The game began very slow until Ștefan Radu lashed a spectacular effort beyond Sassuolo keeper Gianluca Pegolo ten minutes before the break, as the neroverdi's defensive work was undone in an instant.
It was the lone spark in a half without any clear-cut chances whatsoever. Lazio weren't good enough to break Sassuolo's defence down; Sassuolo weren't good enough to string more than a couple of passes together. The result was a dour midfield battle in which no one ever looked like scoring, and in which the biggest excitement resulted from Radu's slight scuffle with Aleandro Rosi.
Cristian Ledesma in midfield sparked a quick neroverdi counter-attack with 20 minutes remaining, eventually culminating in Sergio Floccari stroking home first-time from inside the area; returning to haunt his former club. Unfortunately for the Emilians, their joy was short-lived.
It took just a couple of minutes for Lazio to reassert their advantage, after a slip by Sassuolo substitute Reto Ziegler was pounced upon by Álvaro González. He played Klose in, who made amends for his earlier miss by slotting past Pegolo in a one-on-one. Surely this time, the neroverdi wouldn't have a response ...
Amazingly, they did. The game had rapidly transformed from a miserable midfield skirmish to a late goalfest, with the flurry continuing courtesy of a brilliant free-kick from Sassuolo substitute Antonio Floro Flores. Sassuolo coach Alberto Malesani scurried excitedly about the touchline, perhaps believing his job had just been saved.
Then Lazio sealed the win with a 3rd goal, and this time without reply. Radu hadn't scored a goal all season before this match, but added his match-winning second in the last few minutes, albeit in slightly fortuitous circumstances. His cross from the left flew straight through Paolo Cannavaro and Antonio Candreva, deceiving Pegolo and creeping inside the far post.
Lazio: Berisha; Radu, Dias (Ciani 56'), Biava, Konko; Lulić, Ledesma, González (Onazi 90+4'); Mauri (Biglia 65'), Candreva; Klose.
Goals: Radu (36', 83'), Klose (74').
Sassuolo: Pegolo; Ariaudo, Cannavaro, Mendes; Longhi, Magnanelli, Biondini, Chibsah (Ziegler 46' [Floro Flores 79']), Rosi; Zaza (Berardi 61'), Floccari.
Goals: Floccari (72'), Floro Flores (79').
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone