Three takeaways from Feyenoord 3-1 Lazio: Sarri’s side their own worst enemy, Gimenez haunts the Biancolesti again

Lazio were disappointing against Feyenoord in the Champions League on Matchday 3, failing to defend properly and looking sluggish throughout the contest.

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Another Lazio game in the Champions Leagueanother uninspiring Lazio performance. Only this time, Feyenoord punished the Italian outfit for it. Arne Slot’s side ran out as 3-1 winners on Matchday 3 of Champions League Group F, and it could and maybe should’ve been a harsher scoreline. 

Santiago Gimenez‘s early goal was ruled out marginally for an offside – though it showed just how open the Biancolesti were. The Mexican scored again three minutes later.

The home side got their second on the stroke of half-time through Ramiz Zerrouki, whilst Gimenez mad it 3-0 with his second of the night. Ivan Provedel made a great save, which will be ignored due to no one marking the Mexican at the back post, who then duly tapped the ball home. 

Pedro got one back for Lazio from the spot, though it was nothing more than a consolation and an undeserved one at that. 

Lazio don’t help themselves at all

Feyenoord’s Quilindschy Hartman on the ball against Lazio. [@Feyenoord]

Going to De Kuip is always going to be a task in itself. However, the Aquile did themselves no favours in how they played. From the get-go, it was a case of a game with two tempos. Feyenoord were relentless in their efforts to press and move the ball quickly.

On the other hand, Maurizio Sarri’s side was lethargic on the ball and slow to press the Dutch outfit in any area of the pitch. Furthermore, when they got possession they struggled to do much with it due to the pressure. 

As such, the game always felt to be going in one direction. It was then just a case of nullifying Feyenoord’s attacks, something they struggled with. 

Perhaps it could also have been a case of Sarri rectifying things during the game by altering his side’s own buildup tempo to deal with the pressure. Had they increased the tempo or reduced it further and tried to force Feyenoord into a mistake, the result may have been different.

Lazio defensively poor again

Ramiz Zerrouki celebrates scoring for Feyenoord. [@Feyenoord]

The actual performance in itself was disappointing. However, the goals that Sarri’s side conceded make it even more disappointing. All three (or even four) of the goals that the side conceded on Wednesday evening have clear faults.

For Gimenez‘s first legal goal, questions can be asked about how the Mexican was allowed to shoot. 

For the host’s second goal, why was Calvin Stengs allowed to play the ball to the completely unmarked Zerrouki? There were three Lazio players near the midfielder but no one noticed that he was there to strike the ball. This is worsened by the fact a similar chance occurred earlier in the half – which again no one picked up on. 

The third goal was arguably the most frustrating. Provedel makes a great save from close range but Gimenez, a prolific goalscorer, was left unmarked at the back post. 

Five in three for Santiago Gimenez against Lazio in Europe

Feyenoord striker Santiago Gimenez celebrates. [@Feyenoord]

In the 2022/23 Europa League campaign, coincidentally in Group F, Lazio faced a relatively unknown Mexican striker who scored three times against them across both group-stage games. That striker? Santiago Gimenez

The Mexican again haunted the Aquile, scoring twice. However, it may have been a different scenario if the 2023/24 summer transfer window went another way. 

It was widely reported before the summer that Lazio approached Feyenoord with a bid for the striker. However, it never went further than that, and the Italian outfit instead signed Taty Castellanos.

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