NEWS
Tuesday December 26 2017
Coppa: Lazio see off Fiorentina

An early Senad Lulic strike proved enough, as Lazio beat Fiorentina 1-0 to book their spot in the Coppa Italia semi-final.

The winners go on to face either Milan or Inter in the two-legged Semi-Final next month.

Lazio had to leave Ciro Immobile on the bench due to flu symptoms, so Felipe Caicedo stepped in with fit-again Felipe Anderson, while the Viola made several changes and gave rare starts to Riccardo Saponara and Khouma Babacar. Simone Inzaghi’s men were hoping to reach the Final for the second year in a row.

When these sides met in November, it ended in a controversial 1-1 draw, as Fiorentina equalised with a last-gasp penalty awarded via VAR.

It took just five minutes to break the deadlock, as Senad Lulic sprinted down the left, cut back past Bruno Gaspar and placed a precise right-foot angled drive into the far bottom corner.

Caicedo almost made it 2-0 when running on to a Felipe Anderson through ball, but his finish from a tight angle was cleared off the line by Gaspar.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic saw a scorcher from distance beaten away, but the hosts lost Felipe Caicedo to injury, so flu-ridden Immobile had to come on and almost immediately blasted over from another Felipe Anderson assist.

Bartlomiej Dragowski got down to palm a Felipe Anderson cross-shot away from Immobile, after he had nutmegged Carlos Sanchez, then the pair combined to send Lulic through and the goalkeeper blocked the shot with his legs.

Felipe Anderson fired inches wide on the counter sparked by Milinkovic-Savic. Fiorentina made a double change at the break and Jordan Veretout tested Thomas Strakosha from distance.

The visitors were pushing forward more and more as the second half wore on and Thomas Strakosha got down to fingertip a Federico Chiesa curler inches round the far post.

It was all Fiorentina, but this left gaps for the counter and Immobile was about to pull the trigger from just inside the box when he was cut short by a magnificent Vitor Hugo sliding tackle.

For all the pressure from the Viola, Lazio were again dangerous on the counter-attack with Lulic, as Vitor Hugo nodded a corner off target.

Lazio 1-0 Fiorentina

Lulic 5 (L)

Lazio: Strakosha; Bastos, De Vrij, Radu; Basta, Parolo, Leiva, Milinkovic-Savic (Luis Alberto 87), Lulic; Felipe Anderson (Lukaku 59); Caicedo (Immobile 26)

Fiorentina: Dragowski; Gaspar (Dias 74), Milenkovic, Vitor Hugo, Astori; Chiesa, Veretout, Sanchez, Benassi (Eysseric 46); Saponara (Simeone 46); Babacar

Ref: Damato 

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