• Lazio eases past hapless Verona

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    MILAN: Journeyman striker Alessandro Matri opened the floodgates for Lazio in an error-strewn 5-2 win over hapless Verona who were left rooted to the bottom of Serie A on Thursday (Friday in Manila).

    Verona traveled to the Stadio Olimpico looking for only their second win of the campaign against a Lazio side desperate to end a three-game winless streak.

    By the end, Luigi Delneri’s visitors were given a stark reminder of what it will take to beat the drop as Lazio moved up to provisional seventh place at 20 points behind leaders Napoli.

    Matri broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time after running on to Danilo Cataldi’s smart through ball into the area to fire a low angled strike past Pierluigi Gollini.

    Cataldi produced his second assist of the game minutes after the restart when captain Stefano Mauri was left alone yards from goal to drill the midfielder’s cross low into the net as Gollini came out to block.

    When Felipe Anderson scored on 69 minutes it was even easier, the Brazilian firing into an empty net as Verona’s defense were left scratching their heads after Matri pounced on to a loose ball to fire his delivery across the area.

    Verona reduced the arrears only three minutes later when Leandro Greco sent a great dipping free kick over the wall and into the top corner to leave Federico Marchetti with no chance.

    Lazio were given a scare seven minutes later when Luca Toni pushed his marker away to toe-poke a cross from the left wing past a rooted Marchetti.

    But all hopes of a fightback were extinguished only three minutes later when second-half substitute Keita Balde arrived late in the area to volley Miroslav Klose’s perfect delivery past Gollini.

    Antonio Candreva wrapped up the points with a well-struck penalty after Senad Lulic had tumbled in the area under a challenge from Gilberto.

    AFP

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