Miroslav Klose waltzed round the goalkeeper to give Lazio a 1-0 win over Fiorentina just hours after the Edy Reja saga concluded.
Chaos does not even begin to sum up the days leading up to this match. Lazio boss Reja tended his resignation on Wednesday, was all set to be replaced on Saturday until late that evening he held a press conference confirming he was staying. All this was amid a huge injury crisis that ruled out Tommaso Rocchi, Cristian Brocchi, Marius Stankevicius and Lorik Cana, plus Andre Dias and Francelino Matuzalem were suspended.
Fiorentina also had their fair share of problems, as Ruben Olivera, Mattia Cassani and Alessandro Gamberini all sat out bans. Per Kroldrup, Amauri and Houssine Kharja were sidelined, so Adem Ljajic had to partner Stevan Jovetic in attack as the Viola returned to a 4-4-2 system.
Cesare Natali intercepted a dangerous Hernanes assist for Senad Lulic, then the Brazilian midfielder hesitated in another promising opportunity.
Lazio had penalty appeals when Miroslav Klose fell under a Nastasic challenge just inside the box after 17 minutes, but the referee waved play on. Moments later, Romulo felt he had been brought down by Javier Garrido, but again the referee did not award a penalty.
Ljajic burst past Lionel Scaloni, but could not get enough power behind the shot to trouble Federico Marchetti.
Lulic joined the growing Lazio injury list with a muscular problem and was replaced by Antonio Candreva. Ex-Lazio man Lorenzo De Silvestri’s cross set up Manuel Pasqual’s volley, but a sliding Scaloni tackle in the box did enough to charge it down.
The Biancocelesti took the lead when Klose sprung the offside trap from a Hernanes through ball with the outside of the boot and kept his cool to waltz around Artur Boruc, depositing into an empty net.
Pasqual did well to close down Gonzalez from a Stefano Mauri assist, but on 40 minutes Garrido rattled the crossbar with his looping shot from the edge of the box that took a deflection off Valon Behrami.
Mauri couldn’t quite get enough contact on to the Candreva cross-shot, so it was into Boruc’s arms.
Fiorentina made two changes at half-time, introducing Alessio Cerci and Salifu. It seemed to work, as the Viola had the ball in the net after just seven minutes, but it was ruled offside. Marchetti performed a stunning save on the Nastasic header under the bar, then Cerci knocked in the follow-up from point-blank range, but was marginally offside.
Cerci then turned provider for Jovetic, who was a little too late to tap in. At the other end, Klose pounced on a poor Salifu clearance and smashed it over on the volley from distance.
Marchetti did well to control a powerful but central Andrea Lazzari blockbuster, while Cerci was again offside when nodding over the bar.
Deep into stoppages Candreva crossed for Kozak, who at full stretch saw his volley charged down. It was the last kick of the game.