Lazio forward Klose snatch three points from Inter Milan

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Miroslav Klose was the hero for Lazio as they beat Inter Milan 1-0 on Saturday to boost Juventus‘ hopes of extending their lead at the top of Italy Serie A before Christmas.

Inter Milan is behind Juventus by four points and the Champions have one game in hand as they face Atalanta tonight.

Inter Milan‘s manager Stramaccioni was disgusted following a fifth defeat in Serie A which means Juventus can now extend their lead over the Nerazzurri to seven points if they beat Atalanta in Turin.

Based on SoccerPunter H2H stats, Lazio have managed to beat Inter Milan in the last two home meetings for Italy Serie A matches in 2011/2012 and 2010/2011 respectively.

And with Lazio unbeaten at home since a shock 1-0 reverse to Genoa at the end of October – combined with Inter’s poor away form of late – Vladimir Petkovic had every reason to believe the Biancocelesti could produce a result.

Inter threatened first, Federico Marchetti diving quickly to smother the ball as Diego Milito pounced on a chest-down following Yuto Nagatomo’s looping cross from the right.

But the visitors created few chances in an opening half in which Cristian Ledesma saw a powerful shot from distance go just wide, while Stefano Mauri just failed to muster a shot from inside the area.

Lazio’s claims for a penalty fell on deaf ears after Klose tumbled to the ground as he and Inter defender Alvaro Pereira crossed paths on the edge of the area when Senad Lulic hit an inviting cross in.

Stramaccioni tinkered with his formation at the interval, but although Inter came fighting back late on Lazio, despite a dubious start, remained in control.

The hosts wasted two freekick chances within minutes after Klose had come in for harsh treatment from the Inter defence, with Walter Samuel shown yellow for the second offence.

Lazio’s frustrations grew when, at the end of a well-worked move, Brazilian Hernanes sent a first-time shot high and wide from 20 metres.

The hosts, however, were lucky to escape when Fredy Guarin was allowed to power up the middle to unleash a shot which had Marchetti at full stretch, while moments later Milito’s weak effort trickled wide of the keeper’s post.

Inter finally had some momentum but Nagatomo failed to tap home after Antonio Cassano’s well-placed shot from the Japanese defender’s lay-off had come off the post after a superb parry by Marchetti.

Not to be outdone, Lazio spurned two chances of their own moments later.

First Antonio Candreva saw his angled shot parried by Handanovic, then Klose was let down by poor control when he collected Alvaro Gonzalez’s inch-perfect cross from the right while in alone on goal.

When Klose came down in the area after a tackle by Samuel, Lazio saw their claims for a penalty waved away for a second time.

Klose’s persistence, however, was to pay off, the German finally beating Samir Handanovic with a well-placed strike from the edge of the area after running on to Mauri’s incisive through ball.

Inter rallied and in the dying moments caused panic in the Lazio area but the hosts held on for a win which left them in fourth but level on points with third-placed Napoli.

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