Lazio Roma – Stade Rennais: Feisty Defensive Display Means Little As Lazio Steal Three Points (2-1)
Scrappy and competitive, this game decided to open up after half-time. A top performance from Clément Grenier was unable to help Rennes to three points, after a quality goal scored by Ciro Immobile made the difference.
Tactical analysis and match report by Tom Quartly.
A sparsely populated Stadio Olimpico was the location of Thursday night’s Europa League tie between Lazio and Rennes. Lazio surprisingly sat bottom of Group E, following an opening day loss to Romanian side CFR Cluj, and needed a win to reignite their hopes of making it into the knockout stage. Rennes faired better as they drew with Celtic.
Stade Rennes manager Julien Stéphan’s pragmatic approach has been a revelation since his arrival last year. His ability to match and contravene the opposition’s tactical play meant that more often than not Rennes are able to nullify threats. This seemed to be the case once again in this match, as a 5-3-2 formation combatted Lazio’s more fluid 3-5-2 shape. Young Joris Gnagnon was at the heart of the three central defenders, with the more experienced Jérémy Morel and Damien Da Silva either side to provide certainty to their defensive structure.
Lazio’s use of Manuel Lazzari and Senad Lulić as wing-backs was interesting to see, as both of them have experience of operating higher up the pitch. This meant that a greater impetus would be placed on attacking wide areas. Felipe Caicedo and Ciro Immobile were played upfront in a flexible 3-5-2 formation crafted by manager Simone Inzaghi.
Scrappy opening characterised by . . .