Miroslav Klose returned with a bang, getting an early brace to put Lazio back on track against Livorno.
This is always a fiery occasion due to the fierce rivalry between the fans, but there was also tension for Coach Vladimir Petkovic as the Biancocelesti were without a Serie A win since October 27. Historically they simply had to win this one, as Livorno had lost 16 consecutive trips to Rome, winning 1-0 only in 1943.
Keita Balde was sent to the stands following a training ground row with one of his teammates. Alvaro Gonzalez and Bruno Pereirinha missed out, but Klose had his first start in a month after a shoulder injury. The visitors were fresh from a 2-2 draw with Milan.
Lorik Cana hit the side-netting from a too-tight angle, then Klose just failed to get his toe to a Senad Lulic cross. The German did make contact with another Lulic cross, but this time his header whistled just wide.
Lazio were unlucky on 17 minutes when a cross came all the way to Klose at the back post and as he came sliding in deflected it on to the upright.
The pressure paid off when Klose ran on to a through ball and anticipated both defenders and goalkeeper with his touch to waltz it into an empty net.
Klose added a second when a wayward long-range Hernanes shot was deflected into his path, so he kept his cool to drill it past the on-rushing Francesco Bardi.
Livorno took until the 32nd minute to create a scoring opportunity at the Olimpico, but Paulinho couldn’t find the target from a Pasquale Schiattarella assist. Paulinho turned a couple of headers over the bar too towards half-time.
Giuseppe Biava was given his Serie A comeback after three months for the second half, but Klose almost completed the hat-trick when prodding a Radu assist wide.
Livorno seemed disheartened and failed to make a dent in the Aquile defence, as instead Bardi needed a desperate save to deny Candreva down the right.