A single Luis Alberto strike in the first half was enough for Lazio to down Sampdoria at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday afternoon.
Simone Inzaghi’s side warmed up nicely for their midweek meeting with Bayern Munich in the Champions League, and never really needed to get out of second gear to see off the Ligurians and climb temporarily on par with Roma’s 43 points.
The Blucerchiati struggled to impose themselves for much of the opening 45 minutes, so it came as no real surprise when Luis Alberto put the hosts ahead midway through the half.
It was the Spaniard himself who carried the ball into Samp’s half after gathering a loose ball, but an attempted pass through for Joaquin Correa deflected back to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The Serb then put the No.10 himself through, and he thumped past Emil Audero from the ed, via a slight deflection from Maya Yoshida.
Samp were improved in the second half but, other than a half-chance for Claudio Ranieri’s side, it was Lazio who should have scored the game’s second goal through Vedat Muriqi. Adam Marusic continued a fine performance by working space in the box and centring for the Albanian, but he failed to correctly meet the ball from under the crossbar and a huge chance went begging.
Fabio Quagliarella and co. looked to up the pressure late on, and had a half-hearted penalty claim when Fabio Quagliarella went down in the area, but to no avail and they couldn’t find an equaliser.
Lazio and Milinkovic-Savic passed up a big chance to kill the game off in stoppage time as, after going through on goal, he tried to square for Muriqi but saw his pass intercepted when he might have been better served taking on the shot himself.