Edy Reja praised substitute Mauro Zarate for changing Lazio's game. “If he always reacts like that, I'll bench him all the time!”
The Biancocelesti thrashed Catania 4-1 in Sicily to move within three points of Inter and automatic Champions League qualification.
“This round was favourable to us, but there are still five games to go and several head-to-head encounters, so we must postpone verdicts to the very end,” said the Coach.
“After Catania's equaliser we really found our gear with good football, physicality and sharp minds.”
Next Saturday Lazio face Inter at San Siro and a victory would put them in front of the Nerazzurri thanks to a superior head-to-head record.
“Inter were one of the favourites for the Scudetto and it will be difficult to pick up points in Milan. We are in good shape and our campaign proves we deserve to be in this position.”
Zarate was left on the bench after turning up late to training on Saturday, but came on at the 14th for the injured Giuseppe Sculli and transformed the game.
“If he always reacts like that, I'll bench him all the time!” joked Reja. “I must compliment him. It's true he was not in the starting XI and it upset him.
“I am a Coach and have to make my decisions for the good of the squad, so by turning up late to training he had to be punished. It was an exceptional performance from him today and indeed all of the team.”