High-flying Lazio pile pressure on Palermo

Milinkovic-Savic’s sole goal sees Inzaghi’s men set themselves up for capital derby nicely

Gulf News

Milan: A first-half strike by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic fired Lazio to a 1-0 win at Palermo on Sunday in Serie A that condemned the Sicilians to a club record seventh consecutive defeat.

Lazio, who host Roma in the capital derby next Sunday, are now unbeaten in nine games.

Despite missing goalkeeper Federico Marchetti and Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij, Simone Inzaghi’s men proved too hot to handle for Palermo, most of whose fans had spent the day at the beach amid spring temperatures, according to media reports.

Italy forward Ciro Immobile threatened early when he cut in from the left to flash wide of Josip Posavec’s near post.

An Immobile volley moments later came off the crossbar and although Milinkovic-Savic was on hand for the rebound he fired straight at Posavec.

The Serbian midfielder made amends on the half-hour when he fired Dusan Basta’s cut-back past Posavec from the edge of the box after he had been sent clear by Felipe Anderson.

Ilija Nestorovski came close to levelling on the stroke of half-time, only to see Thomas Strakosha get his fingertips to the ball to push it inches wide.

Palermo fans present at the Barbera stadium were buoyed shortly after the restart when Haitam Aleesami blasted just wide from outside the area.

But Posavec was the busier of the two ‘keepers, the Croatian forced into action to stop a Marco Parolo effort from Immobile’s assist.

Posavec looked on as Keita Balde Diao blasted over while at the other end Lazio had Radu to thank for a timely tackle that stopped second-half substitute Robin Quaison going clear.

Palermo finished the match with 10 men after Giancarlo Gonzalez hauled Cristiano Lombardi down as he sprinted clear down the left in the final minutes.

But the hosts kept pressing and were unlucky not to snatch a late leveller when Strakosha batted away a Quaison header.

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