Lazio's Coppa Italia defence is still alive and well after they knocked out Parma with a 2-1 victory at the Olimpico on Tuesday. A brace from young striker Brayan Perea was enough for them to win an unspectacular affair, setting up a quarterfinal clash with either Napoli or Atalanta later this month.
The hosts made the brighter start to the game, and nearly found themselves ahead after just a couple of minutes. However, when practically on the goalline Brayan Perea booted Parma keeper Pavol Bajza rather than the actual ball, and the gialloblu escaped unscathed. Apart from Bajza, that is.
The visitors saw more of the ball in the opening few minutes, but struggled to do anything with it. Lazio's defence was watertight, and they looked comfortably the more dangerous side when they broke forward on the counter-attack. Their opening goal 25 minutes in came as no surprise, as Felipe Anderson's low shot from the edge of the area was parried straight into the path of Perea; pouncing to net his first ever Coppa Italia goal.
The opener served to wake the ponderous Parma up, with Antonio Cassano curling the ball narrowly wide of Etrit Berisha's post before Marco Parolo drew a fantastic close-range save from the Albanian keeper. Eventually the crociati's pressure told, with a deep cross from Mattia Cassani converted by an entirely unmarked Jonathan Biabiany on the stroke of halftime. After playing an almost perfect defensive half, it was a costly mistake for the Lazio back four to make.
The second half started at a higher tempo than the first, as both teams looked to chase the crucial third goal. Parma quickly seized control, though despite creating a flurry of good chances -- including Nicola Sansone practically squandering an open goal -- alongside a Parolo penalty appeal, they couldn't find the crucial third goal. Alas, Lazio were equally impotent, and an unspectacular second half ensued.
That was until the first minute of stoppage time, when Lazio produced a winning goal from nowhere. Candreva's low cross from the right found Perea in the area, with the young Colombian capitalising on some slack goalkeeping from Bajza to prod home and seal victory.
Lazio: Berisha; Radu (Cavanda 57'), Ciani, Novaretti (André Dias 76'), Konko; Onazi, Biglia; Keita, Ederson (Candreva 67'), Anderson; Perea.
Goals: Perea (25', 90+1').
Parma: Bajza; Gobbi, Felipe, Paletta, Cassani; Parolo, Marchionni, Gargano; Sansone, Cassano, Biabiany (Palladino 66').
Goals: Biabiany (43').