Immobile brace puts Lazio fourth in Serie A


Ciro Immobile scored two early goals as Lazio beat SPAL 4-1 to move fourth in Serie A and into the Champions League places on Sunday.
Simone Inzaghi's side bounced back from a 3-0 home defeat to Inter Milan to move ahead of AC Milan, who play in Udinese later Sunday.
Immobile scored after 26 and 35 minute to bring his tally to eight league goals this season with Danilo Cataldi (59) and Marco Parolo (70) adding two more in the second half.
Lazio with 21 points from 11 games are ten points behind leaders Juventus, who continued their unbeaten run with a 3-1 win over Cagliari on Saturday.
Inter Milan crushed Genoa 5-0 on Saturday to reclaim second spot on goal difference ahead of Napoli, who had eased past Empoli 5-1 on Friday, and keep the pressure on the seven-time reigning champions.
"We had to redeem ourselves after the knockout against Inter," said Inzaghi, whose side are now five points ahead of city rivals Roma, who were held 1-1 by Fiorentina on Saturday.
"Today's three points are very important for us in terms of ranking. The lads remained united and compact without suffering the psychological backlash (of defeat to Inter)."
Watched by Italy coach Roberto Mancini, Italian international Immobile volleyed in the first after 26 minutes off a Cataldi corner, past SPAL goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, brother of Lazio midfielder Sergej, who was also playing at the Stadio Olimpico.
But the celebrations were short lived with Mirco Antenucci tapping in the equaliser for SPAL two minutes later.
Vanja Milinkovic-Savic denied Immobile from close range and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic fired over before Immobile's second.
Felipe Caicedo broke through the SPAL defence and set up Immobile, whose shot took a deflection off Filippo Costa over the SPAL goalkeeper.
Blunders by SPAL's Brazilian defender Everton Luiz allowed Cataldi and Parolo to break through in the second half, but Immobile was denied a hat-trick by the woodwork.
SPAL, a club from Ferrara in Emilia-Romagna, stay 15th after their seventh defeat of the season.
In Genoa, Torino moved one point off the Europa League places in seventh with a 4-1 win over Sampdoria.
Andrea Belotti scored two, nodding in the first after 12 minutes and the second from the penalty spot before the break, with Iago Falque (56) and Armando Izzo (78) adding another two in the second half.
Fabio Quagliarella pulled a goal back on 65 minutes for Sampdoria who are three points off the European berths in tenth.
Sassuolo, meanwhile, inflicted a seventh consecutive defeat on tailenders Chievo with Federico Di Francesco (42) scoring and Emanuele Giaccherini turning into his own net in injury time.
Struggling Frosinone held midtable Parma to a goalless draw in a bad-tempered game in Emilia-Romagna with Leo Stulac send off from the hosts in the second half for a reckless challenge on Raman Chibsah.
© 2018 AFP