Opting for a 1-4-3-3 formation at Lazio Maurizio Sarri likes to play the ball from deep. In order to avoid high pressure from rivals he positions his defenders out wide and also assigns a goalkeeper and a defensive midfielder to playmake.
In defense they generally press high by adopting a 1-4-5-1 shape which allows them to provide good security on the wings, but causes a lack of compactness in the centre. If they fail to pick up the ball quickly, they retreat into their own half allowing their rivals to play the ball around. The proximity of the two lines of pressure ensures that they have no space for the rival to force the action through the center. After all this defensive scheme is prone to individual positioning mistakes, which generally result in gaps and lack of cover in the zones left by individual players movements.
When passing the ball into the opponent’s half he uses the risky option of stretching the game very wide, trying to create as much space as possible in the center and direct the ball there with the intention of entering the offensive third. He also uses a similar variant near the rivals’ penalty area. He stretches the game wide again freeing up space in the center of the pitch, which not only creates space for the players entering there, but also allows for a combination passing game.
Lazio’s players turn their lack of speed in attack into an attempt to penetrate the defence with a number of combination actions and if that fails, they use more direct attempts to cross to the strikers in the penalty area.