A superb Miroslav Klose goal was enough to give Lazio a 1-0 win over Inter in Edy Reja’s first game back in charge.
The capital side went into the match off the back of a week of managerial turmoil. Reja’s eventual appointment though, was something the Nerazzurri were hoping to exploit as they looked to go above Verona and back into fourth place.
They did so with Ricky Alvarez returning from suspension, whilst Fredy Guarin partenered Rodrigo Palacio up front. Reja meanwhile, rung the changes, with Etrit Berisha in goal and Senad Lulic, Antonio Candreva, Hernanes and Alvaro Gonzalez supporting Klose in a 4-5-1.
And it was the home team who got off to the brighter start, with Candreva whipping a ball into the box within the first four minutes. No Biancocelesti forward was there to get on the end of it however, and Jonathan cleared the dangerous ball to safety.
Opportunities were few and far between in the opening exchanges, with the Stadio Olimpico outfit happy to get every man behind the ball when the visitors came forward. It meant Walter Mazzarri’s team were finding it tough to carve out a chance, and it wasn’t until 10 minutes on the clock when Juan Jesus fired a long-range effort well over the bar.
It was Senad Lulic who had the best chance though, as Andrea Ranocchi and Jonathan’s mix up allowed the wide-man in on goal, but his chipped shot went wide of Samir Handanovic.
The match was becoming much more open however, with Candreva and Guarin causing problems with their surges forward. The Colombian forced Andre Dias into a last-ditch challenge and a yellow card, whilst the Italy international crossed for MIroslav Klose on 30 minutes, but the German’s effort was saved well.
Candreva was clearly the most effective attacking threat in the first half, and forced Inter’s Slovenianshot-stopper into another save as his shot from the edge of the area was parried away by the keeper.
After the break, the Milanese outfit started to dominate possession and finally looked dangerous in front of goal. Jonathan and Palacio went close, and only some superb Lazio defending stopped them from breaking the deadlock.
It wasn’t until the 60th minute though, that the away side finally tested Berisha - Jonathan’s cross found Nagatomo, but the Japan international’s header was well saved by the debutant.
It was a frustrating half for both sides, with neither team really clicking in the final third. But with just 10 minutes remaining the hosts finally got themselves a lead. Candreva, again, put in a cross, and Klose got in ahead of Ranocchia to volley home.
And 1-0 was how it stayed, as Edy Reja won his first game back in charge at Stadio Olimpico.