Rome, Feb 20 (IANS) Lazio defeated relegation-bound Hellas Verona 2-0 to end a three-match losing streak and vault over Inter Milan into fourth place in the Serie A football championship.
The protagonist for Simone Inzaghi-coached Lazio was centre-forward Ciro Immobile, who scored a brace in the 55th and 60th minutes on Monday, reports Efe.
Despite the obvious superiority of the hosts, the first half ended scoreless, though Lazio’s Luis Alberto came close with a shot that hit the cross-bar.
The breakthrough materialised in the 55th minute, when Immobile tucked the ball just inside the near post to make it 1-0 for the capital side.
Immobile settled the contest five minutes later with a header from inside the box.
The double brought the Italian international — who turns 28 on Tuesday — to 22 goals for the season, the most in Serie A after 25 matches.
“We were all going through a rough patch, so I am happy for the three points. The negative run didn’t take away our self-belief, but it did make us more tense. When you lose four games in a row, it makes everything feel more difficult,” Immobile, who ended his his six-week scoring drought, was quoted as saying by football-italia.net.
“We worked with the heart and it showed tonight. Negative periods happen to everyone in football and you can only get through them together. The team showed great maturity tonight. Plus tomorrow is my birthday, so it’s great timing!” he said.
With 49 points, Lazio are separated by a point on either side from Inter and local rivals AS Roma.
Verona, who have 16 points, are five points away from safety.