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Sport

Lazio's defensive mishaps hand Verona 2-1 win

ROME (Reuters) - Lazio continued their dismal home form in Serie A on Saturday when two defensive blunders handed Verona a 2-1 win at the Stadio Olimpico.

Manuel Lazzari put through his own goal before Adrien Tameze pounced on Stefano Radu’s poor back pass to give Verona their first win at Lazio for 36 years. Felipe Caicedo replied for Lazio, who have managed only one win in six home games.

The win took Verona up to sixth place with 19 points, overtaking Lazio who are eighth with 17. None of Verona’s players were born when their team last beat Lazio away, winning 1-0 in December 1984.

Lazio, who on Tuesday reached the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in more than 20 years, had the first real chance but Ciro Immobile, who had scored in their previous nine games in all competitions, fired wide.

Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said that the challenge of battling on two fronts was taking its toll on his team who also found it difficult to play without spectators.

“We practically scored their goals ourselves and that makes it difficult to get a result,” he said.

“Before the lockdown, with the fans, we were practically infallible. Now it’s a strange league, and we suffer without our fans because we have so many players whose mood changes with the atmosphere.”

Already missing playmaker Luis Alberto, the hosts ran into trouble after Francesco Acerbi, the linchpin of their defence, limped off in the 28th minute.

One minute before halftime, Verona fullback Federico Dimarco volleyed wide but the ball hit Lazzari and flew into the net.

Lazio hit back with a superb equaliser from Caicedo, who scored with a shot on the turn in the 56th minute, but they were undone by more poor defending 11 minutes later.

Radu’s attempted back pass was intercepted by Tameze who rounded Pepe Reina to score and the Romanian’s complaints that he had been fouled as he played the ball fell on deaf ears.

Verona, who have the second-best defensive record with only nine goals conceded, had to survive a late siege and goalkeeper Marco Silvestri made a brilliant save with his outstretched foot to block Andreas Pereira’s deflected shot in stoppage time.

Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Clare Fallon

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