Post saves lacklustre Lazio in 0-0 draw at Udinese

UDINE, Italy (Reuters) - Lazio’s unhappy run continued with a lacklustre 0-0 draw at Udinese on Wednesday, although they at least avoided a fourth successive Serie A defeat thanks to goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha and the post which denied Rodrigo De Paul a late winner.

Slideshow ( 4 images )

Apart from the point, there was little for coach Simone Inzaghi to cheer after another tired, uninspired display by his side whose title challenge has petered out in the last month.

Lazio, who were only one point behind leaders Juventus when the season re-started one month ago, have 69 points and are now eight adrift of the Turin side with five matches to play. Atalanta have overtaken them and moved into second.

“We tried everything we could to win, especially in the first half. In the second we could have done better,” said Inzaghi. “We play Juventus on Monday and we need to look forward.

“We’ve paid the price for the enforced break but I can’t complain in any way about these lads.”

Defender Francesco Acerbi came to Lazio’s rescue in the first half to stop a Kevin Lasagna break with a sliding tackle and De Paul fired over.

Jens Stryger-Larsen spurned another chance for the hosts, his poor finish allowing Strakosha to make an easy save, before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto both wasted a promising break for Lazio.

Lasagna, Udinese’s main threat, had a fierce drive blocked by Luiz Felipe after halftime and was denied by Strakosha after getting clear of the defence. The Albanian keeper also tipped over a rising Rodrigo De Paul drive.

Lazio nearly snatched a late winner but Bobby Adekanye’s shot bounced agonisingly wide of the post after taking a deflection.

Udinese were even closer when De Paul’s shot skimmed the foot of the post with the last kick of the game.

Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond