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Written By Onyeka Daniel

Today, Lazio dropped points from a winning position in their 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona, and their manager tried to remain positive in his post match interview despite another disappointing result for the team. The Biancocelesti had started to generate a little consistency in recent weeks, securing three consecutive wins against Celtic, Cagliari and Genoa.

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But today’s game clearly showed more work is needed to steady the ship in the Italian capital. An impressive Mattia Zaccagni back hell in the first half was cancelled out by a Thomas Henry goal later in the match, forcing the two teams to share the points at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi, leaving Sarri and Lazio furious.

Speaking to DAZN, Maurizio Sarri first reacted to Lazio’s 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona. “There were only 12-13 minutes of numerical superiority. The game was played at a good level, it’s a shame about the result. The game was in our hands, we didn’t even concede a shot on goal because Ngonge wanted to cross on the goal.

“I’m sorry we didn’t close it out, we didn’t take advantage of the chances, but the team played a good game.” He was asked to identify what’s missing this season. “We don’t lack managing an advantage, we didn’t concede a goal after losing the match. The management was calm, we lack that ability to score that we had in previous years, and that we could have won 3-1 in a match like this.”


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The Lazio coach commented on the work of his players at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi. “I have seen many positive signs, the bitterness for the result remains but I saw the team with a good attitude, proactive, a team that didn’t concede anything. “We must carefully evaluate the performance, then we feel sorry for the fans because we were followed by many Lazio fans who made themselves heard.”

Sarri looked ahead to Lazio’s coming two matches against Atletico Madrid and Inter. “We navigate by sight. We play on Wednesday and are thinking about that, I struggle to know who is next in the league. The only salvation in this trap is the next game and concentrating on that.”

Finally, Sarri was asked if Lazio pay more focus to tougher opponents. “No, this and the Salernitana match have nothing to do with it. We conceded a goal from a player who wanted to cross, the one who shot put it back in the middle. The goal was accidental, the team didn’t concede anything.” He further added.

Meanwhile…

AC Milan manager, Stefano Pioli explains the thinking behind the new Theo Hernandez role as a makeshift Milan central defender against Atalanta. ‘He can also push up and create chances.’ The two teams have struggled in Serie A so far this season, but it remains a head-to-head for European ambitions and nine points separate them going into the match.

This is because Atalanta have one point from the last four rounds, including Monday’s humiliating 3-0 loss to Torino, whereas the Rossoneri got back on track with two straight wins. “Atalanta will certainly want to get back on track and shake off their most recent defeat, but in terms of motivation we’re on a similar level. We want to find consistency, we must play with focus and determination for 95 minutes,” Pioli told DAZN.

Hernandez made his debut as a central defender last week against Frosinone and was very impressive, especially as he did not spend the entire time in the back three with Alessandro Florenzi covering for him in his forward forays. “Our idea is always to make the most of the characteristics of our players. It is true that Theo will be defending in a more central role, but he is also a player who can push up and create chances going forward. He has those qualities.”

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Milan have the opportunity to consolidate third place and break away from the chasing pack for the Champions League spots. “This is a big game for us, we know they are all worth three points, but this feels special. It had been a long time since we won back-to-back matches in Serie A, even longer since we’ve won three, so against a high-level opponent, we want to make that happen.” He stated.

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