SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 34 - 22 Apr 2012 (14.00 UK)
Lazio 1 - 1
Matuzalem 82 (La), Bojinov 92 (Le)
Stadio Olimpico

Valeri Bojinov grabbed Lecce’s stoppage-time equaliser away to Lazio after Francelino Matuzalem’s opener.

The Biancocelesti were clinging to that Champions League spot despite a downturn in form, but Lecce were in great shape and desperate to escape from the relegation zone. When these sides met in December it was Serse Cosmi’s debut on the Salentini bench and a thrilling 3-2 defeat.

Miroslav Klose scored twice in that game, but was on the injury list here along with Abdoullay Konko, Senad Lulic, Marius Stankevicius, Cristian Brocchi and banned duo Stefano Mauri and Libor Kozak. Lecce missed Leonardo Miglionico, Julio Sergio and the suspended Manuele Blasi.

An early Javier Garrido free kick whistled wide and Massimiliano Benassi plucked a scuffed Giuseppe Biava header out of the air.

On 23 minutes Antonio Candreva’s cross-shot looped over Benassi to clip the top of the crossbar. Candreva later fell in the box, but was waved back up by the unimpressed referee, as he had run into a group of defenders.

Benassi parried a Gonzalez effort in the area, but the Lecce goalkeeper got his gloves to a Tommaso Rocchi sliding finish from point-blank range and immediately smothered Candreva’s follow-up.

Hernanes was back in the starting XI, but clearly off form as he misplaced an easy pass that would’ve sent Candreva clear. The disappointing Brazilian was replaced by Emiliano Alfaro for the second half.

Lecce went on a dangerous counter-attack and Federico Marchetti had his palms stung by Andrea Bertolacci’s screamer. From that corner, Juan Cuadrado’s effort cracked against the crossbar with the goalkeeper well beaten.

A long-range Francelino Matuzalem strike was well smothered and Alfaro horribly wasted when set up by Rocchi, as he hesitated and allowed Nenad Tomovic to clear the danger.

Lecce began to take control in the second half and the Olimpico crowd jeered its displeasure as Cuadrado and Luis Muriel littered the area with crosses. At the other end, Biava’s header skimmed the frame of the goal and substitute Alfaro picked up a thigh injury, so made way for Lorik Cana.

Cuadrado burst past Garrido and his shot was almost redirected at full stretch by substitute Daniele Corvia.

It was Lazio who broke through with Matuzalem eight minutes from time. The Lecce defence was distracted and allowed the little Brazilian a free header from six yards at the back post from Lionel Scaloni’s cross.

However, in stoppages Lecce equalised with a chaotic move that saw numerous shots and crosses charged down until eventually Valeri Bojinov fired in from the penalty spot despite Marchetti getting a hand to it.

Lecce could even have won it at the death, but Cuadrado’s blockbuster whistled just past the post.


Lazio: Marchetti; Scaloni, Diakitè, Biava, Garrido; Ledesma, Matuzalem (Dias 83); Gonzalez, Hernanes (Alfaro 46) (Cana 75), Candreva; Rocchi
: Benassi; Oddo, Esposito, Tomovic; Cuadrado, Delvecchio, Giacomazzi, Bertolacci (Bojinov 87), Brivio; Muriel (Corvia 72), Di Michele
Ref: Rocchi