21 September 2006

Chievo 0-1 Lazio: points!

At last! With a 1-0 defeat of Chievo on the road, Lazio has earned its first points of the season, chipping away three points from their eleven point penalty. It would appear that Delio Rossi's "stay the course" mentality has paid off. Oddo, Stendardo, Siviglia, and Zauri were strong on the back line, allowing Chievo to make just four shots on target.

On the offensive side, Goran Pandev proved to be both a liability and a lifesaver. Although he still is not generating the quality chances that he should be, he was able to get possession in the box in the 63rd minute and draw a penalty. Massimo Oddo, always precise from the penalty spot, slotted it home to give the biancocelesti the 1-0 lead. In the 84th minute Chievo buried the ball in the back of the Lazio net, and it looked like the chance to take three points had evaporated, but the play was called offside and the goal disallowed. The lead, however tenuously gained, held until full time.

Postgame comments from the captain Oddo were, I think, dead on regarding how Lazio had to approach this game and how they have to approach the rest of the season:

E’ stata una gara molto difficile, venivamo da due sconfitte consecutive e poi a pesare ci sono gli 11 punti di penalizzazione. Dovevamo vincere a tutti i costi questa partita, abbiamo cercato di stare tranquilli e di fare la nostra gara. Sono felice di aver contribuito in maniera determinante alla vittoria. Il segreto e non guardare la classifica e ci stiamo riuscendo.
"It was a very difficult match, we were coming off of two straight losses and the 11 point penalty was weighing upon us. We had to win this match at all costs, we tried to stay calm and play our own game. I'm happy to have contributed in a way that decided our victory. [As for the future] the secret is to not look at the standings and we will succeed."

The last comment is absolutely true. If I were Delio Rossi, I would post the classifica in the locker room...as if no teams had been penalized! And it would look like this:


That is the picture in Oddo's mind. It is not nearly so daunting. Another three points are possible against Atalanta on Sunday. Stay the course, Lazio!

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