Lecce celebrated a third consecutive victory, putting a dampener on Gigi Di Biagio’s SPAL debut and opening up a massive advantage from the drop zone.
The Salentini missed Gabriel, Diego Farias, Biagio Meccariello and Khouma Babacar, with Riccardo Saponara not 100 per cent fit. SPAL made their debut under new coach Di Biagio, who immediately transformed Leonardo Semplici’s tactics to introduce a 4-3-3 formation. Alberto Cerri, Bryan Dabo, Marco D’Alessandro and Francesco Vicari were out of action.
Mauro Vigorito got down well to beat away a Federico Di Francesco angled drive, with the same fate for Lucas Castro, while Marco Mancosu blasted over from 10 yards for Lecce.
Fabio Liverani was forced into a change after 34 minutes when Filippo Falco limped off with a muscular problem, so with Saponara not at his best, Yevhen Shakhov was chosen instead.
Etrit Berisha made a big save to deny Zan Majer from six yards, but only because Kevin Bonifazi had caught the Lecce player on the ankle and put him off balance. A penalty was therefore awarded and Mancosu fired it into the near top corner.
It took just two minutes for SPAL to get back on level terms after the restart, as a Mirko Valdifiori corner found Andrea Petagna, the looping header into the far top corner beyond Vigorito.
The visitors came out fighting for that second half, Castro stinging Vigorito’s gloves from distance, but Lecce restored their advantage with a well-worked move.
They passed from left to right with several players, Mancosu eventually rolling across for Zan Majer to take a touch and then place the angled drive into the far bottom corner off the inside of his right boot. It was the creative midfielder’s first Serie A goal.
Antonin Barak threatened a third for Lecce, firing just over, but there was nearly an equaliser as first Castro mis-kicked the Federico Di Francesco assist, then sent Gabriel Strefezza through to force a Vigorito save.
Di Francesco went for glory himself, a spectacular overhead kick not far wide at all, but could not prevent a fourth consecutive SPAL defeat.
Lecce held on and secured a third Serie A win on the bounce, something this club had not achieved since 2004.
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