ROME: Lazio shot into Serie A’s Champions League places after hammering AC Milan 4-0 on Tuesday, extending the champions’ winless run to five games in all competitions and leaving their title defence hanging by a thread.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Mattia Zaccagni, Luis Alberto and Felipe Anderson were all on target to send Maurizio Sarri’s side up to third on goal difference ahead of Inter Milan and local rivals AS Roma and a point behind second-placed Milan, who gave a disastrous display at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Milinkovic-Savic put Lazio ahead after three minutes with a first-time finish, and by the time Zaccagni bundled in the hosts’ 38th-minute second, they could have already been up by three.
Luis Alberto ended the match as a contest by smashing home a penalty midway through the second half and his beautifully disguised pass set up Anderson to roll in a deserved fourth in the 75th minute.
“If we play like the way we have in the last few matches, we can really go far,” said Milinkovic-Savic when asked whether Lazio could a target a first title since 1999-2000.
“Why not? If we play like this against the champions, why can’t we go for the league? There are always those moments when we drop off, but we are trying to limit those as much as possible.”
Milan continued their recent poor form after they were hammered 3-0 by rivals Inter to lose the Italian Supercup last Wednesday, and crashed out of the Coppa Italia in the last 16 against 10-man Torino the week before.
They are 12 points behind runaway league leaders Napoli at the season’s halfway point and have lost their aura as the country’s top team.
“There are many things not working [at Milan] at the moment,” coach Stefano Pioli said. “There’s mentality, tactical issues because we conceded on some situations that we certainly should have read differently. Things aren’t going well, that’s for sure... we need to start playing like we know how, that’s our first objective and we need to do it as soon as possible.”
Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2023