Ciro Immobile scored four goals in this extraordinary thriller, as Lazio and SPAL sparred in Ferrara to entertain neutrals.
These sides drew 0-0 at the Olimpico in Week 1, one of only two games where the Aquile failed to find the net this season. They made this trip to Ferrara without Adam Marusic and Felipe Caicedo, but SPAL were missing Marco Borriello, Pa Konate, Sauli Vaisanen and suspended captain Luca Mora. Filippo Costa, Sergio Floccari and Bartosz Salamon weren’t fully fit either.
It was a lightning start in Ferrara, as Luis Alberto controlled a poor clearance on the edge of the box with a marvellous first touch and worked his magic, dribbling between a maze of SPAL shirts before his delicate finish past the goalkeeper.
Moments later, Dusan Basta nudged Alberto Grassi in the back and Mirco Antenucci converted the resulting penalty to equalise. It was another relatively soft decision that will no doubt infuriate Coach Simone Inzaghi.
Luis Alberto has started 2018 on spectacular form and set up Ciro Immobile’s goal with a delightful first time no-look pass off the outside of his boot to send the striker clear.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic provided the assist for Immobile’s second, resisting a challenge in midfield to thread through the middle and the centre-forward kept his cool for the finish.
SPAL would not give in and got back into it with Antenucci’s second of the game, as Wallace made a poor clearance on Pasquale Schiattarella’s cross and the striker drilled low into the near bottom corner.
It was almost 3-3 by the half-hour, as Stefan de Vrij made a decisive block from point-blank range on Alberto Paloschi, then the ex-Swansea City striker fired wide from a promising position.
Instead, Lazio extended their lead with Immobile completing his hat-trick, getting a header to Basta’s cross into the near top corner.
Luca Rizzo came on for the second half and within 90 seconds his cross had found Schiattarella at the back post, but the first touch let him down.
It was non-stop action in Ferrara and Immobile took his personal tally to four goals on the day, as a corner was flicked on for his angled drive from 10 yards.
Federico Viviani thought he’d got SPAL back into it, but his free kick smacked against the post, then Thomas Strakosha clawed the Dias Felipe follow-up off the line.
Lazio almost got a sixth, as Jordan Lukaku ran on to a Lucas Leiva through ball and Alfred Gomis parried on to the feet of Marco Parolo, who was in turn denied by a Vicari goal-line clearance.
Paloschi thought he’d made it 3-5, but his goal was ruled offside after Strakosha pushed the Antenucci strike into his path.