Parma caused a huge upset this evening by defeating Lazio 3-1 with a Sergio Floccari brace against his old club, leaving the fight for third place wide open.
The Biancocelesti wanted to keep hold of third place and Champions League qualification, but were without Miroslav Klose, Senad Lulic, Marius Stankevicius and the suspended Mobido Diakitè. Hernanes and Antonio Candreva were benched due to poor form, giving Libor Kozak a rare start with Tommaso Rocchi. Parma also needed points to avoid being sucked into the relegation zone and welcomed back Cristian Zaccardo from a ban and MacDonald Mariga from injury. Lazio, with dark blue away shirts, wore black armbands after the death of former goalkeeper Franco Mancini.
Parma took the lead with their first chance of the game. Sebastian Giovinco flicked back from the by-line for Sergio Floccari’s header well parried by Federico Marchetti, but Mariga thumped home the rebound from nine yards.
Floccari just failed to connect with another Giovinco cross, but the move continued. Marchetti flapped at a corner and the wayward Gabriel Paletta volley from the edge of the box turned into an unintentional assist for Floccari to nod in at the back post.
Andre Dias picked up a muscular problem and tried to run through it, but risked giving away a third goal under pressure from Giovinco, putting it out for a corner. Dias could not continue and was replaced by Lionel Scaloni, moving Stefan Radu to centre-back.
Lazio finally created their own opportunity from a Cristian Ledesma free kick down the right, but Stefano Mauri got in between defenders and only grazed it with his head from six yards. Giovinco went on the counter and stung Marchetti’s palms on the half-volley.
Abdoullay Konko was fortunate only to receive a yellow card for insulting the referee. It should’ve been 3-0, as Giovinco again burst forward on a Daniele Galloppa pass and flashed his angled drive across the face of goal.
Lazio got one back with their first real shot on target. Substitute Scaloni unleashed a hopeful snapshot from the right side of the pitch and it took a decisive deflection off Massimo Gobbi to wrong-foot Marchetti at the near post.
In first half stoppages Parma almost got that third, as Jonathan Biabiany’s cross into the six-yard box was turned wide by Galloppa.
After the restart Giovinco had penalty appeals, but the ball clearly struck Giuseppe Biava on the chest. Marchetti flew to palm a deflected Gobbi effort out from the near top corner, as it was heading into the near top corner.
From that set play, Marchetti flapped again and was glad to see Lazio defenders clear from Zaccardo. Floccari’s smart turn left two defenders for dead to fire over the bar. Giovinco wriggled through a crowd of defenders, but this time Marchetti was able to close him down.
Play was halted on 63 minutes when the floodlights at the Stadio Tardini failed. There was a five-minute break while the system warmed back up again and play could resume.
Kozak should’ve equalised for Lazio, but he headed a corner on to the turf that bounced over the bar from six yards. Hernanes came off the bench and Marchetti rushed off his line to clear Giovinco’s pass to Floccari.
Parma added a third to their tally with Giovinco’s free kick from practically the corner flag, as Floccari’s volley struck the inside of the near post from point-blank range and ricocheted into the net past a stunned Marchetti.
A section of the lights on the stands went off again, but there was enough light for play to continue. Giovinco was about to score an incredible solo effort, as he rode a tackle to gather just over the halfway line, then turned Scaloni inside out twice on the edge of the box before stinging Marchetti’s palms at the near post.
Floccari pulled back for Giovinco, but the shot was charged down, while at the other end Mirante smothered a Kozak strike.
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