Lazio saw their top four hopes collapse after a shock 2-1 home defeat to already-relegated Chievo, as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was sent off for a reaction foul.
The Biancocelesti were only three points adrift of the Champions League spots, despite their controversial and ill-tempered defeat to Milan. That’s because they beat Udinese 2-0 in Wednesday’s rescheduled Week 25 fixture, postponed from February. Chievo were mathematically relegated last week, having won just one game all term.
Lucas Leiva was suspended, with Valon Berisha and Jordan Lukaku out for the rest of the season. Joaquin Correa was not 100 per cent fit, so Felipe Caicedo partnered Ciro Immobile, with squad rotation kept to a minimum ahead of Wednesday’s Coppa Italia semi-final with Milan.
Chievo might’ve been already in Serie B, but they had the first real chance at the Olimpico when Riccardo Meggiorini’s angled drive skimmed the far post on a Perparim Hetemaj assist.
Lazio’s injury crisis flared up again, as within 15 minutes Stefan Radu limped off to make way for Luiz Felipe. Felipe Caicedo couldn’t quite get his head to a Riza Durmisi cross, only skimming it from a promising position.
Things got worse for the Aquile, as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was fouled by Mariusz Stepinski and reacted angrily by kicking out at the Chievo striker. It was a straight red card and Lazio went down to 10 men just 34 minutes in.
Simone Inzaghi made another substitution, introducing Marco Parolo for defender Patric, and it was almost decisive. Parolo had only been on for six minutes when he combined with Durmisi and forced Semper into a tricky save from close range.
Chievo took full advantage of the situation with a quick one-two of goals to stun the Olimpico crowd into silence. First, 18-year-old Emanuel Vignato scored his debut Serie A goal with a right-foot curler into the top corner.
Moments later, the Flying Donkeys went on the counter and Perparim Hetemaj was allowed a free header on Fabio Depaoli’s cross for 2-0.
Felipe Caicedo took matters into his own hands and surged forward from midfield, finishing it off with a low left-foot drive.
Semper was made to work rather harder than expected to prevent a Bostjan Cesar own goal.
Joaquin Correa thought he’d at least done enough to rescue a point in stoppages, but his right-foot finish smacked against the upright. He’d already nodded over the bar from close range on a Ciro Immobile cross.
Lazio lost their tempers again, as Luis Alberto received a red card for dissent after the final whistle.
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Sent off: Milinkovic-Savic 34 (L), Luis Alberto (after final whistle, L)