SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 23 - 5 Feb 2018 (19.45 UK)
Lazio 1 - 2 Genoa
Pandev 55 (G) Parolo 59 (L) Laxalt 92 (G)
Stadio Olimpico

Genoa stunned Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico, despite having a goal controversially chalked off by VAR.

Having defended resolutely for the first half, the Grifone took the lead on the break before being pegged back almost immediately by Marco Parolo.

Diego Laxalt thought he had given his side the lead again, only for the goal to be chalked off for what was judged to be a handball.

The full-back was not to be denied though, and his late header gave his side a precious win in the capital.

Davide Ballardini made six changes to his Genoa side ahead of the match, with Andrey Galabinov is given the nod ahead of Gianluca Lapadula in attack.

The hosts were without Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, but Felipe Anderson and Nani were both left on the bench as Luis Alberto paired Ciro Immobile up-front in a 3-5-2 system.

Goran Pandev had a half-chance for the visitors inside the first few minutes, but he snatches at his shot and it bobbled harmlessly wide.

It was a cagey start, with the Aquile struggling to break down a deep and compact Grifone defence.

Marco Parolo got on the end of a Martin Caceres cross, but he could only head it over the crossbar.

Lazio appeared to be getting frustrated, with Stefan Radu trying a shot from 30 yards out after half an hour which trickled through to Mattia Perin’s waiting arms.

Genoa almost fashioned a glorious chance, but Oscar Hiljemark couldn’t get the ball out of his feet after excellent link-up play with Galabinov.

At the other end, Luis Alberto attempted to curl one into the far top corner, but he couldn’t quite get the curl necessary to beat Perin.

Former Lazio man Pandev drew the wrath of the Olimpico crowd just before half-time.

Having gone down under a challenge by Lucas Leiva, the forward lay on the pitch, apparently struggling with injury.

However, when the Grifone got the ball on the counter-attack he leapt up, surged forward and played in Diego Laxalt, whose shot was saved by Thomas Strakosha.

The early stages of the second half continued much as the first had, but it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play.

Genoa broke down the right wing, and the ball was cut back for Galabinov, who attempted a back heel to Pandev.

The Bulgarian didn’t make proper contact, but Stefan de Vrij couldn’t cut it out and Pandev was on hand to sweep home with his right foot.

It looked as though it could be a deeply frustrating night for Simone Inzaghi’s men, but they hit back almost immediately.

Martin Caceres whipped in a low cross from the right, and Marco Parolo got a toe on the ball to poke it into the far corner, leaving Perin with no chance.

Inzaghi wasn’t content with a point at home to the Rossoblu though, and the Coach threw on both Nani and Felipe Anderson with 20 minutes left.

Luis Alberto drew a save from Perin at his front post, having connected on the volley with a Jordan Lukaku cross.

Genoa thought they had retaken the lead, but saw Laxalt’s goal ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee.

Perin sent a long ball forward, and Martin Caceres made a mess of his attempted clearance.

In attempting to clear the ball with an overhead kick, the Uruguayan played it against his compatriot’s hand from point-blank range.

Laxalt surged in and put the ball in the net, but VAR ruled that his handball had been deliberate and chalked the goal off.

It looked like the game would end in a 1-1 draw as a result of that decision, but Laxalt could not be denied.

Hiljemark sent a cross in from the right, and the full-back ghosted between two defenders to head the ball into the net.

Lazio appealed for a last-gasp penalty, claiming a handball by Laxalt, but referee Fabio Maresca waved them away and the Grifone took a surprise win.

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Lazio: Strakosha; Caceres, de Vrij, Radu; Marusic (Felipe Anderson, 70), Parolo, Leiva, Murgia (Nani, 70), Lukaku (Patric, 83); Luis Alberto, Immobile
Genoa: Perin; Biraschi, Rossettini, Zukanovic; Pereira (Lazovic, 85), Rigoni (Medeiros, 65), Bertolacci, Hiljemark, Laxalt; Galabinov, Pandev (Bessa, 87)
Ref: Maresca