Palermo absolutely demolished a makeshift Lazio defence to win 5-1 with Andre Dias getting himself sent off to add to the misery.
The Biancocelesti were hoping to cling on to third place, but had a huge injury crisis as they travelled to Sicily. Mobido Diakite and Abdoullay Konko were suspended, joining Stefan Radu, Marius Stankevicius, Tommaso Rocchi, Giuseppe Biava, Cristian Brocchi and Lorik Cana. Palermo aimed to continue their strong home record, as only Armin Bacinovic, Edgar Alvarez and Abel Hernandez were unavailable, but Fabrizio Miccoli returned.
Lazio were also tired after Thursday’s 3-1 home defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League and had to completely revamp their squad. Cristian Ledesma had to become a makeshift defender, while Emiliano Alfaro received his Serie A debut. The newcomer blasted well wide from a promising position after just 70 seconds.
Miccoli’s glancing header from a Federico Balzaretti cross whistled just wide of the far post, but at the other end Emiliano Viviano was at full stretch to beat away a wonderful Alfaro volley from the D.
Palermo broke the deadlock when Miccoli knocked down to the edge of the box for an Edgar Barreto daisy-cutter that whizzed through a sea of legs to surprise Marchetti at the base of the near post.
The Sicilians doubled their advantage with another great individual effort, this time from Massimo Donati. The former Celtic midfielder smashed a fierce right-foot finish across Marchetti to the far top corner from the outside edge of the area.
Andrea Mantovani drilled just wide and the third arrived from a Miccoli set play, as Matias Silvestre was allowed a totally free header from six yards. The defender didn’t even have to jump to get clean contact.
The second half started in the worst possible way for Lazio, as within 90 seconds Budan had sprung the offside trap and comfortably beat Marchetti in off the inside of the near post.
Moments later, Miccoli got his name on the scoresheet too. Again, the offside line was confused and he placed a precise angled drive across the on-rushing goalkeeper to make it 5-0.
Lazio did have the chance to get one back from a corner, as Viviano pushed a Francelino Matuzalem strike into the path of Alfaro, who then fired straight at the ‘keeper from point-blank range.
Viviano also beat away a Hernanes long-range snapshot with his chest, then performed a stunning reaction save on the Alejandro Gonzalez header from a couple of yards.
To make matters worse, both Matuzalem and Andre Dias picked up bookings that mean they’ll be suspended for the next game against Fiorentina. At least Stefano Mauri made his comeback for the first time since October due to a torn thigh muscle.
Viviano rushed off his line to close down Alfaro and in the process set up Hernanes to lob over an open goal. Hernanes also had a free kick smothered, as the Biancocelesti continued trying to at least get a consolation.
However, Dias tripped Franco Vazquez just outside the area and received his second yellow card. Coach Edy Reja was also sent off for dissent in the final stages.
Nonetheless, Lazio did get their consolation when Libor Kozak pounced on a poor clearance to thump the angled drive into the bottom corner.
Sent off: Dias 74 (L)