Ciro Immobile Fired Lazio To Landslide Victory at Fiorentina

Lazio thrashed Fiorentina 3-0 in an action-packed Serie A fixture at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, making a giant step towards securing a European finish this season. Sides headed into proceedings level on points, albeit with a sizeable gap on the current top-four to close down.

Despite an open end-to-end action, neither team managed to capitalise on their scoring opportunities in the first half. Winter addition Arthur Cabral wasted the best chance for Fiorentina in the 20th minute as Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha denied his close-range header. 

The Biancocelesti were on the back foot for most of the first half, but they found their feet on the stroke of half-time. Ciro Immobile and Pedro had a couple of decent opportunities to break the deadlock before the break, but Pietro Terracciano came up huge to keep the visitors at bay. 

However, Terracciano’s first-half heroics went in vain as Lazio took the lead early in the second half through Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The in-form midfielder latched onto Mattia Zaccagni’s inch-perfect through ball to put Maurizio Sarri’s men in front seven minutes into the second half. 

Fiorentina never gave up their hopes of scoring an equaliser, and they thought they came close to pulling it off just after the hour mark. Referee Daniele Orsato pointed to the spot but eventually overturned his initial call after consulting with the side-pitch monitor. 

That turned out to be a match-defining moment, as Lazio doubled their advantage only five minutes later. Immobile made light work of Matija Nastasic in an aerial duel to set himself one-on-one with Terracciano and put clear daylight between the sides. 

La Viola never managed to recover, with Vincenzo Italiano’s side moving their lines forward, leaving plenty of room behind. Lazio were relentless in punishing their hosts, as Immobile forced Cristiano Biraghi into scoring an own goal in the 81st minute, officially killing the game off. 

The Biancocelesti have reduced the gap on fourth-placed Atalanta to four points. However, La Dea have two games in hand, including Sunday’s home clash against relegation-battling Cagliari, making Lazio’s bid to secure a top-four finish ever so difficult. 

Meanwhile, Fiorentina, who experienced a dismal start to life without Dusan Vlahovic, now trail the European spots by three points.