SCOTT PETERSON - Thursday, December 22, 2011
Michael Bradley and his Chievo Verona teammates had one last pre-Christmas task traveling to the Italian capital to take on Lazio, where the Veronans were unlucky only to get a point.
Bradley assumed his usual role in midfield for Mimmo di Carlo and Chievo; he played 90 minutes for the 14th straight match.
While the smart money would have been on Chievo parking as many bodies as possible in their own half to thwart Lazio's dazzling attack, Chievo unexpectedly dominated the match through and through. The Flying Donkeys threw caution to the wind and bombarded Benjamin Bizzari's goal for the better part of 90 minutes.
Chievo needed all of two minutes to fire their first shot on goal, and it was only the crossbar that could keep out Bostjan Cesar's close-range effort.
In the 23rd, the guests nearly scored once again, but Sergio Pellissier could not get his shot on target after controlling Bradley's long ball and rounding Bizzari.
It really looked as if it were just a matter of time before the underdogs from the north finally broke the deadlock, but whenever Chievo had a chance Bizzari was up to the task making a fantastic reflex save in the 25th and waiting as long as possible not to give anything away in the 34th.
In the second half, it was Lazio that ended up parking the bus behind the ball in an effort to reduce the unrelenting attacking verve by the Veronans. As a result chances were few and far between and the match ended goalless.
Chievo finishes the first half of the season in 12th place with 20 points and is 8 points above the drop zone. Next up for Chievo is another trip to Rome to face AS Roma on the 8th of January.