The 14th league goal of the season by Ciro Immobile was enough to give Lazio a hard-fought 1-0 victory over struggling Cagliari on Sunday, extending their Serie A winning streak to six matches.
A defensive strategy left the side of Simone Inzaghi irritated by the visitors before Italy’s striker Immobile latched onto a Sergei Milinkovic-Savic knock-down after 61 minutes to fire in from close range.
In the Serie A scoring tables, the 30-year-old is second only to Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus, with 16 goals.
After falling behind and threatening late on when substitute Gaston Pereiro blasted over from a promising spot moments after coming on, Cagliari played more expansively.
But Lazio held on to a win that lifted them into the fifth position ahead of Napoli and Atalanta, with rivals AS Roma in fourth on 40 points.
The loss extended Cagliari’s winless league streak to 14 games, leaving them with 15 points in the 18th position.
Lazio was so focused on attacking a throw-in that they were overwhelmed, so Pepe Reina had to stand tall and prompt to put the lob above the counter to Razvan Marin.
Sebastian Walukiewicz was also squirted off by Immobile for an angled drive parried by Cragno’s hips at a close post.
Simone Inzaghi has moved to Plan B: moving Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to a more advanced position. It went well, as the Serbian nodded down a long by-line pass, Immobile got away with one defender’s dummy, and even Cragno was unable to keep it from six yards.
Lazio – Cagliari 1 – 0
Goal: Immobile 61 (L)
Parma – Bologna 0 – 3
Goals: Barrow (15, 33), Orsolini (92)