Serie A Week 23 - 7 Feb 2019 (19.30 UK)
Lazio 1 - 0 Empoli
Caicedo pen 42
Stadio Olimpico

Lazio moved into the Champions League places with a scrappy 1-0 win against Empoli in Serie A on Thursday.

Ciro Immobile joined Luis Alberto out of Lazio’s squad after they failed to prove their fitness in time for the Olimpico fixture.

However, Romulo was selected for the first time since his deadline-day arrival from Genoa last month, playing as a right wingback.

Empoli, meanwhile, handed debuts to new signings Cristian Dell’Orco and Diego Farias.

The Tuscans had avoided defeat in six of their last 16 Serie A meetings with Lazio, but they had also gone seven matches without a win, while the Aquile had come out on top in the last four encounters.

Both sides kept the ball on the deck but with no real penetration until Sergej Milinkovic-Savic had a goal disallowed for grappling with Empoli goalkeeper Ivan Provedel.

Milinkovic then came close again, heading just wide from a couple of yards out, before Caicedo missed from an even better position, although the flag soon went up.

A piece of lovely Lazio play let in Joaquin Correa for a one-on-one with Provedel, but the Empoli glovesman stopped with his legs.

It was left to Caicedo to score his second Serie A goal in as many games from the penalty spot after Provedel misjudged and fouled the Ecuadorian out of desperation.

The second half was even less memorable, despite Acerbi’s free header being tipped around the post and Rade Krunic firing just wide from the edge of the box.

Indeed, a flashpoint saw Milinkovic-Savic fail to last an hour and go off without an injury.

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Lazio: Strakosha; Bastos, Acerbi, Radu; Romulo, Milinkovic (Cataldi 58), Lucas, Berisha (Badelj 77), Lulic; Correa, Caicedo (Neto 84)
Empoli: Provedel; Veseli, Silvestre, Dell’Orco; Di Lorenzo, Krunic, Bennacer, Traore (Acquah 69), Pasqual (Mchedlidze 88); Farias (Oberlin 51), Caputo
Ref: Chiffi