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S.S. Lazio - I Biancocelesti

Started on 14 June 2014 by Coxy
Latest Reply on 19 August 2014 by Coxy
  • POSTS172
  • VIEWS82827
Really closing in on 2nd place there and a solid UEFA showing! Looking good!
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9 yearsEdited

Miroslav Klose Rediscovers Form As Lazio Qualify For Champions League Knockout Rounds

Klose had lost his place to Summer signing Sebastian Giovinco but played three games for Lazio in December, scoring 4 goals.

December Results

Ince (79)

LAZIO 1-2 SCHALKE (UEFA Champions League)
Papadopoulos (6)
Huntelaar (38)
Fuchs (66, OG)

Giovinco (53)
Chamakh (82)

LAZIO 4-0 EMPOLI (Italian Cup 1st Round)
Klose (25, 31)
Parolo (62)
Re (67, OG)

LAZIO 3-0 SPEZIA (Serie A)
Klose (14, 60)
Verratti (42)

Another decent month puts us right behind AC Milan and Juventus with only a point separating us from top of the league. The race for 1st is extremely tight with four teams in contention as we head into the Christmas break. Milan sit top on 39 points followed closely by Juventus on 38. We have 38 points also and the luxury of the best goal difference in the league, whilst Sampdoria are in 4th with 36 points. Then there is a 6 point gap as Atalanta sit 5th with 30 points.

We have finished 2nd in our Champions League group after our 2-1 defeat against Schalke. However following the draw for the knockout rounds it seems that Group C didn't have much luck as the German side and ourselves have both been given tough ties! (I will reveal who we will play in another update coming soon!) The teams who qualified for the Champions League Knockout Stage are as follows: Group A: Galatasaray (1st) and Tottenham (2nd). Group B: Manchester City and Barcelona. Group C: Schalke and Lazio. Group D: Juventus and Atletico Madrid. Group E: Real Madrid and PSG. Group F: Chelsea and Shakhtar. Group G: Liverpool and Bayern Munich. Group H: Celtic and Napoli.

Our Serie A performances this month have been good. We dominated every game we played and our consistency paid off as Milan and Juventus dropped points against mid-table teams. The Bologna game was frustrating as we only managed to put one goal past the bottom half side, an issue we have had for many games this season. However it was Tom Ince who popped up with the game winner in the second half, as he has done for 80% of our 1-0 wins this season.

The Sampdoria result was disappointing as we controlled the game and hit the post/bar three times. The result could have been so much more comfortable and the fact that we are not top of the table during the Xmas break has been decided by a matter of inches. We were hit on the break by a former Arsenal reject which hurt me even more.

Following a lack of ruthlessness in attack I decided that Giovinco should spend some time on the bench and Klose should get a chance to recapture his brilliant form he has so often shown under my management. He was a standout player in the match against Schalke in which we were totally outclassed by the Germans, but put Austrian leftback Cristian Fuchs under pressure from a corner, leading to the 28 year old scoring an own goal. Then against Empoli and Spezia he was in blistering form as he hit a brace in each game, meaning Giovinco is set for a prolonged spell on the bench.

Player Of The Month

The Legend Finds His Form: Miroslav Klose

The 36 year old all-time leading German goalscorer was back to his deadly best this month. 3 games and 4 goals means that he is prepared to lead the line heading into January. His fitness is lacking so 90 minutes and a tight schedule means that he won't be able to play every minute, but with Giovinco on the bench as an impact sub it may be an option that pays off.

UEFA Champions League

Serie A

With the January Transfer Window quickly approaching; it seems that Manchester City are the heavy favourites in the news to land Antonio Candreva. I will by no means let the Italian winger leave for a low price as he starts to regain the form he has last year that earned him the Serie A Player of the Year title.

Tom Ince is a target for Tottenham with the London based club said to be ready to table a bid of £12 million. The English winger now has 10 caps and 4 goals and is a key member of Marco Van Basten's England side and has been a vital player for us this season with 9 goals and 7 assists, so a bid of £12 million will have to be a lot higher for me to accept.

The only other rumour involving us is that Inter Milan are looking to table a £3m bid for Giuseppe Bellusci. Bellusci has quietly gone about his good work and has been a constant figure in the centre of my defence. £3m is an extremely insulting offer and I will not even consider anything under £10m.

