Andre Dias scored a stunning volley to earn the win for Lazio, who also had Giuseppe Biava sent off in the second half...Andre Dias' first-half volley was enough to earn Lazio a 1-0 victory over a resilient Palermo side in Serie A on Sunday afternoon that sees them go four points clear at the top of the table. The away side will have to thank Fernando Muslera for some excellent goalkeeping which kept them in the game.
The game began with electric pace with both sides going at each other from the off with some delightful attacking play.
Palermo were the first to gain a foothold in the match forcing the visitors into their own half as Javier Pastore looked to take control of the game, but Lazio were not shaken by this lightening start and began to creep into the game on the counter attack.
Then just before the half-hour mark Lazio took the lead with a brilliant effort from Dias. The Brazilian met Cristian Ledesma's free-kick with a stunning volley that visibly stunned the home side.
After taking a couple of minutes to compose themselves, Palermo began the assault on Lazio's goal, Federico Balzaretti having a shot easily saved and Pastore going close as he looked to pounce on hesitancy from Fernando Muslera in the Lazio goal.
But just before half-time Palermo had a penalty decision go against them; it looked as if Balzaretti's cross hit Stephan Lichtsteiner on the arm but the referee did not award the penalty and the home side went in at the break feeling aggrieved.
Following the half-time break the home team went straight at Lazio once more getting some joy down the left side but Mauro Zarate, not known fo, his defensive quality. stepped up his game to close down any opportunities they were gaining on his flank.
The Argentinean then started a break which resulted in Stefano Mauri having a golden opportunity to put the table toppers two goals up but Cesare Bovo managed to get back and make an important block.
However, soon after it was Lazio's turn to partake in some desperate defending when Muslera made a magnificent save from Mattia Cassani before Ştefan Radu blocked from Pastore.
It seemed as if nothing could break a water tight Lazio backline but things soon got worse for the away team when Giuseppe Biava was given a second yellow card for a late challenge on Mauricio Pinilla and was subsequently was sent off.
The game then became the Muslera show as Palermo put up their camp inside the Lazio penalty area but could not get past the exceptional Uruguayan, whose performance earned the three points for the Aquile, putting them four points clear at the top of Serie A, while Palermo slip to ninth.
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