Lazio wasted numerous chances, so Marco Borriello struck to give Genoa a shock victory at the Stadio Olimpico and end their perfect record.
Vladimir Petkovic has had an amazing start to his Serie A career, becoming the only man since legendary Tommaso Maestrelli in 1975 to lead Lazio to three opening victories. A fourth would be a new club record and confidence was also boosted by Thursday’s 0-0 draw at Tottenham in the Europa League. Genoa had some good performances, but twice managed to lose from winning positions this season, so the tension was rising.
Cristian Brocchi, Stefan Radu, Abdoulay Konko and Ederson were out of action for the Biancocelesti, while the Grifone missed Marco Rossi and Juan Manuel Vargas only to surprisingly start Hungarian international Daniel Tozser. Michael Ciani received his first Serie A start and Miroslav Klose was rested.
Libor Kozak sprung the offside trap on a chipped pass and got round Sebastien Frey, but his finish was cleared off the line by Michele Canini.
Genoa responded immediately with Marco Borriello’s looping header landing on the roof of the net, then Hernanes launched a screamer on the turn from distance that skimmed the upright with Frey rooted to the spot. The Brazilian did test the goalkeeper soon after and Antonio Candreva surged forward to see his shot beaten away.
Senad Lulic pulled back from the by-line for Mauro Zarate to volley just over the bar from nine yards. Frey deflected a Candreva snapshot with his wrist and was fortunate it squirmed out for a corner rather than back into the net.
Yet Genoa had a fantastic opportunity when the Lazio defence was caught napping by a quickly-taken free kick and Mario Sampirisi hit the side-netting.
Hernanes’ glancing header was wide and Frey palmed another Candreva attempt round the post. From that corner, Candreva’s pass flashed across the six-yard box and Giuseppe Biava came sliding in a fraction too late.
Just 100 seconds after the restart, Hernanes pushed between defenders for a curler that cracked against the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Frey was at full stretch to turn another Candreva angled drive away as it bounced right in front of him.
Genoa went extremely close, as a free kick found Andreas Granqvist’s glancing header and Federico Marchetti flapped it off the line, then Marco Borriello saw his follow-up charged down by a sea of legs.
Moments later Kozak should’ve scored when he got away from Sampirisi at the back post, but came sliding in too late and couldn’t redirect the cross.
Borriello felt he deserved a penalty for a tussle with Scaloni, but replays show they were tugging each other’s shirts and the Genoa striker let himself fall.
Petkovic made a double substitution, going back to a 4-1-4-1 system and Lulic stung Frey’s palms after riding two tackles. Lazio changed again with Miroslav Klose coming off the bench for the final 15 minutes in a 4-2-4.
The German veteran almost scored with his first touch, sprinting past Sampirisi to place an angled drive just past the far post.
However, it was Genoa who took the lead against the run of play with a classic counter-attack. Borriello seemed isolated against the Biancocelesti defence, but ran on to a flicked-on Luca Antonelli pass in the centre-circle, surged forward and drilled past Marchetti’s outstretched hand.
To make matters worse for Lazio, Giuseppe Biava hurt himself while running after Borriello in that move, but the substitutions had already been completed.
Emiliano Moretti prevented Stefano Mauri from tapping in at the back post and Kozak had the ball in the net when clearly offside.