Gianluca Busio returned to Venezia’s starting lineup in a losing effort, while Andrija Novakovich was unlucky to not have scored in Frosinone’s big win.
Lazio 1 – 0 Venezia
Gianluca Busio and Venezia were dealt another blow to their survival hopes, losing narrowly to Lazio on Monday night. Tanner Tessmann was not called into action for the first time since early-February
After missing the team’s last game due to a yellow card suspension, Busio put in a decent shift, having been positioned in an advanced role on the left side by head coach Paolo Zanette, just behind center forward Jean Pierre Nsame.
The USMNT player managed two shots amongst his 44 total touches, completing 78% of his 27 passes while winning five of his seven duels.
As would be expected, Lazio dominated the flow of the game, even with the narrow final scoreline, holding two-thirds of possession, although only out-shooting their guests by a 10-7 margin.
Venezia did well to hold their European-hunting hosts throughout the first half, but looked to have conceded the lead in the 49th minute when Ciro Immobile looped a brilliant shot from the left of the area just inside the far post.
However, after a VAR review, the Lazio captain was found to have been barely offside when receiving the final pass, and goal was annulled by referee Gianluca Manganiello.
Nevertheless, Italian National Team forward did succeed in putting his team ahead just under ten minutes later.
Domen Crnigoj just barely caught Luiz Felipe with the tip of his boot to the Lazio defender’s nose while trying to clear a ball in the Venezia area. The former Brazilian youth player made a meal of the contact, theatrically flopping on the ground while occasionally stopping to peer around and see if the referee had taken note.
After Felipe’s second encore of writhing on the turf, play was stopped for a VAR review, which did show that there was indeed a foul, even if not the brutal, skull-cracking knock-out blow one would have expected from the hilarious theatrics.
Immobile stepped up to the spot and easily drilled his attempt to the left, leaving Niki Mäenpää no chance whatsoever to make the save.
Despite the setback, Venezia held their own for the remainder of the game, but were only able to create one close call, with Thomas Henry forcing Lazio keeper Thomas Strakosha into an 81st-minute save with a nice header.
The loss leaves Busio and Venezia in the relegation zone, still facing a three-point gap to safety. They will need to aim for a victory when they host 16th-place Sampdoria on Sunday afternoon.
Frosinone 3 – 0 Alessandria
Andrija Novakovich was an emergency replacement for usual starter Chris Charpentier, entering the game midway through the first half as Frosinone ran rampant against ten-man Alessandria on Saturday.
The American began on the bench as per usual, however with Charpentier going down early with a muscle problem, he entered the game in the 27th minute. While not getting onto the scoreboard or directly setting up any of his team’s goals, Novakovich still had three shots on goal amidst his 18 total touches at the top of the attack.
The visitors already put themseles at a huge disadvantage when Gabriel Lunetta was sent off for a second yellow card in the 23rd minute, sloppily knocking over Francesco Zampano in the area.
The damage was limited for the time being, after Camillo Ciano’s weak attempt from the spot was easily saved by Alessandria keeper Matteo Pisseri.
Frosinone did however go ahead in the 37th minute in standard fashion, with Karlo Lulic’s corner from the left side flying through the area, where Adrian Leon Barišić was waiting to head it in at the far post.
Novakovich twice came close after the break, getting the final touch on a swift counter that Pisseri did well to deflect at the last second, then headed a pass from Ciano a bit high several minutes later.
Frosinone did succeed to double their lead in the 74th minute in a similar fashion to their opener. This time Alessio Zerbin was the player waiting at the far post to head in Lulic’s corner for the 2-0 advantage.
Not wanting to leave anything to doubt, the hosts added a third in injury time, with Luigi Canotto doing all the hard work to maintain possession, bamboozle his marking defender, and strike low into the empty net for the final 3-0 victory.
Frosinone finish the weekend in seventh place, well within the six-team promotion playoff group. They are already back in action on Tuesday evening against 19th-place Crotone, a game which should see Novakovich earn the start.
Weston McKennie is out for the rest of the season and did not participate in the 3-1 road win by Juventus at Sampdoria on Saturday. Juve are now safely in the Champions League spots, and will be eyeing a climb towards the top of the Serie A standings with seven-point gap to make up in their final nine games.
Anthony Fontana is still injured and did not suit up for Ascoli on Saturday for their 2-1 road win over SPAL Ferrara.