The Biancocelesti were unable to get all three points on home soil against the Sicilians...Lazio were held to a 1-1 draw by Catania at the Stadio Olimpico, failing to close the gap on Milan at the top of the table after their 1-1 draw with Sampdoria yesterday. However, they remain in second place while the Elefanti move up to 18 points in midtable.
Edy Reja used the same starting XI that drew with Parma last weekend, with an attacking midfield trio of Stefano Mauri, Hernanes, and Mauro Zarate supporting Sergio Floccari. Meanwhile, the Etnei had to do without star striker Maxi Lopez due to suspension.
The home side were in control and Hernanes began to become more effective after some early misplaced passes and chested down a cross in the area prodding just wide after a quarter of an hour. A few minutes later, Radu's brilliant run down the left set up Floccari, who dribbled past one defender before seeing his powerful shot expertely palmed away by Mariano Andujar in goal.
Eventually, Giuseppe Biava did find the back of the net with a header, but he was a step offside when Cristian Ledesma's set-piece was struck into the area.
Hernanes turned on the jets from the halfway line, beating three Catania players before being hauled down on the edge of the box by Matias Silvestre, who earned a booking. The ensuing free kick from Zarate curled just wide from the D.
Alejandro Gomez had barely touched the ball, but his speculative effort from 35 yards forced a corner and the Rossoazzurri took advantage against the run of play as Silvestre climbed high to nod in Cristian Llama's cross.
Lazio refused to stay behind though as Brocchi stole the ball in midfield and Hernanes dribbled forward to unleash an ustoppable drive from 20 yards into the bottom corner and the half ended 1-1.
At the outset of the second-half, Zarate nearly scored a contender for goal of the season. His quick feet mesemerised three Catania defenders before the Argentine chipped towards goal, but Andujar just got a fingertip on it to deny his compatriot.
Giuseppe Mascara had been disappointing for the visitors, and made way on 52 minutes for Raphael Martinho as coach Marco Giampaolo took a more defensive approach. In contrast, Reja went more offensive in search of all three points, bringing on Matuzalem and Pasquale Foggia for Ledesma and Mauri.
Foggia floated in a cross for Floccari, but his header was too weak to trouble Andujar with 20 minutes remaining in the contest. Zarate then attempted a solo effort that curled just wide of the top corner with the defence frozen.
Reja's final throw of the dice was to throw on veteran Tommaso Rocchi, but it was to no avail despite dominating possession, having the lion's share of the chances and a thrilling five minutes of injury time.
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