Lazio’s 16-match unbeaten run in all competition came crashing to a halt, as Chievo confirmed their status as bête noir with a 1-0 victory at the Olimpico.
The Biancocelesti were still joint second in Serie A going into this weekend, but also prepared for the Coppa Italia semi-final against Juventus by resting Hernanes and Stefano Mauri. Miroslav Klose, Ederson and the suspended Lorik Cana were unavailable. Chievo had an injury crisis, missing Sergio Pellissier, Luciano, Boukary Dramè, Rinaldo Cruzado, Mamadou Samassa and Nicolas Frey, while Stefano Sorrentino has joined Palermo.
The Flying Donkeys had only lost here once in 2003 along with three victories and six draws, while Lazio were unbeaten in 16 official matches and were seeking a seventh consecutive home victory.
Antonio Candreva blasted over the bar after great work from Senad Lulic and Sergio Floccari.
On 11 minutes Alberto Paloschi attempted a volley from the centre-circle that was just over the bar. Federico Marchetti backpedalled so furiously to get there that he flew into the net and accidentally tore it down. Stewards and staff rushed to patch it up, as play had to be halted.
Abdoullay Konko unleashed a screamer after a poor Paloschi backpass, but Christian Puggioni flew to have his palms stung by the strike at the top corner.
Gennaro Sardo seemed to sprain his knee during an awkward fall and limped off for Kamil Vacek. Puggioni kept his cool to pluck a Dias header out of the air from a corner. In first half stoppages, Giuseppe Biava went to meet a swerving Lulic cross and was not offside, but he shoved Bostjan Cesar as they both clattered into Puggioni.
The home side were uninspired, so Mauri replaced Cristian Brocchi for the second half. Puggioni plucked a dangerous Candreva cross off the feet of Floccari, then the ex-Genoa striker fired a shot straight at the goalkeeper with his left foot and Mauri couldn’t keep his header on target.
Cyril Thereau’s free kick was deflected off the wall and sent Marchetti the wrong way, but whistled wide of the goal.
It was a warning, as Chievo took the shock lead moments later. Thereau burst past two defenders down the left and pulled back for Bostjan Jokic. His curling finish smacked against the crossbar and Paloschi was ready to tap in the rebound from five yards. Lazio were furious, but replays show he was not offside.
Chievo gave Felipe Seymour his debut, days after completing the move from Genoa. Puggioni did well to grab a Dias spin from six yards.
Hernanes was incredulous when he was barged over by Cesar in the D, but was booked for simulation.
Lazio should’ve scored on 76 minutes when Floccari was in a great position, but hesitated and rolled across for Mauri to blast over the bar.
Chievo held firm under pressure and almost made it 2-0 when Seymour got to the by-line and forced Marchetti to parry with his knee at the near post.