking their comeback from the World Cup break and opening 2023 with a shocking 2-1 defeat away to Lecce, it’s no secret that Lazio continued to show a number of inconsistencies on both sides of the holiday break.
However, by making a statement that would have been heard all over Italy on Tuesday night, Sarri’s team seems to have taken a real turn in the past 10 days.
Having seen Juventus take that staggering 15-point deduction last week, the Eagles are now firmly on pole position to qualify for a Champions League return this season.
Having risen to third place in the Serie A standings and enjoying the most spectacular performance of the 2022/23 season, the former Chelsea boss has seen his side win each of their last three home games in a row.
Likewise, continuing their adventure in the Coppa Italia on January 19 thanks to a 1-0 win over Bologna, the fans at the Stadio Olimpico will be thrilled by their team’s newfound determination in defense. In fact, this is the first time since October that Sarri’s team has recorded three clean sheets in a row.
Pressure on Pioli
While Milan could have made real history last season by ending an 11-year wait for a Serie A title, the Rossoneri are now in the midst of ongoing internal fluctuations.
He is now 12 points clear of high-flying Napoli and knowing that they are now looking for a little miracle, there seems to be pressure building up on Stefano Pioli’s shoulders.
After coming under scrutiny on January 18 when they lost 3-0 against bitter rivals Inter Milan in this year’s Super Cup decider, the former Lazio boss found his side in the midst of a five-match home game. no-win track.
With perhaps Pioli’s worst performance on Tuesday night and completely blown away at the Olympic Stadium, AC also put on some pretty blatant defensive struggles of late.
While they had to settle for a dynamic 2-2 draw away to Lecce earlier this month, the reigning Serie A champions have landed 12 shots in five matches.
With the return of the Champions League just around the corner, the Rossoneri are desperately looking for some momentum.
Who can stop Anderson?
Once again unable to call on offensive mascot Ciro Immobile on Tuesday, many Lazio fans were worried about who would lead Sarri’s attack when he returned from the World Cup break.
However, with their skipper facing a string of injury issues this season, Anderson has done a brilliant job of filling the Italian international’s void.
The former West Ham star added to Lazio’s runaway performance at the Stadio Olimpico to win a fourth match against the Eagles. He became an important part of Sarri’s first four.
Replacing a false nine here and only continuing to receive praise from Sarri, Anderson has scored in each of his last four straight matches in all competitions.
Dragging Lazio over the finish line as they continued their Coppa Italia adventure against Bologna earlier this month, the 29-year-old has really impressed since returning to Rome last year.
Although Anderson has struggled to make a big impact since arriving at London’s £35m stadium in 2018, he has rebuilt his reputation in the past 18 months.
Lazio: Provedel, Marusic, Cazale, Romagnoli, Husay, Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Alberto, Pedro, Anderson, Zaccagni
Subscriptions: Antonio, Romero, Lazzari, Basis
Milan: Tatarusanu, Calabria, Kalulu, Tomori, Dest, Tonali, Bennacer, Leao, Diaz, Messias, Giroud
Subscriptions: Kjær, Rebic, Origi, De Ketelare
Goals: Milinkovic-Savic (4′), Zaccagni (38′), Alberto (67′ from the penalty spot), Anderson (75′)
Yellow cards: Lazio: Milinkovic-Savic – AC Milan: Bennacer, Kjaer
Red cards: N/A
Judge: Marco Di Bello