Lazio were made to work very hard indeed to beat Genoa 3-2 at Marassi, as Ciro Immobile replied to a brace from 16-year-old Pietro Pellegri.
This is now the Aquile’s best start to a season since 1999-2000, when they went on to win the Scudetto under Sven-Goran Eriksson.
The Biancocelesti were unbeaten between Serie A, the Europa League and Italian Super Cup this season, despite missing Felipe Anderson, Luis Nani and Wallace. Alessandro Murgia stepped in for suspended Marco Parolo. Genoa were in dire straits, managing one point in three rounds, missing Goran Pandev, Gianluca Lapadula, Armando Izzo, Davide Biraschi, plus banned Andrea Bertolacci. Ivan Juric made surprise changes, using Adel Taarabt as a False 9 flanked by troubled South American forward Ricardo Centurion.
The deadlock was broken when Mattia Perin did all he could with a one-handed save on the Sergej Milinkovic-Savic free kick at the near post, but Bastos was quickest to react and bundle over the line with his knee. It was the defender’s debut Serie A goal.
Dusan Basta drilled just wide at the end of a wonderful team passing move, while Aleandro Rosi and Centurion missed the target even when they were caught offside.
Ciro Immobile blasted over after a Luis Alberto assist bobbled. Centurion went off injured too, so Genoa introduced 16-year-old Pietro Pellegri, who already scored his debut Serie A goal against Roma in May.
Thomas Strakosha beat away a Miguel Veloso free kick, but there was also a push in the wall.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic drilled wide after the restart, but Genoa equalised with a chaotic goal from 16-year-old Pellegri. De Vrij accidentally cleared the ball on to Radu’s face and Pellegri pounced on the ricochet, his finish taking another deflection off Stefan Radu to wrongfoot Thomas Strakosha.
Murgia flicked a Milinkovic-Savic pull-back across the face of goal and Felipe Caicedo came on, moving Lucas Leiva into central defence.
Simone Inzaghi then introduced two substitutes who combined to almost score within 30 seconds. Adam Marusic flew down the right and pulled back for Immobile, who collided with Nicolas Spolli, then Jordan Lukaku looked like he had to score from close range on the rebound, but Perin pulled off a remarkable reaction save.
The goal did arrive moments later, as with Spolli still off the field for treatment, Lukaku skipped past a defender and rolled across for Immobile to tap in from six yards.
However, just as Lazio were about to settle into their lead, Genoa pegged them back again with Pellegri flinging himself feet first at an Ervin Zukanovic cross and it squirmed under Strakosha’s body. There was already a bidding war between Inter, Milan and Juventus over the summer for Pellegri, born March 2001, and that will escalate after this performance.
Felipe Caicedo flashed his angled drive across the face of goal, inches wide, but then Strakosha performed a stunning reaction save on Zukanovic’s header from a corner at the near post.
Immediately after that, Santiago Gentiletti’s horrible square pass was intercepted by Immobile, who drew Perin out and just dinked it over the goalkeeper for 3-2. That meant he scored nine of his team’s last 15 goals.
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