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December 15, 2012
• Stadio Olimpico, Roma
Referee: P. Mazzoleni
• Attendance: 45500
M. Klose 82'
Either way, not the easiest encounter on the eye, but an enthralling one nevertheless. I'm Ben McAleer and I hope you've enjoyed goal.com's live coverage of Lazio - Inter Milan. Have yourself a wonderful evening and enjoy the remainder of your weekend.
And that's full time at the Stadio Olimpico. Lazio hold on for all three points after Klose's second half strike with eight minutes to go. It's harsh on Inter, who twice hit the post after the interval, but they lose ground on Juventus in the title hunt, while Lazio move level on points with third placed Napoli.
90' + 3'
Cassano delivers after some good work on the right. He picks out Ranocchia, who looks to keep the ball alive, but Lazio clear.
90' + 2'
Inter camped deep inside the Lazio half as they push for a richly deserved equaliser.
90' + 1'
Into four minutes of added time with an Inter corner. Cassano receives a pass after a short corner and delivers a sublime ball into the dangerzone, but no teammates are on hand to get on the end of his cross.
Yellow Card Antonio Candreva
Inter looking sluggish in possession now as Nagatomo needlessly concedes a throw in. If Lazio secure the win, the hosts would've taken 19 out of a possible 21 points at the Stadio Olimpico this season.
Cassano picks out Coutinho with a free kick and with his first touch fires a volley over from the edge of the box. Machetti not happy that the Inter midfielder was unmarked and able to get his effort away.
If things stay as they are, Inter will remain four points behind Juventus, while Lazio will move level on points with Napoli.
Assist Stefano Mauri
Goal Miroslav Klose
GOAL!!! Moments after Klose wastes a good effort, he ensures he makes amends. The Germany international blasts past Handanovic into the far bottom corner from the edge of the 18 yard box to give Lazio the advantage. His first goal against Inter in four attempts.
It's all opening up now. Klose's penalty appeal is brushed to one side, with the German catching his foot in the turf. Inter counter, but Milito is pulled up for a foul on Biava.
Meanwhile, Klose is picked out in space around the six yard box. Foolishly, he takes a touch, only to see the ball squirm away from him and Handanovic smothers.
Substitute Candreva cuts inside onto his right, leaving Zanetti in his wake. He looks to test Handanovic, only to drag his effort just wide of the near post.
If things remain as they are, Inter will move within one point closer to Juventus, while Lazio will move two clear of AS Roma and Fiorentina. However, with all three playing tomorrow, neither side will want to drop points tonight.
Inter sense they can nick a win here, but Lazio are dangerous on the counter. Little over 15 minutes to go and three big points are there for the taking.
The resulting corner is played back to Palacio and he looks to pick his spot in the far corner. However, he can't wrap his foot around the ball enough and it curls agonisingly wide. Inter finally spring into life.
Machetti denies Inter twice in quick succession. First, Nagatomo lays back to Cassano. The striker looks to bend his effort into the far corner, but the Lazio 'keeper tips onto the post. Nagatomo is there for the follow up and thinks he's scored, only to be denied by Machetti again, who tips around the post for a corner.
With 20 minutes to go, Lazio win a dangerous free kick around 25 yards out after Ranocchia brings down Klose. Hernanes bends over the wall, but Handanovic sidesteps across and denies the Brazilian.
Cassano looks to force his way through the Lazio backline. However, the hosts clear, but only as far as Gargano. The ball is bouncing and the midfielder gets too much underneath his shot and it's balloons over for a goal kick.
Two chances in quick succession for Inter. First Guarin strikes the post after having Machetti beaten from the edge of the box. Moments later, Milito attempts a speculative half volley from 20 yards out, but his effort trickles wide for a goal kick.
Yellow Card Abdoulay Konko
Inter win a free kick on the right of the 18 yard box. Cassano looks to roll back to Guarin to strike, but Candreva reads the danger and breaks out of the wall to block.
Handanovic flaps at a corner, but is let off by Pereira receiving a kick to the head. He can breathe a sigh of relief after that.
After showing signs of bubbling into the life, the game appears to have reverted to it's familiar pattern from the opening hour.
An Inter counter looks to be wasted as Cassano plays a probing long ball forward for Palacio. With no danger on, Radu inexplicably touches wide for a corner, despite being under no pressure. However, Cassano's corner drifts out of play and for a Lazio goal kick.
At the other end, Nagatomo squares his pass for Guarin. The Inter midfielder drifts inside onto his left, but drags his effort wide for a Lazio goal kick. It appears this game is beginning to open up.
Lazio counter with Mauri driving forward. He picks out Hernanes and for the first time in the game, the Brazilian is in space and has time to pick his place. However, he opens his body too much and fires high and wide.
Guarin looks to drive the set piece under the wall, but the Lazio wall hold firm and clear.
Inter have a free kick from around 30 yards out after a foul on Cambiasso. The Argentine is currently off the field receiving treatment.
Pereira is picked out on the left by Nagatomo. The Inter star looks to deliver for Milito, but is beaten to the ball by Marchetti, who punches well clear from danger.
Yellow Card Walter Samuel
Small tactical change for the visitors it appears, Nagatomo and Zanetti have swapped flanks for the second half. Lulic gave the Japan international a torrid time in the first half.
The two commentators are lavishing the praise on Javier Zanetti. I have to echo their sentiments, the Argentine's exploits are truly remarkable.
Lazio have only scored two goals in the last 30 minutes of games in Serie A this season.
Lazio started off the stronger of the two teams after the restart, but Inter hold their shape and the attack breaks down.
