Hernanes and Miroslav Klose did just about enough for Lazio to push past 10-man Atalanta with a 2-0 result in the lunch-time kick-off.
Both sides needed to get back on track, as the Biancocelesti were still smarting from a 4-0 defeat to Siena and their midweek 3-2 Coppa Italia scrape past Hellas Verona. Federico Marchetti returned from a long injury lay-off to replace the suspended Albano Bizzarri, while Tommaso Rocchi took over from Djibril Cissè. They missed Lorik Cana, Stefano Mauri, Libor Kozak, Cristian Brocchi and Abdoullay Konko. Atalanta needed a boost after their 2-0 home defeat to Milan last week and Stefano Lucchini stepped in for Thomas Manfredini.
The referee pointed to the spot after 18 minutes when Antonio Masiello clumsily made a very high and late tackle to fell Stefan Radu as he completed a one-two into the box. Hernanes coolly converted and celebrated the Lazio opener with some acrobatic back-flips.
Atalanta fought back as German Denis only got a touch to the dangerous ball across the face of goal, then the Argentine ran on to Ezequiel Schelotto’s pass to fire straight at Marchetti.
Lazio lost both Hernanes and Andre Dias to knee problems just before half-time, so Francelino Matuzalem and Mobido Diakitè came off the bench.
A free kick was not dealt with effectively, as first Miroslav Klose and then Senad Lulic failed to guide it through a sea of legs.
The second half started badly for Atalanta, as Lucchini received a very harsh second yellow card, as he made little contact with Tommaso Rocchi, but also stuck his foot out unnecessarily. He became the first Orobici player to be sent off this season. The Biancocelesti nearly made it 2-0 from the free kick, as Matuzalem curled inches wide.
Radu was accidentally kicked in the forehead when Denis and Schelotto came together to reach a cross in the box, but was able to continue with a large bandage. Masiello did well to intercept Radu’s cross for an unmarked Rocchi in the centre, while Luciano Zauri drilled wide.
Andrea Consigli showed great awareness to block a dangerous Klose glancing header on the line from Zauri’s cross.
Rocchi was clear on goal when Atalanta expected the offside flag, so Consigli was crucial in tackling the striker one-on-one.
Klose did finally kill off the game in stoppages to put 10-man Atalanta out of the running. The German international gathered with his back to goal, but turned brilliantly to commit a defender and passed it into the near bottom corner of the net.
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Sent off: Lucchini 52 (A)