Last night, Milan left it late to steal points from a game as they followed their late victory against Bologna with a draw against Lazio.
In our stats pack previewing yesterday’s Lazio-Milan clash, we identified Ciro Immobile as Lazio’s main threat:
‘Ciro Immobile represents Lazio’s biggest threat and the Italian hitman has found the net 13 times in 24 matches thus far. His four shots a game are usually on target and more often than not come from right in front of the goal. This means that he’s going to operate as the perfect poacher and Milan’s patchwork defence could give him to opportunity to feast. Milan haven’t yet settled on a striking option, but are likely to start Gerard Deulofeu as a central striker today.’
Immobile failed to score, but was a constant hazard against Milan who just couldn’t defend him. Ciro had all the time and space in the world, but one thing kept him scoring - Gianluigi Donnarumma. It can be argued that Immobile won their matchup as Gigio fouled Immobile to gift Lazio the penalty they scored to take the lead, but the hitman couldn’t find a way past Donnarumma who saved every single shot that Immobile had.
Lazio’s fine home run against Milan will continue - they have only lost one against Milan in their past seven games in Rome, now.
What about the other stats?
‘The Rossoneri are scoring 1.4 goals a game which is beaten by Lazio’s 1.8 strikes a game. Milan will hold a bit more of the ball, averaging 52% possession compared to Lazio’s 50%. Milan are also the better passers with a pass completion rate of 82% over Lazio’s 80%.’
Reflecting the different strike rates, it was Lazio who battered Milan’s goal. 23 shots to Milan’s 9. In fact - Lazio would only score through a penalty. Thankfully, the presence of Donnarumma and his nine saves during the match gave Milan the chance to equal the score, which they did. The stats didn’t lie about possession and passing as Milan bettered Lazio twice over with 58.2% of the ball and a completion rate of 84%. Really promising stuff from what practically amounts to a patchwork side.
Finally, we did predict a win for Lazio, but there’s a certain quote you may want to pay attention to:
‘A win for the Rossoneri will see them move to equal Lazio on 43 points (but behind on goal difference) - a win for Lazio sees them build a six point lead on Milan and will likely put an end to Milan’s European hopes. The odds are weighted quite heavily in Lazio’s favour, considering Milan’s defensive fragility and Ciro Immobile’s prowess in the box. However, it could come to a single moment of magic and Milan through Deulofeu and Suso have the personnel to deliver that.’
Milan’s panic in the box and Ciro Immobile’s movement led to a penalty, however - that moment of magic for Milan did come true, from none other than Suso.
However, I did believe Lazio would be dominant and win, which they were, but they couldn’t beat Milan when they needed to and I’ve never been happier to have been proved wrong. They probably owe it to one Gianluigi Donnarumma, who despite his penalty mishap, always offered Milan the platform they needed to find a result.