Lazio earned a comfortable 3-0 victory away to Chievo, as Miroslav Klose netted a late brace.
Both sides were knocked out of the Coppa Italia on Wednesday and knew they had to focus their energy on Serie A. The Biancocelesti had a lengthy injury list including Cristian Brocchi, Libor Kozak, Emiliano Alfaro, Lorik Cana, Stefano Mauri and Stephen Makinwa. Djibril Cisse scored in the Coppa for his first goal since September, but was dropped here in favour of Tommaso Rocchi and Miroslav Klose. Chievo had a full squad to choose from and just one defeat from the last five rounds.
A crucial Stefano Sorrentino one-handed save parried the Senad Lulic strike from point-blank range and a teammate helped to clear it off the line. The opportunity had been set up by Klose.
Hernanes opened the scoring in a chaotic move, as Rocchi’s deflected effort was going wide until the Brazilian tapped in at the back post from point-blank range.
Luciano found space only to horribly scuff the volley and Sergio Pellissier skipped away from Abdoullay Konko for Federico Marchetti to deflect it round the post. Alberto Paloschi had the ball in the net, but only thanks to a foul on Marchetti.
Lazio had the opportunity to double their advantage, but Rocchi’s first touch was too heavy when sent clear by Lulic, then Sorrentino smothered at the feet of Hernanes.
In the second half Lulic lifted his finish over the bar after dispossessing Bostjan Cesar at the by-line, while Marchetti had his gloves stung by a Cyril Thereau screamer.
Lazio had some great scoring opportunities, but couldn’t kill off the game. Lulic squirmed between two defenders to get into the box, drew out the goalkeeper only to incredibly hit the crossbar of an open goal from a tight angle.
Thereau risked an equaliser moments later, blasting over as Marchetti came rushing off the line, while Sorrentino caught a Djibril Cisse header.
Lazio did finish it off in the final minutes with Klose sprinting past a tentative Marco Andreolli to roll the cool as a cucumber shot past the ‘keeper.
Less than a minute later Klose had completed his brace, again given far too much space by Andreolli as he turned and flashed an angled drive into the far bottom corner.
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