SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 24 - 16 Feb 2014 (11.30 UK)
3 - 1 Lazio
Izco 1 (C), Mauri 45 (L), Spolli 48 (C), Peruzzi 58 (C)
Stadio Angelo Massimino

Despite Stefano Mauri’s goal on his first start, Lazio were humiliated 3-1 by bottom of the table Catania.

Edy Reja wanted to maintain his unbeaten Serie A record since replacing Vladimir Petkovic, but the Elefantini were desperate for points and propping up the table. They were on a run of three consecutive stalemates, but missed Sergio Almiron, Alberto Frison and Sebastian Leto. The Aquile welcomed back Lucas Biglia, but above all captain Stefano Mauri, who had his first start since May after his six-month betting ban expired.

It was an incredible start for the hosts, who after just 41 seconds had taken the lead at the Massimino. Mariano Izco scuffed the half-volley with the outside of his boot, but it squirmed in off the inside of the upright to surprise Etrit Berisha.

It was the second fastest goal of the season after Sulley Muntari in Juventus-Milan, but the quickest ever Serie A strike was Gianfranco Matteoli for Inter against Cesena in 1998 (9.9 seconds).

Mauri drilled a touched-on free kick just past the far post, but Berisha flew to beat away a Pablo Barrientos curler. Biglia responded with a daisy-cutter that skimmed the base of the upright.

There was a blow for Catania, as Bergessio suddenly pulled up with a hamstring strain and immediately called for a substitution, suggesting it could be a long spell on the sidelines.

Keko thought he had scored a second when following up a spilled Fabian Rinaudo shot, but the Spaniard was clearly offside.

Moments later Berisha needed a fingertip save to tip Francesco Lodi’s trademark free kick out from under the bar, then from the resulting corner Leandro Castro hit the side-netting.

Cristian Ledesma tested Mariano Andujar and an Antonio Candreva free kick was deflected just wide.

Catania thought they were going into the break with a lead, but deep into stoppages Mauri marked his return with an equaliser. His looping header flew into the near top corner despite Argentina international Andujar getting a hand to it.

Once again, Lazio were caught napping after the restart. Nicolas Spolli got in front of Andre Dias for a powerful diving header from a corner in at the back post.

It was another defender who scored Catania’s third goal with a well-worked move. Gino Peruzzi surged through the middle and exchanged passes with Keko to tear the Lazio defence apart, allowing him to finish it off from eight yards. It was the 21-year-old Argentine’s debut Serie A goal.

Miroslav Klose’s header was off target at the far post and Candreva’s effort was straight at Andujar, but overall Lazio made little impact on the Sicilian back line. In fact, Berisha had to sprint off his line to bravely close down Bergessio and deny a fourth. Remarkably, it was only Catania's fourth win of the season.


: Andujar; Peruzzi, Bellusci, Spolli, Alvarez; Izco, Lodi (Plasil 82), Rinaudo; Barrientos (Keko 16), Bergessio, Castro (Rolin 78)
Lazio: Berisha; Konko, Biava (Keita 71), Dias, Radu; Ledesma, Biglia (Gonzalez 46); Candreva, Mauri (Perea 71), Lulic; Klose
Ref: Mazzoleni