Luis Alberto and Joaquin Correa delivered a quick one-two punch in the first half to send Lazio to the Serie A summit thanks to a 2-0 victory over Bologna.
With Lega Serie A opting to postpone five matches, including the Derby d’Italia between Juventus and Inter, the Biancocelesti made the most of their opportunity to leapfrog the Bianconeri and move into top spot for the time being thanks to a professional performance.
Simone Inzaghi’s men did their work early, netting in the 18th and 21st minute through Luis Alberto and Correa to move into first on 62 points and extend their unbeaten run in Serie A to 21 matches.
There were moving scenes before kick-off as Lazio Ultras saluted Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who spent six seasons with the Biancocelesti from 1998 to 2004.
It should have been 1-0 for the home side after just two minutes when Correa dribbled past everyone only to fire wide from seven yards out.
Luis Alberto followed suit, firing his free-kick into the side of the net as Lazio took the game to Bologna.
The Spaniard then picked out Ciro Immobile, who’s angled drive skimmed the far post, while Lukasz Skorupski did well to deny the Italian from point-blank range minutes later.
To the surprise of no-one the deadlock was broken in the 18th minute. Luis Alberto fired a first time effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
The goal woke Bologna up, as some poor marking by Patric and Luiz Felipe let Roberto Soriano fire on goal, only for Thomas Strakosha to make a great save.
It proved decisive as Lazio doubled their lead in the 21st minute. Luis Alberto picked out Correa with a great through-ball, and the Argentine’s deflected effort off Danilo found its way past Skorupski.
Bologna responded through Riccardo Orsolini, who just failed to get on the end of a Takeshi Tomiyasu pull-back, while Patric did well to clear a dangerous ball across the box by the Italian.
Stefano Denswil thought he had pulled one back after the restart when his header from close range was parried by Strakosha and ricocheted off the defender into the back of the net, however the ball touched his hand and was ruled out after the use of VAR.
Bologna’s afternoon got even worse in the 69th as they saw a second goal ruled out. Rodrigo Palacio controlled a ball over the top and nodded back for Tomiyasu, who fired past Strakosha. Replays showed Palacio was just offside as he collected the ball, and the goal was ruled out.
That seemed to end the Rossolbu’s hopes, though they did see one final chance through Palacio halted when Strakosha rushed off his line to clear the ball with his feet.
In the end Lazio held on to the clean sheet and their victory, with the Stadio Olimpico celebrating top spot at the sound of the final whistle.