Inter get us underway for the second half. Let's hope it's a more open affair than the first.
Half time here at the Stadio Olimpico. No real clear cut opportunities with the main talking point being Klose's penalty appeal. Either way, I'll be back in 15 minutes for the second half of action.
We're back at the Stadio Olimpico and close to kicking off the second half. And who is that in the crowd? The Little With himself Juan Sebastian Veron, with the Argentine playing for both teams during his illustrious career.
45' + 1'
The ball is pulled back to Mauri on the edge of the Inter box, primed to be struck. The Lazio midfielders decision making is poor and the visitors clear.
Yellow Card W. Gargano
Konko delivers a ball deep into the Inter 18-yard box. Nagatomo takes no chances and heads away from danger as they fourth official indicates there will be a minimum of two minutes added time.
Inter probing as they look to net the opener just minutes before the interval.
Inter counter through Mauri who strides forward. He aims to pick out Klose, who appears to have been brought down. The German is furious, with replays showing Pereira clipped his heels. Could easily have been a Lazio penalty.
Inter defend the first, but only for a second corner. Klose looks to head goalbound, only to see his effort come off teammate Biava and balloon out for a goal kick.
Lulic pushes forward, but hesitates from shooting. He turns and picks out Hernanes, who plays into Mauri superbly. The Lazio man can't quite get the ball out from under his feet and Inter recover to clear for a corner.
Pereira back on the pitch as Lazio continue to probe. Konko is picked out on the right, who crosses for Klose. However, Nagatomo is on hand to block his effort and Inter clear.
No real flow to the game at present. Both solid defensively, but the two teams are lacking the creative spark. Meanwhile, Pereira appears to be struggling and is currently receiving treatment on the sidelines.
Guarin wins a corner for the Nerazzuri. Cassano delivers and picks out Ranocchia, but the Italian's header drifts over. The powerful defender could've done better with that.
Hernanes finally has space with a half hour gone. He strides forward and from 25 yards, he unleashes towards Handanovic. However, the Brazilian doesn't quite catch the ball properly and the Inter 'keeper holds easily.
Interesting that Stramaccioni is now the longest serving Inter manager since Jose Mourinho left for Real Madrid in 2010.
Cassano looks to play in Nagatomo on the right, but Ciani comes across to cover with ease. Excellent reading of the game from the Frenchman.
Lulic heads back across goal for Klose. He can't control and Ranocchia clears, but only as far as Ledesma. He fires goalbound and Handanovic will be relieved to see his effort curl wide for a goal kick.
Hernanes is becoming more and more frustrated. He can't find the space he needs to work his magic with Zanetti sat on him and monitoring every move he makes. The Lazio midfielder finally works an inch of space, but blasts over from distance.
A Lazio corner isn't properly cleared again as the ball is played into Ledesma by Ciani. He fires goalbound and after his shot bounces around the 18-yard box, Ranocchia wins a goal kick. A reprieve for the visitors.
Lazio continuously looking to play in Lulic and get him to run at Nagatomo.
Great work by Klose, who picks out Lulic. The Germany international delays his pass for a second too long and the latter is flagged for offside.
Guarin and Nagatomo link up expertly on the right. The former looks to play in the latter, but it's read perfectly by Ciani, who hoofs clear.
Samuel on his final warning now after needlessly going through the back of Klose around the halfway line.
A second successive corner for Lazio, but Ranocchia heads away for a throw in. Hosts have certainly started the brighter of the two sides.
Ciani picks out Konko with an inch prefect pass. The Lazio full-back crosses, but Samuel slices his clearance for a corner. The ball isn't properly cleared by Inter and eventually falls to Konko again. He looks to drive across goal, but it evades his teammates and drifts out for a goal kick.
Nagatomo looks to pick out Cambiasso, but his cross his chested back towards Marchetti. Before the 'keeper can gather however, Milito dives in to try and nick the ball away. Referee isn't impressed with his attempt to win the ball from the Lazio shotstopper and blows for a free kick.
Klose works his way through the Inter midfield before playing back to Mauri. The midfielder picks out Lulic in space on the left, who delivers into the danger area, only for the visitors to head clear.
A lofted ball over the top from Cambiasso for Milito fails to reap rewards and Lazio win a goal kick. The Inter front-man could profit from the slick surface this evening.
Lazio appear keen to give Lulic the chance to run at Nagatomo on the left. The Bosnian has made a bright start to the encounter.
Ranocchia cheaply gives the ball away to Lulic, who delivers. There is too much on his cross and Inter clear.
Hernanes picked out by Lulic in the middle of the park with time and space. The Brazilian lets fly from distance, but misses the target. Handanovic was not at all happy that no Inter player closed down the midfielder.
Ciani was down clutching his face, but we're back underway once again.
Very wet surface at the Stadio Olimpico means this should be a slick, fast-paced encounter.
And it's Lazio who get us underway.
We're just moments away from kick off at the Stadio Olimpico.
The last time these two teams met, Lazio emerged 3-1 victors. However, a win for Inter will see them move to within one point of Serie A leaders Juventus, albeit, having played a game more.
Meanwhile, for Inter: Handanovic; Nagatomo, Ranocchia, Samuel, Pereira; Zanetti, Gargano, Cambiasso; Guarin; Cassano, Milito
Some team news to get you ready for the game, first up hosts Lazio: Marchetti; Konko, Ciani, Biava, Radu; Mauri, Gonzalez, Ledesma, Hernanes, Mauri; Klose
Good evening all and welcome to goal.com's live blog of Lazio vs Inter Milan. I'm Ben McAleer and I'll be your man at the helm for this Serie A encounter.
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