Lazio leapfrogged Inter and catch Roma in joint third place after Ciro Immobile scored one and set up another to give Udinese an eighth straight defeat.
The Aquile had a huge opportunity to climb the standings, as both their rivals for a Champions League spot had already lost this weekend. They visited an Udinese side on club record run of seven consecutive Serie A defeats and used largely an unchanged line-up from Thursday’s 4-2 Europa League quarter-final win over RB Salzburg, bringing in Bastos, Felipe Anderson and Adam Marusic. Massimo Oddo’s job was on the line and he missed injured Seko Fofana and Valon Behrami.
The Friulani haven’t beaten Lazio since a 1-0 away victory in September 2014, managing just a goalless draw from seven competitive meetings. The last Roman loss in Udine was 1-0 in April 2013.
Kevin Lasagna had his first start in two months and immediately made an impact, his shot flashing off target and helping to set up Jens Stryger-Larsen for an attempt smothered by Thomas Strakosha.
The pair combined again to give Udinese the lead on 13 minutes, as Stryger-Larsen got to the by-line and pulled back, where Lasagna got in front of Bastos for a diving header from six yards into the far bottom corner.
Lazio fought back in waves and Lucas Leiva got his head to a corner, which Albano Bizzarri rather clumsily managed to push off the line at the second attempt.
Udinese were furious at the equaliser, because they felt Adam Marusic won back possession with a foul on Jakub Jankto. The move continued, Felipe Anderson’s pull-back was deflected and Senad Lulic rolled across for Immobile to prod home from 12 yards. The hosts wanted it viewed again on VAR, but the ‘silent check’ in the booth ruled there was no need for further action.
It was Immobile’s 27th Serie A goal of the season, making him the most prolific ever Lazio striker in one campaign, as Hernan Crespo and Beppe Signori only ever reached 26.
Immobile added an assist to that tally too, as he laid it off for Luis Alberto, whose angled drive at the near bottom corner squirmed between Bizzarri at the upright. It was a mistake from the veteran goalkeeper, but Lazio turned the game around in 11 minutes.
It was nearly 3-1 moments later, as Samir crucially stopped Felipe Anderson tapping in a Marusic low ball from the right.
Lucas Leiva and Luis Alberto fired over after the restart and Udinese lost Samir after a couple of heavy collisions with Felipe Anderson.
Substitute Alessandro Murgia almost scored within moments of coming off the bench, but acrobatic Danilo defending stopped him reaching the Felipe Anderson cross.
Immobile’s chest and half-volley flashed across the face of goal, while Murgia’s curler was fingertipped round the far post.
Udinese started to push in the final minutes, but Bastos anticipated Lasagna on a Larsen pull-back.
At the 89th minute, a cross was whipped in for the head of Jankto, skimming the upright, as half the Dacia Arena crowd thought that was in.
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