Saturday, April 18, 2009

Genoa falters to Lazio

Genoa's hopes for a Champions League berth made a wrong turn as Lazio proved to be too much and handed them a 1-0 loss at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Saturday afternoon. For the Rossoblu, a Fiorentina win against Udinese would cast them to fourth-place and into a Europa League spot.

For Gian Piero Gasperini's men the day will be remembered for missed opportunities and litany of break-downs in the midfield. Squandering chances starting with Giuseppe Biava effort two minutes in that rattled the post to Giuseppe Sculli's a few minutes later, Genoa's finishing was atrocious and only surpassed by broken passes and insufficient work-rate. Rubinho did well to hold back Macedonian international Goran Pandev near the half hour but there was not stopping the winning goal that came five minutes past the hour. With Genoa exposed at the back Cristian Ledesma's long pass found Mauro Zárate, with the Vélez Sársfield product heading the ball on before firing into the net. For the final stages of the match, Genoa was unable to launch a successful attack and without the work of Rubinho and Matteo Ferrari the scoreline could have been much worse. Without further mark the match concluded with Genoa losing 1-0 and raising significant questions on tactical play given the injury situation.

It was abundantly clear that a number of players were rushed into Genoa's lineup and Gian Piero Gasperini was forced to use a less-than optimal eleven. However the squads inability to shift tactics and utilize a more appropriate formation given such personnel weaknesses was exposed by Lazio's defensive prowess and patience.