Ciro Immobile contributed a goal and three assists, while Luis Nani got his first Serie A strike, as Lazio crushed Benevento 5-1.
It’s six consecutive Serie A victories for the Biancocelesti, eight in a row including the Europa League, with Immobile shattering records.
Le Streghe were feeling somewhat cursed after losing all 10 matches, especially Wednesday’s heart-breaking 95th-minute defeat at Cagliari on the debut of new Coach Roberto De Zerbi. This was his first home fixture and he was without Fabio Lucioni, Marco D’Alessandro and Filippo Costa, but it was a special fixture for Cristiano Lombardi and Danilo Cataldi, who are on loan from Lazio. Simone Inzaghi’s side were sitting pretty in third place with just one competitive defeat all season, although Felipe Anderson, Dusan Basta and Wallace were still sidelined.
The only previous meeting between these sides saw Lazio win 5-1 in the Coppa Italia in August 2008.
It took just four minutes to break the deadlock, as Ciro Immobile knocked back a Luis Alberto corner from the back post for Bastos to get the final touch practically on the line. It was the defender’s third goal of the season, his second in as many games.
The second was only a matter of time, as Immobile ran on to a through ball and placed the right-foot angled drive across Alberto Brignoli into the far bottom corner. This took his campaign tally up to 14 in Serie A, 18 in all competition in just 15 appearances.
It was one-way traffic, as Luis Alberto waltzed through the Benevento defence, sent Immobile down the left side of the box and he generously rolled across for unmarked Adam Marusic to tap in.
Immobile could’ve gone down when goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli reached out for his ankle, but stayed on his feet, then the shot-stopper stuck out a hand to deny Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s strike.
Amato Ciciretti came on for the second half and within a couple of minutes had created Benevento’s first real chance, but Cataldi hit a fresh-air shot from 10 yards, throwing away the opportunity, and on the rebound Gianluca Di Chiara drilled just wide.
Ciciretti tested Thomas Strakosha from distance and an Achraf Lazaar header was plucked out from under the bar, as the hosts tried to fight back and it paid off.
Strakosha flew to palm away a ferocious Ciciretti strike, then Lazaar nutmegged the goalkeeper with a daisy-cutter for 3-1.
It was almost 3-2, as Ciciretti’s free kick whipped past everyone, Pietro Iemmello just failing to make contact.
This was a replay of the second half Lazio experienced when 2-0 up against Bologna on Wednesday evening, as they ran out of gas and tried to rest on their laurels.
Ciciretti also made a huge difference, curling over the bar with his left foot, but Simone Inzaghi saw the situation and introduced Luis Nani for Senad Lulic, warning they weren’t going to defend for the entire second half.
It proved a masterstroke, as Nani dribbled into the box and generously pulled back for Marco Parolo to blast home.
The entertainment continued, as Brignoli flew to fingertip away an Immobile curler, while Ciciretti’s free kick scraped a coat of paint off the near post – making half the stadium think it had flown in – and on the counter forced a tough save from Strakosha.
Nani even got his debut Serie A goal, turning defenders inside out with magnificent ball control before placing a low finish into the near bottom corner. The assist was, once again, from Immobile.