Both Lazio and Milan are in crisis and it showed with this 1-1 draw, as an Abdoulay Konko own goal was cancelled out by Tata Gonzalez.
These were two teams on the verge of a nervous breakdown, as the Biancocelesti ultras continued to leave the Curva Nord empty in protest at President Claudio Lotito, while there were on-going rumours Clarence Seedorf would be sacked with a heavy defeat in Rome after losing the last four in all competition. Miroslav Klose, Federico Marchetti, Michael Ciani and Ederson were injured with Antonio Candreva returning from suspension. Christian Abbiati sat out a ban following his red card against Parma, with Ignazio Abate and Stephan El Shaarawy sidelined. Mario Balotelli and Adel Taarabt were dropped in favour of Giampaolo Pazzini and Keisuke Honda.
It was a tense start and the hosts took the initiative, as Diego Novaretti failed to get his header from a free kick on target.
Brayan Perea was booked and some wanted an even harsher penalty for his mistimed tackle from behind on Adil Rami.
Honda blasted off target and Keita ran on to a Cristian Ledesma through ball, but was crowded out by Rossoneri jerseys.
Honda curled over the bar with Pazzini irritated that the Japanese international didn’t cross for him.
Lazio thought they had taken the lead on 41 minutes when Marco Amelia made a hash of Novaretti’s downward header, allowing it to squirm between his legs. However, the linesman had raised his flag, as Giuseppe Biava came back from an offside position and interfered with play, preventing Philippe Mexes from intercepting the cross.
Moments later it was Milan who took the lead with a moment of huge fortune. Kaka’s cross-shot down the left took a deflection off Abdoulay Konko’s face to completely wrong-foot Berisha at the near post.
In first half stoppages Honda wasted the chance to make it 2-0 with a free header over from a set play.
A deflected Konko strike from distance was smothered by Amelia and Honda seemed unhappy when substituted by Balotelli.
Amelia punched away a Candreva cross into the path of Lucas Biglia, so Nigel De Jong had to charge down the volley inside the area.
Lazio got a deserved equaliser on the hour mark, as another Candreva cross was whipped in from the right. Biglia flicked it on for Alvaro ‘Tata’ Gonzalez’s header from six yards.
Candreva failed to make the most of a counter-attack sparked by a Mexes error in midfield, then Balotelli’s free kick was straight into the wall. Andrea Poli was booked for dissent and will be suspended for Wednesday’s game with Fiorentina.
Gonzalez could’ve had a second, but he hesitated when sent through by Ledesma and allowed Rami to close him down.
Pazzini pounced when Konko failed to deal with a Balotelli cross, but volleyed over with the outside of his boot.
Balotelli was unlucky not to restore Milan’s lead on 82 minutes, as his snapshot flashed past Berisha to thump the base of the far post.
Candreva ran on to a clever cross-field pass in acres of space only to blast the finish into the empty Curva.
Sulley Muntari headed a Kaka corner over the bar, while Eddy Onazi also turned off target from a Keita pull-back.