Serie A Week 26 - 29 Feb 2020 (14.00 UK)
Lazio 2 - 0 Bologna
Luis Alberto 18 (L), Correa 21 (L)
Stadio Olimpico

Luis Alberto scored one goal and created another for Joaquin Correa, as Bologna had two goals disallowed, so Lazio go top of the Serie A table awaiting Juventus.

The last time they were sole leaders in the second half of the season was 20 years ago, when winning the Scudetto. This 2-0 victory allowed them to leapfrog Juve on to 62 points, as Juventus-Inter was postponed to May 13 due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Francesco Acerbi, Adam Marusic and Senad Lulic were out injured, but Luiz Felipe returned from suspension. Bologna had Ibrahima Mbaye banned, but Stefano Denswil and Jerdy Schouten available again after they were suspended. Lukasz Skorupski, Roberto Soriano and Nicola Sansone all came back to the starting XI, but Mattias Svanberg, Ladislav Krejci and Mitchell Dijks were injured.

There were moving scenes before kick-off, as Sinisa Mihajlovic saluted the Lazio ultras, having won the Scudetto there as Simone Inzaghi’s teammate.

Joaquin Correa missed a sitter after just two minutes, dribbling past everyone only to then turn wide from seven yards. Luis Alberto’s free kick then hit the side-netting, as Lazio pinned Bologna back from the very start.

Luis Alberto was having an inspired game, his through ball releasing Ciro Immobile only for the angled drive to skim the far post.

Correa completed a give-and-go with Immobile to burst into the box, denied by Lukasz Skorupski from point-blank range.

The deadlock was eventually broken by Luis Alberto, who drilled first time into the near bottom corner from the edge of the area after good work from Correa and Immobile. He had already been limping before that due to an upper thigh issue and howled in pain after the strike.

Nonetheless, he stayed on the pitch and would prove decisive soon after, but first Thomas Strakosha needed a save from point-blank range on Roberto Soriano, as Patric and Luiz Felipe were caught napping on a knockdown.

Moments later, Lazio doubled their lead, as limping Luis Alberto still put a slide-rule pass through for Correa, whose finish took a massive deflection off Danilo to wrong-foot the goalkeeper.

Bologna remained dangerous, as Riccardo Orsolini failed to make contact with a smart Takeshi Tomiyasu pull-back, then curled a promising opportunity just wide and his roll across was cleared with real difficulty by Patric.

The visitors remained aggressive after the restart, Strakosha getting down well to parry Orsolini’s low drive and Luis Alberto tracking back to tackle the winger.

Bologna did have the ball in the net during a chaotic corner on 52 minutes, as Denswil’s header hit Strakosha, then ricocheted into the net back off him from point-blank range. However, the goal was disallowed using VAR because the ricochet had struck Denswil on the arm. Under the new rules, even if the handball would be considered involuntary in a defensive situation, it will always be effective when scoring a goal.

Immobile again wasted a golden opportunity, sprinting forward to dink it over the on-rushing goalkeeper, only to float wide of the empty net.

Bologna had scored again with Takehiro Tomiyasu’s volley, after Rodrigo Palacio’s knockdown was clumsily deflected by Stefan Radu. However, this too was disallowed, because Palacio was marginally offside as he ran on to the ball over the top.

Palacio’s first touch let him down on a Nicola Sansone slide-rule pass, allowing Strakosha to rush off his line and clear.

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Lazio: Strakosha; Patric, Luiz Felipe, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Luis Alberto (Parolo 60), Jony; Correa (Cataldi 74), Immobile (Caicedo 84)
Bologna: Skorupski; Tomiyasu, Bani, Danilo (Skov Olsen 71), Denswil; Poli, Schouten (Sansone 58); Orsolini (Santander 58), Soriano, Barrow; Palacio
Ref: Abisso