Lazio returned to winning ways in style with a 4-1 dismantling of struggling SPAL on a wet afternoon at the Stadio Olimpico.
A Ciro Immobile double and long-distance strikes from Danilo Cataldi and Marco Parolo secured a comfortable three points for the Biancocelesti, with Mirco Antenucci grabbing SPAL’s consolation.
Simone Inzaghi’s side, who suffered a 3-0 defeat to Inter last Monday, now occupy fourth place alone ahead of Milan’s trip to Udinese later in the day.
The hosts took the lead after 26 minutes with a classic move from the Simone Inzaghi playbook, Immobile peeling off at the back post to meet Cataldi’s deep corner with a volleyed finish. The lead lasted just two minutes though, as SPAL struck back through Antenucci, who tapped in from Manuel Lazzarri’s low cross.
The leveller came against the run of play and Lazio regained the advantage 10 minutes before the break when Felipe Caicedo superbly held off three defenders before teeing up Immobile, whose finish took a fortuitous bobble on its way in.
The Biancocelesti extended their lead just before the hour mark when Cataldi, making his first start for Lazio since December 2016, smashed a shot beyond Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, brother of Sergej, from long range.
SPAL’s punishment didn’t end there and Parolo was next to strike, hammering a superb effort into the corner from distance after pinching the ball from Everton Luiz as the visitors attempted to play out from the back.
Immobile was inches away from taking the match ball home, heading a cross off the post as Lazio’s pressure on the Spallini goal refused to relent in the closing stages.
King Ciro’s reign continues
SPAL supporters will be sick of the sight of Ciro Immobile by now. The striker scored four goals in one match for the first time in his career against the Spallini back in January and added another couple on Sunday to cap a superb performance.
Leading the line alongside striker partner Felipe Caicedo once again, the Italy international took his seasonal tally to eight goals in 11 games as the form that saw him named joint-capocannoniere in Serie A last season refuses to slow down.
The 28-year-old has delivered seven league goals in his last seven games and has produced 47 per cent of his team’s Serie A strikes this season. While Simone Inzaghi will undoubtedly be delighted to see his star man hitting top form, that statistic points to an unsettling dependence on the forward and the coach will need his other players to begin sharing the load more regularly.
Fellow forwards Felipe Caicedo, Joaquin Correa and Luis Alberto have just six goals between them this season, while Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has provided just one strike from midfield so far. Marco Parolo’s superb strike made him the club’s next top scorer behind Immobile with three goals – evidence that Inzaghi would benefit from a more prolific alternative in his front line.
SPAL still stuttering
At what point do you start to worry for SPAL? A superb start to the season in which they won four of their first five games saw them showered with praise, but this latest setback was their sixth defeat in their last seven matches, making that win away to Roma a fortnight ago seem even more surprising.
Leonardo Semplici’s side have had a difficult fixture card to contend with during that run, facing the likes of Fiorentina, Inter, Roma and now Lazio, but last week’s heavy home defeat to lowly Frosinone was a more concerning indicator of wh
The Spallini have a trip to Juventus to confront after the international break, but otherwise have some more winnable fixtures ahead in the shape of Cagliari, Empoli and Genoa. The Ferrara outfit