Jonathas scored with his first touch of the game under the driving snow, as 10-man Lazio were beaten by Torino after Michael Ciani’s foolish red card. The Aquile are caught in fifth place by rivals Roma.
The Biancocelesti are in the Europa League quarter-finals and Coppa Italia Final, but had slipped down to joint fifth in Serie A after a home defeat to Fiorentina. They were eager to revive their domestic form, but Hernanes sat out a ban with the injured Sergio Floccari, Miroslav Klose, Andre Dias, Abdoulay Konko and Cristian Brocchi. Torino missed Angelo Ogbonna and the suspended Abou Diop, but Alessio Cerci is celebrating his debut Italy call-up.
It was snowing heavily in Turin, but the game went ahead as planned at the Stadio Olimpico with great difficulty, as the pitch was extremely slippery.
That may well have contributed to the situation after three minutes when Kamil Glik went down under a Federico Marchetti challenge, but he was booked for simulation and replays confirm he left his leg hanging to look for contact.
Lazio came so close after 10 minutes, as an Alvaro Gonzalez cross found Lorik Cana’s powerful header that cracked against the upright with goalkeeper Jean-Francois Gillet rooted to the spot.
Michael Ciani was booked for a foul in midfield on Paulo Vitor Barreto, then 43 seconds later went in on another mistimed sliding tackle on the same player for an inevitable red card. It was incredibly foolish from the French defender, especially in these snowy conditions.
Guillermo Rodriguez nodded past the far post, while Lazio moved Stefan Radu to centre-back and Senad Lulic to full-back.
Nonetheless, 10-man Lazio threatened when Gillet smothered a Kozak angled drive at the base of the near post.
Cerci burst into the box on a Barreto pass and was about to pull the trigger when Lulic went in with a crucially-timed sliding tackle.
After the restart Lulic went on a great forward run, but when Kozak tripped on the pass, Eddy Onazi’s follow-up was blocked by Gillet.
Marchetti had to stop an own goal when Antonio Candreva accidentally nodded a cross towards the net. Play had to be halted temporarily while stadium staff brushed snow off the goal-line, as it had become completely hidden. During this period, both sides completed several substitutions and Torino’s proved decisive.
With his first touch of the game, Jonathas volleyed in a corner at the near post to give Toro the lead with a delightful flick.
Marchetti needed two touches to get a Cerci angled drive under control and Glik timed his tackle perfectly to stop Louis Saha going clear on goal.
In the final minutes Rolando Bianchi pounced on a defensive error, but Marchetti stood his ground and the striker lost his nerve.
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Sent off: Ciani 17 (L)