SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 15 - 7 Dec 2019 (19.45 UK)
Lazio 3 - 1 Juventus
Ronaldo 25 (J), Luiz Felipe 45 (L), Milinkovic-Savic 74 (L), Caicedo 94 (L)
Stadio Olimpico

Lazio fought back from a goal down to inflict the first defeat of the season on 10-man Juventus with Sergej Milinkovic’s stunner, despite Wojciech Szczesny saving a Ciro Immobile penalty.

This was a big showdown between third and second, as the Aquile were on a six-round winning streak and the Bianconeri knew a victory would put them back on top of the table, as Inter were held by Roma last night. They’ll also meet again in the Italian Super Cup on December 22.

Aaron Ramsey, Sami Khedira, Douglas Costa and Giorgio Chiellini were out injured, while the hosts missed Patric, Adam Marusic, Jordan Lukaku and Valon Berisha.

Juve had been unbeaten here in Serie A since December 2003, emerging with 11 wins and three draws.

Ciro Immobile was Capocannoniere with 17 goals, more than Paulo Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain put together. He almost made it 18 within five minutes, his shot deflected over by Matthijs de Ligt’s block.

Thomas Strakosha flew to palm away a Dybala curler, doing the same when La Joya tried to bend in directly from the corner flag. Federico Bernardeschi was off balanced and couldn’t steer in a header on Ronaldo’s floated cross.

Juve broke through on 25 minutes with a well-worked team move. Dybala was involved too before a give-and-go, as Rodrigo Bentancur rolled it across the six-yard box for Cristiano Ronaldo to tap in at the back post. This was CR7’s first goal from open play in six weeks.

Immobile went down in the penalty area as Juan Cuadrado leaned on his back, but not enough to warrant a spot-kick, then Bentancur brought down Correa inches from the penalty area.

Lazio had a series of chances charged down on a corner, then Immobile nodded a Manuel Lazzari cross wide, but Juve lost Bentancur to a knee injury.

It was wide open, as Bernardeschi sprung the offside trap to pull back from the by-line for Ronaldo’s diving header, but Strakosha clawed it off the line.

Lazio had penalty appeals for an Emre Can sliding tackle on Lucas Leiva, but the VAR opted against an on-field review. Nonetheless, from that corner, Luis Alberto whipped a cross to the six-yard box for Luiz Felipe’s glancing header to equalise right on the stroke of half-time. It was the Spaniard’s 10th Serie A assist of the season.

Luis Alberto tested Wojciech Szczesny from distance and Strakosha had to make up for it with a save after gifting Dybala with a poor pass.

On 69 minutes, Juan Cuadrado was booked for taking out Lazzari on the counter-attack. After viewing it again via VAR, the referee opted for a straight red, as it was a clear scoring opportunity and the Colombian made precious little attempt to get the ball. Cuadrado was furious with the decision and got into an argument with team-mate Leonardo Bonucci before finally walking away.

Lazio took full advantage with a magnificent team goal. Luis Alberto floated one of his trademark assists over the top, Milinkovic-Savic trapped it with his right foot to go past De Ligt and fired in with his left from seven yards.

Moments later, Immobile sent Correa on a sprint into the box and Szczesny caught his ankle for an inevitable penalty and yellow card. Immobile stepped up, but his spot-kick was parried by Szczesny, who also got the rebound. It was the first Serie A penalty Immobile failed to convert since October 2017, interrupting a run of 12 in a row.

Down to 10 men, Juve threw everything at Lazio with a series of free kicks, but on the final one, they were caught on a classic counter-attack. Szczesny still managed to deny Lazzari one-on-one, but could do nothing on the Felipe Caicedo follow-up for 3-1.

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Lazio: Strakosha; Luiz Felipe, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic (Caicedo 90), Leiva, Luis Alberto (Parolo 75), Lulic; Correa, Immobile (Cataldi 84)
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bentancur (Emre Can 40), Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi (Danilo 70); Dybala (Higuain 79), Ronaldo
Ref: Fabbri

Sent off: Cuadrado 69 (J)

Saved penalty: Immobile 78 (L)