Lazio secured a 2-1 victory against determined Bologna thanks to Luis Alberto’s solo strike and Ciro Immobile set up acrobatically by Mohamed Fares.
Thomas Strakosha and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic were rested after a midweek Champions League triumph against Borussia Dortmund, joining injured Senad Lulic and Stefan Radu in the stands, so Pepe Reina made his debut in the Aquile jersey. The Rossoblu made the trip without Andrea Poli, Gary Medel, Andreas Skov-Olsen and Mitchell Dijks.
The visitors started stronger and thought they had taken the lead on 13 minutes when Matias Svanberg swept his finish into the near bottom corner from the D. However, the referee disallowed the goal after viewing it again on the VAR monitor, as Jerdy Schouten had fouled Lucas Leiva in the build-up.
This woke Lazio up and Lukasz Skorupski got down well for a one-handed save on Luis Alberto’s daisy-cutter from the edge of the box.
Takehiro Tomiyasu made a crucial sliding block to prevent Tucu Correa tapping in the Adam Marusic assist from six yards, while Rodrigo Palacio hit the side-netting on the counter-attack.
Lazio were forced into a double change just before half-time, as Lucas Leiva and Marusic limped off for Manuel Lazzari and Gonzalo Escalante.
The hosts had a huge opportunity straight after the restart, as Correa sent Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro clear and he was about to score his second goal in three days, but Danilo and Skorupski threw themselves in his path to deflect the finish wide from eight yards.
Luis Alberto finally broke the deadlock with a fantastic solo effort. He caught Danilo in possession in midfield, nutmegged Svanberg and blasted into the roof of the net. It also means Bologna equalled the all-time record for Europe’s top five leagues by conceding in 38 consecutive rounds, just like Duisburg in 1975.
Riccardo Orsolini could not have come closer to an equaliser when his dipping free kick smacked against the crossbar. Another of his set plays only glanced the heads of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Roberto Soriano.
Lazio doubled their lead with Immobile’s header from close range, but it was all about the assist. Verat Muriqi’s header on a Lazzari cross was going out of play until Mohamed Fares acrobatically hooked it back over his head from the by-line.
Bologna bit back, Reina flying to palm a Musa Barrow effort round the base of the upright, then getting to Soriano’s full stretch volley on the resulting corner.
Soriano hit a fresh-air volley on Federico Santander’s knockback, while Danilo fired off target and Reina got one strong hand to the Emanuel Vignato strike.
Bologna did get one back in stoppages with Lorenzo De Silvestri, who grew up in the Lazio academy, sweeping home the Federico Santander assist.
The visitors wanted the equaliser and poured forward throughout the remaining minutes, creating several mad scrambles in the box and a penalty appeal for a wayward Marco Parolo clearance.
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