Torino got their first victory away to Lazio since 1993, but it all turned on controversial VAR decisions and Ciro Immobile’s red card.
The Aquile had the chance to join Roma in fourth place with a victory, while the Granata wanted to end their run of four consecutive stalemates. Luis Nani, M’Baye Niang, Cristian Ansaldi and Umar Sadiq were injured, but Adem Ljajic wasn’t even on the bench, officially due to a stomach bug, although there were reports of a row with Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic.
The Granata haven’t beaten Lazio since a 1-0 home result in December 2013, followed by three draws and five losses. Their most recent victory at the Olimpico was 2-1 all the way back in November 1993.
Andrea Belotti almost scored a stunner in the opening five minutes, as his shot from a very tight angle hit the near post and bounced back across the face of goal.
Nicolas N’Koulou got back for a brave block as Ciro Immobile was ready to finalise a rapid counter-attack, while Tomas Rincon blasted over and Salvatore Sirigu palmed an Adam Marusic daisy-cutter wide.
Iago Falque placed an inspired ball over the top for Cristian Molinaro, whose angled drive scraped a coat of paint off the base of the far post.
Salvatore Sirigu palmed a Luis Alberto free kick out of the near top corner, but just before half-time the tension exploded. First Immobile had a cross charged down by Iago Falque’s hand and play was waved on, then Milinkovic-Savic’s chipped pass released the former Torino striker and his volley cracked against the base of the post. Immobile continued his protest and was caught on camera reacting to Nicolas Burdisso by jerking his head towards the defender. It was viewed on VAR and the referee opted for a straight red card.
Luis Alberto was so angry that in his half-time television interview he told Mediaset Premium: “This has happened too many times. Perhaps some don’t like Lazio being in the top four.”
The Biancocelesti and the crowd were incredibly fired up for the second half, as Molinaro got back to deflect a Lucas Leiva finish wide and Sirigu smothered the Milinkovic-Savic effort.
However, Toro struck on the counter against 10-man Lazio, as Alex Berenguer fired an angled drive into the far bottom corner from a tight angle from 10 yards. It was his debut Serie A goal.
Simone Inzaghi showed great bravery by making all three attacking changes almost immediately, including Felipe Anderson’s first Serie A appearance of the season.
Toro added a second, as Tomas Rincon curled a ferocious finish into the far top corner from outside the D.
Lazio still wouldn’t hold back, as Sirigu flew to palm away a Dusan Basta strike and from that corner a Stefan Radu header whistled just wide.
Luis Alberto pounced on a misplaced pass in midfield and surged past Burdisso to chip on-rushing Sirigu with a delightful lob, re-opening the game.
It was wide open, but Radu was caught in possession and young substitute Simone Edera curled another fantastic left-footed goal into the far bottom corner from the edge of the box. It was his maiden Serie A goal and the 20-year-old had only been on the field for three minutes.
A corner was knocked down to Senad Lulic for a thunderbolt of a half-volley that stung Sirigu’s gloves, but it was almost 4-1 when Afriyie Acquah just seconds after coming off the bench went clear only to be put off by a last-ditch tackle.
To make things worse, at the 88th minute Luis Alberto hobbled off the field with all the substitutions completed, leaving Lazio down to nine men.
Sent off: Immobile 45 (L)