Lazio fell to a humbling defeat at the hands of Chievo Verona at the Stadio Olimpico today. The Biancocelesti were left with ten men when, during the first half, Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic lashed out and kicked an opposing player after feeling that he was fouled. The referee awarded Milinkovic-Savic with a straight red card and Lazio's molehill began to look evermore like a mountain.
Lazio are in need of points if they are to still consider themselves within the race for the Champions League places which, with this defeat, they could be five points away from, if Roma beat Inter Milan this evening. Lazio have lost serious ground in the race for those precious spaces in Europe's most coveted club competition and a 2-1 home defeat to a last place Chievo side who had not won away from home this season until today proves that the club may have some way to go before they are Champions League quality.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, however, is a different matter. The Serbian was linked heavily with a move away from Lazio last summer, with Manchester United, PSG, Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City all touted as potential destinations; whilst AC Milan and Inter were considered to have outside chances of acquiring the Lazio man. Despite this interest, Milinkovic-Savic stayed with Lazio and signed a new contract, making him the joint-highest earner, alongside Italian forward Ciro Immobile, at the Roman club. Milinkovic-Savic's error has cost Lazio dearly today and this, coupled with a general decline in the quality of his performances this season compared to last season, might suggest that the Serbian is not ready for a big move after all. An element of costly complacency has entered Milinkovic-Savic's game and his general lack of maturity and calm cost his team a good chance at closing the tap on the top four.
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