Germany international ends chaotic week with resounding victory for his under fire coach
A solitary strike from Miroslav Klose was enough to give under fire coach Edy Reja the win and maintain their push for Champions League football next season.
After a turbulent week, the home side were led out by coach Reja, having reversed his decision to resign.
Reja had difficulties selecting a line-up with many first choice regulars unavailable through injury and defenders Andre Dias and Francelino Matuzalem out due to suspension. German forward Miroslav Klose was supported by influential Brazilian Hernanes while Rossi had his own concerns with Amauri ruled out by injury, leaving top scorer Stevan Jovetic to lead the line for the Viola.
The opening stages were cagey with neither side taking the initiative as Lazio looked to nullify the threat of youngster Jovetic from the offset, while Klose also failed to stamp his authority during the opening minutes.
This theme continued into the opening 30 minutes as neither Federico Marchetti nor Artur Boruc were tested as both sides struggled to create any real goalscoring opportunities.
The first chance of note came from Adem Ljajic, whose tame chance was directed straight at home custodian Marchetti.
The half itself lacked any real spark until Biancocelesti playmaker Hernanes dinked a pass through for Klose who sprung the visitors’ slack marking to coolly take the ball around Boruc to slot home his 12th league strike of the campaign.
The goal proved to be the catalyst for the match as Lazio’s confidence grew and this was demonstrated once again as Javier Garrido then hit the crossbar, albeit via a deflection from Valon Behrami following more fine work from Hernanes.
The Viola had a fair amount of possession but couldn’t convert their play into chances with attacker Jovetic starved of support or service. The first half was a short insight into their season as they lacked ideas throughout.
The second half was a different encounter as the visitors provided a much greater threat and subsequently had a goal disallowed, as substitute Alessandro Curci was ruled offside following a wonderful fingertip save from Marchetti.
Fiorentina looked a different outfit as they grew in confidence and Jovetic was at the centre of this. Curci helped provide the spark that the Viola were significantly lacking in the first half, but ultimately his efforts were to no avail as the home side saw out the match in a comfortable manner.
The victory gives Lazio the perfect boost in preparation for next weekend’s derby while Fiorentina continue to plummet ominously towards the drop zone.