The Biancocelesti captain notched up a goal and an assist in his side’s first victory of the season...Lazio picked up their first points of the season after seeing off a spirited Bologna side at the Stadio Olimpico.
Influenced by the soaring temperatures in the Italian capital neither side was able to make any major in-roads during a quiet first period.
The Biancocelesti broke the deadlock short way into the second half when Stefano Mauri tapped home from close range. Tommaso Rocchi doubled his side’s lead soon after with a delightful chip over the goalkeeper from 18 yards.
Former fan favourite Gaby Mudingayi closed the distance for the visitors with a wonderful strike from outside the box and he generously held back his celebrations in his former house. The Aquile rounded off the result late on as Hernanes converted from the penalty spot to put the cherry on the cake of a much needed victory.
The home side started brightly with Hernanes immediately proving influential behind Mauro Zarate and Tommaso Rocchi.
Under the intense Roman sun both sides were running at a canter as they failed to pick up the tempo in the opening stages. Edy Reja had opted to utilize a classic 4-4-2 but the Biancocelesti lacked fluidity as they continued to launch long balls forward.
The only real scoring chance of the first half fell to Hernanes who unleashed a powerful drive from range on 36 minutes. Emiliano Viviano proved in fine form between the sticks however and the sides went in all square at the break.
Coach Reja looked to shuffle the pack by introducing Libor Kozak for Zarate after the re-start. The young hitman immediately made an impact and had a decent penalty shout waved away following a heavy challenge by Daniele Portanova.
The deadlock was finally broken on 69 minutes when Mauri tapped home from close range following an expert square ball by captain Rocchi. With Lazio camped in the visitors half the goal had been coming, and the Olimpico faithful demonstrated their appreciation.
Rocchi doubled the Aquile’s lead 15 minutes from time with a delightful chip over Viviano from 12 yards. The Lazio captain was then spared a standing ovation after making way for Pasquale Foggia.
Bologna refused to let their heads drop and it was a former Biancocelesti favourite who reopened the tie just minutes later. Mudingayi unleashed a rocket past Fernando Muslera, but the Belgian refused to celebrate in front of his former fans.
Late into stoppage time new favourite Hernanes even found time to get on the score sheet after converting from the penalty spot. The goal was the icing on the cake for the Brazilian who rounded off his home debut under the Curva Nord.
The win gifted Lazio their first points of the season and moved the Aquile back into the upper realms of the standings. Bologna were left empty handed despite a spirited display and the Rossoblu remain on the solo point mark following their opening round stalemate against Inter.
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