Next month's confirmed fixtures are all Serie A games, however we are waiting for the announcement of who we will play in the Italian Cup Quarter Final (Napoli or Bologna): Empoli (A), Livorno (H), Udinese (A), Verona (H).
Try to keep hold of your star players, especially Candreva!! Also, as usual, amazing to see Klose still scoring :D
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9 yearsEdited

Lazio Draw Chelsea In Champions League Last 16

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho acknowledges that playing the Serie A champions will be a tough test but believes that his team have the quality to advance.

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea finished top of Group F, finishing above Shakhtar, Ajax and Red Bull Salzburg.

Former Inter Milan manager Mourinho had a perfect record against Lazio during his two year spell in Italy but admits that it will be a much bigger test when his team head to Rome this time around. Chelsea sit 3rd in the Premier League and are 8 points behind 1st placed Manchester City who were drawn against fellow Group F side Shakhtar Donetsk, but the self proclaimed 'Special One' believes that the Champions League is a very winnable competition: "I think that we are one of the favourites to win the Champions League. We are always a semi-final team at least and this year we will go one further. We have the team and the winning mentality, this will be our year."

The two time Champions League winner was also very complimentary of his upcoming opponents: "Lazio are a great team and Matt Cox has really turned them into winners. He is very clever tactically and I see parts of myself in him. He is a smart, young manager who will go to the top and you can see that in his Lazio team. They will be a very tough test and we will need to be prepared, however I believe that we have the squad to advance to the next round."

After finishing one point behind eventual Premier League Champions Liverpool last season, the Fulham based club invested heavily with the signings of Xheridan Shaqiri, Clement Grenier, Christian Benteke, Lars Bender and Nicolas Nkoulou in a bid to regain the Premiership crown. Chelsea remain off the pace in the league this season but Lazio manager Matt Cox has warned fans not to expect an easy ride: "It is a fantastic test for our team and it will mean we can gauge how far we have come in the last year and a half. Mr Mourinho is a man I really admire, he is a winner. He knows how to win and knows exactly how to set up his tactics perfectly. I am privileged to be managing against him and promise that we will give him a great game."

Cox was also wary of Chelsea's firepower and admits he is envious of the financial muscle the club possesses: "We have to be on our guard as Chelsea have players who can turn a game around in a heartbeat. Their front three of Shaqiri, Hazard and Costa is frightening, then they have Bender and Fabregas behind them with a solid defence lead by John Terry and one of the top three goalkeepers in the world in Thibaut Courtois. This will be the toughest test my squad will have faced since I took over the club and we will have to be at our best for 180 minutes to win. They also have fantastic strength in depth which could be a deciding factor in this tie. They can rest players when they need to, which is something we also have but not in the capacity that Chelsea do. If we had the kind of money they had, then maybe."

Belgian star Eden Hazard is Chelsea's top scorer this season with 8 goals.

This isn't the first English team that Matt Cox has come up against in a competitive game as Lazio met Championship side Wigan in the Europa League group stage last season, with the Italian Champions winning both encounters 3-2. The first leg on the game will be at the Stadio Olimpico on February 18th 2015 with kick off at 19:45.

The remaining ties for the Champions League last 16 are as follows:
Tottenham vs Real Madrid
Bayern Munich vs Juventus
Shakhtar vs Manchester City
Barcelona vs Celtic
PSG vs Schalke
Atletico Madrid vs Galatasaray
Napoli vs Liverpool
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9 yearsEdited

Lotito: "Lazio Unable To Agree New Contract With Cox At Second Attempt"

Lazio are looking to tie down manager Matt Cox to a long term deal.

Lazio President Claudio Lotito has told the media that the club has failed to agree a contract extension with manager Matt Cox at the second attempt.

Lazio manager Matt Cox joined the Rome-based club in 2013 on a one year deal. After a successful start to the season, Cox was offered a long term deal but negotiated a one and a half year extension; which runs out at the end of the current season. After winning the Serie A title and the Coppa Italia in his first season and then the SuperCoppa Italia at the beginning of the current campaign, Matt Cox at age 31 (real age 21, just making it more realistic for the game) has become one of the most sought after managers in the world.

In just a year and a half in professional management, the Englishman was heavily linked with the recently vacant job at boyhood club Arsenal following Arsene Wenger's retirement, and also the England national team position following Roy Hodgson's sacking. The young manager distanced himself from those rumours but it looks as though he may be available for clubs to approach at the end of this season as Lazio president Lotito has made it public that the club have been unable to agree a new deal with the Serie A Manager of the Year winner, despite two previous attempts.

