Genoa had been in complete control with Rodrigo Palacio and Bosko Jankovic on target, though 10-man Lazio gave them a scare in this 3-2 result.
Pasquale Marino’s men had won their last three home games and were gunning for a fourth, though Lazio have the best away record in Serie A and were fresh from a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over Milan. Both sides had injury problems, as Emiliano Moretti, Marco Rossi, Miguel Veloso, Luca Antonelli and Cesare Bovo missed out for the Grifone, so Kevin Constant was a make-shift full-back. Their midweek game with Atalanta was snowed off. The Biancocelesti were without Stefan Radu, Cristian Brocchi, Libor Kozak, Stephen Makinwa, Emiliano Alfaro, Lorik Cana, Stefano Mauri and Andre Dias, while Giuseppe Biava was not 100 per cent fit either, but Miroslav Klose returned from a thigh problem. Hernanes pulled out during the warm-up, making way for Tommaso Rocchi.
It was a special game for Giuseppe Sculli, who returned to Genoa last week after a year in the Lazio jersey, while it was Rodrigo Palacio’s 30th birthday. The Aquile were unbeaten at Marassi since a 1-0 result in March 1992, picking up five wins and two draws here.
Genoa took the lead with an audacious strike from Palacio, as he flicked a corner off his heel from the outside edge of the six-yard box that looped into the far top corner past a flailing Federico Marchetti.
Alejandro Gonzalez should’ve made it 1-1 moments later, but wasted a great assist by Klose when he flashed an angled drive across the face of goal with the aid of a deflection. To make matters worse, Rocchi – a late addition to the starting XI – also limped off to make way for Antonio Candreva.
Instead, Genoa doubled their lead thanks to some utterly chaotic defending. Marchetti flapped at thin air on a Sculli cross from the left, then Bosko Jankovic’s shot took a deflection off the goalkeeper, but Marius Stankevicius somehow failed to clear it off the line, as he wasn’t quite at full stretch.
Gilardino was so close to getting the decisive touch on a Palacio ball across the face of goal. Jankovic unleashed an absolute screamer of a free kick that swerved inches past the near post.
Lazio finally threatened five minutes from the break, when a corner found Klose’s bullet header and a spectacular diving Sebastien Frey save. The following corner was on the forehead of Senad Lulic, who nodded just wide.
It was a disastrous start to the second half, as within nine seconds Gonzalez fell over and allowed Jankovic to go clear, placing a precise angled drive across Marchetti into the far bottom corner.
Gilardino’s first touch let him down when trying to control a cross from the left, again in acres of space. Lazio were given a life-line when Giandomenico Mesto fell into Lulic for a penalty. Cristian Ledesma buried the spot-kick under the crossbar to put the Biancocelesti back in the running.
A desperate Abdoullay Konko defensive header stopped a corner sneaking in at the back stick, while Ledesma curled wide from the edge of the box.
Fernando Belluschi was given his Genoa debut and immediately helped create a chance that Kucka drilled just wide.
Lazio ended the game with 10 men, as Mobido Diakite was shown a straight red card for something he said to the referee.
Gilardino shrugged off a Lulic challenge to force a save out of Marchetti with his angled drive, but 10-man Lazio reduced the deficit to just one goal. Klose knocked a Ledesma cross back for Gonzalez to smash home from seven yards.
As last week against Napoli, Genoa managed to fumble a 3-0 lead for a nervous ending to the game.
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Sent off: Diakite 82 (L)