SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 19 - 29 Dec 2018 (14.00 UK)
Lazio 1 - 1 Torino
Belotti pen 45 (T), Milinkovic-Savic 62 (L)
Stadio Olimpico

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s scorcher got Lazio a point against Torino in a game dominated by controversial decisions and two red cards.

This was a head-to-head for European ambitions, although the Aquile had climbed back into fourth place thanks to back-to-back victories, albeit only five points ahead of Toro. Joaquin Correa and Luis Alberto were chosen to support Ciro Immobile. Salvatore Sirigu and Koffi Djidji were able to start despite fitness issues.

Torino were unbeaten in 11 Serie A away fixtures coming into this round, their longest positive streak since 14 in 1977.

The Granata came so close to an opener on 16 minutes, as Cristian Ansaldi’s cross found the head of Lorenzo De Silvestri, bouncing off the top of the crossbar.

Ciro Immobile’s deflected strike skimmed the upright, then his powerful rising shot from a Correa pull-back was palmed out from under the bar by Sirigu.

On the stroke of half-time, the referee awarded a soft penalty. Andrea Belotti went down easily under an Adam Marusic push, but above all it was futile, as Luiz Felipe had already intercepted the cross. Nonetheless, Belotti stepped up and converted with the ball squirming under Thomas Strakosha’s glove.

Toro were made to pay for an error, as De Silvestri somehow ballooned over the bar from seven yards on a deflected Ola Aina cross.

Moments later, Lazio got their equaliser, as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic smashed a scorcher into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Koffi Djidji had been in doubt for this game with an injury, but proved decisive with three brave blocks in the space of 30 seconds. He charged down an Immobile effort for a corner, then from that situation got in the way of both Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto attempts.

Francesco Acerbi had strong penalty appeals waved away, as he seemed to be pushed from behind by Meite far harder than Belotti was for his spot-kick in the first half.

It remained wide open, as De Silvestri had a shot cleared practically off the line by Luiz Felipe, then his header from a free kick bounced off the upright.

Referee Irrati completely lost control of the game in the closing stages, infuriating both teams. Adam Marusic was sent off for dissent, swiftly followed by Meite for lashing out an arm on Acerbi.

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Lazio: Strakosha; Luiz Felipe, Acerbi, Radu (Lucas Leiva 57); Marusic, Parolo, Milikovic-Savic, Lulic; Correa (Wallace 64), Luis Alberto (Caicedo 85); Immobile
Torino: Sirigu; Izzo (Moretti 51) (Lyanco 83), Nkoulou, Djidji, De Silvestri, Baselli (Lukic 72), Meitè, Rincon, Ansaldi; Iago Falque, Belotti
Ref: Irrati

Sent off: Marusic 86 (L), Meite 90 (T)