Lotito spoke exclusively to La Gazzetta dello Sport today to explain the situation: "We have made two attempts to get Matt to commit his long term future to the club but have been unable to agree a deal in principle. Matt has expressed his desire to stay with Lazio but his demands are to far apart for what we are looking for."

When quizzed as to whether Cox was asking for to much money, the Lazio president was adamant that the manager was not looking for a pay-rise: "That is not the case at all. Matt has so much respect for the club, the board and it's fans, he would work here for free if it were possible. We want Matt here for the long term; however Matt feels that working on a short term basis is more reasonable. He claims that this is for the good of the club as it means if things go wrong the board are not tied down to having to keep him or having to pay him a heavy compensation fee should we wish to fire him - which I assure you won't ever be the case."

Cox has always been fully committed to the Biancocelesti and divides his time managing the Roman club with the Italy U21 team, of which he is also the manager. Cox was unavailable to comment as he prepares his squad for their January fixtures but it is believed that he is not happy that the details of the contract negotiations have been made public as the two parties look to strike a successful deal.

Head of the Lazio Supporters Club Antonio Falcone believes that Lotito's decision to make the issues public is another bad move on his part: "It is not well hidden that the fans of our great club do not care for Lotitio. He has caused more problems than he has solved and this is another one. We know Cox loves Lazio and we love him, but calling him out to the whole of Italy will have a bad effect on him and the team."

Europe's big clubs are monitoring the situation regarding Cox's contract.

Following the confirmation that Cox may depart the Serie A champions at the end of the season, many of Europe's top clubs have been put on alert. Real Madrid and Barcelona are said to be monitoring the situation and will make movements should either Carlo Ancelotti or Luis Enrique fail to live up the club's expectations this season. German champions Bayern Munich appointed Cox's close friend and mentor Roberto Mancini at the start of the season, but the Bavarian giants find themselves in 4th place and 8 points off the pace as Schalke dominate the Bundesliga and the 5 times Champions League winners have also been rumoured to be tempted to make an approach should Mancini be unable to retain the league title.

The current odds on favourites however are AS Monaco as the mega-rich principality continue to look for sustained success on the domestic and european stage. Current manager Leonardo Jardim guided the Ligue 1 club to the French Cup title last season, but find themselves in 5th place in the league following a 4th place finish last season.

Cox is yet to comment on the situation, however his side take on Bologna in the Italian Cup Quarter Final this Thursday and the topic is likely to be raised during the pre-match media meeting.
It will be a very tough double against Chelsea...if you will not extend your contract, I wonder which team will you choose next? :D

Lazio Take Top Spot In Serie A

Lazio regained 1st place as they look to defend their Serie A title with help from some dazzling performances by Antonio Candreva.

January Results

EMPOLI 1-3 LAZIO (Serie A)
Bellusci (49)
Klose (51)
Soumah (56)
Abate (75)


LAZIO 4-0 BOLOGNA (Italian Cup Quarter Final)
Giovinco (12, 66)
Parolo (46)
Ince (62)

Sau (14)
Candreva (24, 39)

INTER MILAN 1-0 LAZIO (Italian Cup Semi Final 1st Leg)
Alvarez (84)

LAZIO 3-0 VERONA (Serie A)
Klose (51)
Astori (75)
Candreva (87)

We finally managed to oust our rivals and take 1st place in the league. It is no less than we deserve as we have battled through every match to slowly keep up the pace with Milan and Juve. We now sit 2 points ahead of AC Milan on 48 points from 21 games. Juventus are on 45 points but have a game in hand so can tie us with a win.

We tore apart the majority of our opposition this month as we easily dispatched Empoli and Verona in the league. We were forced to dig deep and come from a goal down against Udinese but luckily we found last season's Serie A Player of the Year in fine form as he hit a brace to give up 3 points. Livorno have held their own this year since being promoted from Serie B; however we were extremely unlucky not to find ourselves win that game by four or five goals. Livorno had zero shots in 90 minutes whilst we had 31 with 13 on target.

I gave some fringe players a run out in the Coppa Italia 1st Round, including 16 year old Diego Pertusio (regen). This was the young Italian/Argentinian's first ever competitive start and he marked it with 2 quality assists for Giovinco's brace. In the following round we fell 1-0 to Inter Milan at the Giuseppe Meazza in the 1st leg game. It was an even game and probably a fair result. Both goalkeepers were busy and the loss sets up a scintillating match for the 2nd leg.

