Lazio extended Bologna’s appalling run without a clean sheet as they secured a 2-1 victory at the Stadio Olimpico in Serie A on Saturday.
Second half goals from Luis Alberto and Ciro Immobile sealed all three points for the Aquile and condemned Bologna to a 38th straight match without a shutout, equalling the fourth worst streak in the history of Europe’s top five leagues.
The visitors looked to have taken an early lead only for Mattias Svandberg’s strike to be ruled out due to a foul in the build up, but ultimately could only muster a stoppage time consolation through Lorenzo De Silvestri.
Amidst a cagey start, Bologna looked to have broken the deadlock when Jerdy Schouten robbed Lucas Leiva high up the pitch, allowing Svandberg to pick up the loose ball and rifle in from the edge of the box. However, a VAR check saw the goal chalked off for a foul on Leiva.
Lazio looked to make the visitors rue that decision immediately as Alberto broke clear but fired into the side netting, whilst at the other end Riccardo Orsolini did well to fashion space in the box, only to see his shot well stopped.
The hosts began to dominate possession and Immobile’s clever movement drew a host of defenders towards him, allowing the striker to square to Alberto to hit first time. It required a smart low save from Lukasz Skorupski to turn the goal-bound effort round the post.
With Lazio pushing for the opener, Bologna sought to hit them on the break and with half an hour gone Rodrigo Palacio led a counter with a driving run, before unleashing a powerful effort into the side netting from range.
Bologna came back into the match and Orsolini sent a free header from a corner well over, whilst Svandberg saw an effort flash wide. It prompted Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi to make a double substitution with only 40 minutes gone, as Manuel Lazzarri and Gonzalo Escalante replaced Adam Marusic and Leiva respectively.
The Biancoceleste made a bright start to the second half and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro collected the ball in the middle before playing a clever one-two to break into the box. Only a perfectly-timed Danilo sliding tackle prevented the Ivorian applying the finish.
However, Danilo undid his good work just moments later as he gifted Lazio an opener, with his sloppy pass falling straight to Alberto. The Spaniard made no mistake in punishing the Bologna defender, driving to the edge of the box and firing in off the underside of the bar.
Bologna’s best chance came on the hour mark after Wesley Hoedt clipped Roberto Soriano in a dangerous position. Orsolini stepped up but could only watch on as his vicious freekick cracked the top of the crossbar and flew over.
With 15 minutes remaining Lazio sealed victory through the previously quiet Immobile, as the prolific striker headed home from close range after Mohamed Fares hooked a cross over his own head at the back post into the path of the Italian striker.
Bologna almost halved the deficit immediately, but Reina pulled off a fine low save to prevent Musa Barrow’s side-footed effort, and found a consolation goal in stoppage time through De Silvestri, as he swept home Federico Santander’s cross against his former club.
However, Lazio held out to secure a second league victory of the season and move to 1oth in the table, whilst Bologna remain in the relegation zone.