STADIO OLIMPICO (Rome): Lazio humiliated champions AC Milan with a 4-0 drubbing in the capital that continued the Rossoneri’s dreadful start to 2023 and may well end any hope of a successful Serie A title defence.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Mattia Zaccagni struck before the break and a Luis Alberto penalty and Felipe Anderson finish completed the rout in front of a euphoric Stadio Olimpico in the second half.
A superb performance from Maurizio Sarri’s men pushes them into the dizzy heights of third following Inter’s shock defeat to Empoli, and just one point behind Milan in second.
Lazio take advantage of poor AC Milan defending
Buoyed on by a large and vociferous home crowd, Lazio quickly took the initiative and profited on some dozy Milan defending to go in front when Zaccagni’s cross was calmly converted by Milinkovic-Savic.
Milan struggled to respond with any meaningful attacks, Sandro Tonali’s hopeful shot straight at Ivan Provedel being as good as it got, and things got worse when they lost Fikayo Tomori to injury after 24 minutes.
Lazio then took the initiative and pounced on their opponents like they were a wounded animal, relentlessly attacking with directness as Zaccagni’s volley was deflected wide and Pedro’s cross almost found Anderson for a tap-in.
Lazio’s well-deserved big lead
The second goal eventually came when Adam Marusic’s angled shot was nudged onto the far post by Ciprian Tatarusanu and Zaccagni was on hand to tap in.
Things only got worse from there; Zaccagni could’ve had another before the break were it not for a desperate last-ditch Simon Kjaer block, and the game was put to bed in the 68th minute when Alberto smashed home from the spot after Pedro was tripped by Pierre Kalulu.
Even then Lazio looked the likelier to score, and that was just what they did as Zaccagni and Alberto combined once again, the latter playing a deft pass to Anderson for a simple finish from 12 yards.
To make matters even worse for the large travelling support, Davide Calabria had to be helped off the pitch limping moments before full-time.
Lazio leap up to third in the table with that win and are now just a point behind Milan in second.