Player Of The Month

He's back: Antonio Candreva

The 2013/14 Serie A Player of the Year has been majorly inconsistent so far this year but has been the difference in a handful of matches nonetheless. However January was a month in which Candreva shone. The Azzurri winger scored 3 goals and recorded 6 assists in 5 games. Despite the expected interest from Manchester City we are yet to receive a bid from any club and with 3 days of the transfer window left, I have no problem with that!

Serie A

In terms of the January Transfer Window, we have done very little business but there are a few moves of note:

Maurizio Guarini - 16 years old - CM/CAM (Reggina, £625k)
Christian Maldini - 18 years old - RB/CB (AC Milan, free)
Felipe Anderson - 21 years old - CAM/CM (Internacional, returns from loan)

Alvaro Gonzalez - 30 years old - RM/CM (Leicester City, £2m)
Cristian Ledesma - 32 years old - CDM/CM (Chievo, £130k)
Filip Djordjevic - 27 years old - ST (Verona, 6 month loan)
Felipe Anderson - 21 years old - CAM/CM (Internacional, 1 year loan deal)
Giuseppe Sculli - 33 years old - LW/RW (Released)

There have been no bids to tell you about from any clubs for any of my players. With days remaining it is highly unlikely that I will bring any new players in but their may be some outgoings as I am still trying to offload Lucas Biglia.

In regards to the issues with my contract they are true. I want a short term deal so that I am not tied down to the club for a longer period of time. I am being offered a 5 year deal, and if I want to shorten the length of the contract; my wages suffer heavily and fall below what I am already earning. Keep an eye on my upcoming updates as hopefully I will have my future resolved as soon as possible.

It is a huge month for me in February as I take on Milan and Juve in a battle for 1st place. I recall the same two fixtures in a row last year and we managed to win both. Should that be the case this time around then I feel we can really push on and win Serie A for a second year in a row. It will also be fantastic momentum for the crucial game against Chelsea in the 1st leg of the UCL Round of 16.

Keep an eye out for my next update which will be the match report of the 2nd leg of the Coppa Italia Semi Final in which we are 1-0 down to Inter following the 1st leg. Next month's fixtures are as follows: AC Milan (A), Juventus (H), Parma (A), Cagliari (H), Chelsea (H) and Sassuolo (A).
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9 yearsEdited

Tempers Flare As Lazio Rally To Reach Coppa Italia Final

Lazio celebrate at the final whistle as they confirm their place in the Italian Cup Final.

LAZIO 3 INTER MILAN 0 (Lazio win 3-1 on aggregate.)
Bellusci (18)
Astori (21)
Alvarez Balanta (85)

Matt Cox had his centre backs to thank as all three scored to take Lazio to the Coppa Italia Final.

Lazio Starting XI (5-2-3): Viviano, Cole (C), Alvarez Balanta, Astori, Bellusci, Abate, Verratti, Motta, Ince, Candreva, Klose.
Inter Milan Starting XI (4-3-1-2): Handanovic, Monreal, Vidic (C), Juan Jesus, D'Ambrosio, M'Vila, Olsen, Yacob, Alvarez, Pratto, Hernandez.

Matt Cox's Lazio hammered Inter Milan 3-0 to turn over the 1 goal deficit and book a date with Arsene Wenger's Juventus in the Coppa Italia Final. Inter were completely dominated over 90 minutes as the Biancocelesti showed why they are the current holders of the competition; with a ruthless, professional performance.
The irony of 25 year old Giuseppe Bellusci scoring the opening goal was huge. Inter manager Delio Rossi had made it clear to the media that Bellusci was a prime target for the club. Lazio had turned down three bids from Rossi; all below £4m for the astute centre back and made it clear that they would sell for nothing under £10m. The Inter hierarchy laughed off the price tag and told Sky Italia that the player was not worth that amount, how ironic that it was Bellusci smashing home a header from an Antonio Candreva free kick before running past the Nerazzurri bench to high five his manager Matt Cox.

With Inter still recovering from the first goal, Lazio struck again; this time through commanding centre back Davide Astori. Again Candreva whipped in a delicious corner that an unmarked Astori powered into the net from 2 yards out. The Stadio Olimpico was sent into raptures as the Biancocelesti fans celebrated by doing the famous Poznan celebration.

