Lazio 4-2 Genoa: Eagles propel into Champions League places after rampant second half display
Biava and Palacio scored in a dour opening half but the hosts pulled ahead with three goals from Hernanes and Rocchi before Criscito grabbed a late consolation
By Patrick Devaney
Lazio hammered Genoa 4-2 as a domineering second half performance paved the way for all three points. Despite two early goals, the first half proved to be an uninspiring affair but a whirlwind start to the second period by the home side blitzed the visitors beyond repair.
The Eagles wasted very little time in breaking the deadlock and did so through Gisueppe Biava after a brilliantly whipped in corner by Cristian Ledesma. The centre-back was on hand to take advantage of some static defending and give his team a seventh minute lead with a thumping header directed into the top right corner.
However, Genoa took just five minutes in levelling matters thanks to some more amateur defending. Fernando Muslera made a fine save from Mauro Boselli’s curling shot but the Uruguayan keeper could do nothing about Rodrigo Palacio slotting in the rebound from six yards as his defence failed to react in time.
The equalizer looked to have shocked the hosts as their early supremacy vanished. However, despite Davide Ballardini’s men beginning to boss the match, they had little to show for their enterprise. Lazio's defence held resolutely after their earlier concession which ensured the ball would be bogged down in the middle third for the time being.
Floro Flores’ speculative lobbed effort from 35 yards personified the frustration felt by Genoa as it sailed harmlessly over Muslera’s crossbar.
The match could have been mistaken for a friendly such was the pedestrian pace of proceedings. Chances were rare and as the halftime whistle blew, the Lazio fans booed their players off the pitch after a vapid display.
The second half began in whirlwind fashion as chances were created at will. Immediately after the Lazio goalkeeper made a stunning save, Edy Reja’s men reclaimed the lead in the 51st minute. Rocchi latched onto Danielli’s lobbed through ball and with his second touch, the striker calmly slipped the ball past the advancing Eduardo.
Reja’s half-time words must have been inspirational as in the 55th minute, the home side doubled their advantage. Ledesma curled in another tempting cross from the right wing which Hernanes powered accurately inside the near post to give the Eagles a deserved 3-1 lead.
Lazio were rampant now and they added to their tally in the 66th minute, again through Hernanes. The Brazilian midfielder blasted the ball into the bottom right corner after Mauro Zarate picked him out with an intelligent pass.
The tempo of the game dropped following the flurry of goals from Lazio as their opponents also looked down and out after seeing their defence breached three times in just 16 second half minutes.
There was time for Floro Flores to divert Criscito's powerful left foot drive into the net to put some respect back onto the scoreline. The 89th minute goal proved meaningless as the hosts held on for a thoroughly deserved 4-2 win.
The rousing victory sees Lazio go fourth for now above Udinese. The demoralising defeat for Genoa means they rest in 10th place as both clubs have just a single game left in their league campaigns.Keep up to date with Serie A and Italy news with Goal.com's Italy page and join Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!
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