As the half time whistle sounded, the Delio Rossi was on the pitch and straight up to the referee; Signor Tagliavento. Rossi was evidently extremely unhappy with the celebration of the first goal, where Bellusci ran straight by the Inter bench in order to reach Cox. The referee waved away the protests and the teams headed into the dressing room.

In the second half Lazio dominated but could not turn their pressure and possession into a killing goal. Finally in the 85th minute Alvarez Balanta intercepted a through ball and charged upfield. The Colombian found himself with time and space 35 yards from goal before rifling a rasping drive into the top corner of Handanovic's net. The Olimpico erupted as Rossi was seen booting a water bottle flying onto the pitch, an incident that was spotted by the assistant referee who without hesitation informed Signor Tagliavento who sent the Inter manager to the stands for the final 5 minutes of the game.

Cox was full of praise for his team after the game: "It's a magnificent achievement to not only come back from a goal down but to do it in a semifinal against such quality opposition. We always believed in ourselves and now we can head into the crucial games against Milan and Juventus next week with boosted morale."

Delio Rossi was less than happy than his counterpart following the match: "It was not a good performance from my team. We knew that Lazio would come at us, they had no choice. However we let them do it and they got two quick goals and after that we couldn't get a foothold in the game. I wasn't happy with the celebration from the player for the first goal as I do not feel it was an honourable thing to do. Whatever I have said about him in the media is not personal, he is a big boy and should act like a grown man." Following Rossi's actions and comments, the Internazionale manager has been fined £3000 but has not been banned for the club's next match.

Lazio will face Arsene Wenger's Juventus in a repeat of last year's Coppa Italia Final. Juventus saw off Chievo in the other semi-final after a 2-1 victory on aggregate. The final will be played at Lazio's Stadio Olimpico stadium on May 24th at 9pm.
Awesome couple updates here! You're putting some serious work in on this story and it really shines!
Wow thank you Squirmy. It's comments like yours that keep this story going strong, hopefully soon my stories can be as popular as the bigger writers on here! Appreciated mate!
Great win mate! And also a great detailed update!
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9 yearsEdited

Milan Fall Off The Pace As Juventus Take 1st Place

Juventus beat title rivals Lazio 2-0 in Rome to take an advantage in the race for the Serie A title.

February Results

AC MILAN 2-2 LAZIO (Serie A)
Ince (28)
Candreva (30)
Montolivo (45+1)
Matri (84)

Tevez (52, pen)
Vucinic (70)

PARMA 0-2 LAZIO (Serie A)
Klose (5)
Ince (18)

Motta (9)
Bellusci (43)

Kurtic (12)
Klose (26, 74, 76)
Manfredini OG (90+1)

February started so well as we raced into a 2-0 lead against AC Milan, however we thought the game was won as we allowed the Rossoneri to score two goals in the second half to tie the game up at 2-2.

We didn't recover well as we welcomed Juventus to the Stadio Olimpico the following weekend in a battle for 1st place. Despite the fact that we dominated the game, we couldn't turn our possession into a goal. Bellusci hacked down Tevez in the box 7 minutes into the 2nd half and the Argentinian brushed himself off to dispatch the spot kick and give Wenger's men a 1-0 lead. Juve made it two when Mirko Vucinic found himself in space in the box, the Montenegrin had time to chip the ball over the onrushing Marchetti to kill us off.

Following our frustrating results, we pushed on to win our next three Serie A matches and put us back in with a shot of retaining our title. Luckily Juventus were inconsistent for the rest of the month and now we sit 3 points behind the Turin side. Meanwhile, AC Milan were hammered by a handful of bottom half sides and find themselves 12 points off the pace. Rafa Benitez's Napoli are now in 3rd place with 50 points, 8 behind ourselves.

Player Of The Month

5 games, 4 goals: Miroslav Klose.

Klose has once again he is the real deal. Despite his advancing years and aging legs, he has expertly lead the Lazio line and hit 4 goals this month to put him of 14 Serie A goals in 20 games.

Serie A

Keep an eye out for my next update which will be the match report of the Champions League Round of 16 vs. Chelsea. Next month's fixtures are as follows: Fiorentina (H), Napoli (A), Roma (H), Chelsea (A), Chievo (A) and Inter Milan (H).
At his advanced age Klose it's still on fire...a great player!
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9 yearsEdited

Lazio Down Chelsea In Thrilling 1st Leg Tie

Miroslav Klose celebrates his winning goal as Lazio downed Mourinho's Chelsea.

Willian (7, 54)
A. Cole (19)
Courtois OG (45+1)
Klose (78)

Lazio take a one goal advantage into the 2nd leg in London next month following an end-to-end encounter.

Lazio Starting XI (5-2-3): Marchetti, Cole (C), Alvarez Balanta, Astori, Bellusci, Abate, Verratti, Motta, Ince, Candreva, Klose.
Chelsea Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill (C), Nkoulou, Chalobah, Bender, Fabregas, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Costa.

Matt Cox's Lazio came out on top in an intense battle against 2012 Champions League winners Chelsea. Cox and Mourinho were full of smiles as they shared a joke and embraced on the touchline before the game, but all laughs were put aside as the game started at an electric pace with Chelsea looking to grab an early away goal.
They did just that 7 minutes into the match as Brazilian trickster Willian raced clear of former teammate Ashley Cole to make himself space on the right flank. The former Shakhtar player was left unchallenged as he waltzed into the box and slid a cute finish past Federico Marchetti in at his near post. With Chelsea picking up an early away goal, they could have made it two a couple of minutes later when Diego Costa was played through by Fabregas for a one-on-one chance with Marchetti, however the Lazio stopper managed to make himself big and smother the tame effort from the Spanish striker.

Lazio finally gained a foothold in the game and started to play some neat football in the opposition's half. On 19 minutes Ignazio Abate made a clever run down the right wing and played a dipping cross into the box. With the Blue's back-line flailing, former Chelsea favourite Ashley Cole was perfectly positioned to sidefoot the ball into the back of Courtois' open net. The ex-England man spent 8 years at Stamford Bridge and showed his respect to his former employers by keeping his celebrations to a minimum.

Both teams were caught battling in midfield following the equalizing goal but with both teams looking as though they head into the changing rooms level at half time, Lazio struck. Antonio Candreva had time to look up and shimmy past Cesar Azpilicueta and deliver a rifle of a drilled cross into the Chelsea 6 yard box. Cahill tried to clear but the goal rebounded off PSG loanee Marco Verratti; ensuing in a goalmouth scramble worthy of a schoolyard football match. Nkoulou's attempted clearance only ended up ballooning the ball into the air towards his own goal, where goalmouth predator Miroslav Klose was lurking to pounce with a bullet header that rebounded off the bar and onto the back of a sprawling Thibaut Courtois who could only watch in agony as the ball rolled into the back of his own net, giving Lazio a one goal lead heading into the second half.

Following the half time break Portuguese mastermind Jose Mourinho was extremely animated on the sidelines after seeing his side's comical defending in the first period. His side started the brighter and just like the first 45 minutes, Willian was celebrating another fine solo effort. The Brazilian faked the ball past Davide Astori to give himself a clear shot on goal but played through Eden Hazard who had a chance one-on-one with Marchetti. The Belgian ace unselfishly played the ball back to Willian who dinked past the flailing Lazio goalkeeper to tap the ball into an empty net.

With both teams looking antsy as the game headed into the final 15 minutes it was Lazio who took their chance to hit a game winner. Ashley Cole played a long cross-field ball to Abate who knocked the ball on to Candreva. The Azzurri winger than drove forward and played a through ball to the overlapping Abate. The flying wing back then played an inch perfect cross onto the left foot of the onrushing Klose who couldn't miss as he volleyed home the pass unmarked to give Lazio the advantage heading into the 2nd leg.
Willian celebrates his equalizer - his second goal of the game.

After the match Lazio manager Cox was over the moon to get one over Mourinho and take a victory into the 2nd leg: "At the end of the day I wanted to head to London with a win. It would have been nicer not to let Chelsea get an away goal, let alone two. But if you would have offered me a 3-2 win before the game I would have taken it. Mourinho is an inspiration and there aren't many players who have played for him that have a bad thing to say about the man. It means even more that we beat a Mourinho team and now we have to really keep our focus to win at Stamford Bridge."

Chelsea's Mourinho was disappointed with the loss but insists that his side still hold the advantage: "Congratulations to Matt and his team, they deserved their win today. They had more desire than us and they had more luck than us. However we have two away goals and that works in our favour for the 2nd leg. We will definitely score in London and they will not be able too, my team will make sure of that."

The 2nd leg will be played at Stamford Bridge on March 10th with kick off at 7:45pm and will be live on Sky Sports 1.
Going to be tough at Stamford Bridge after giving away 2 away goals, but at least you got the victory and you've got something to build on! :D

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