I know this report is a late so for that and the fact the diagram on the right isn't great by any stretch of the imagination (the latter not being my fault). Nevertheless I really wanted to report on this game as it shows Lazio to be on something of a return to old and a far cry from their form last season which saw them as relegation candidates for much of the season before ending up in mid-table obscurity.
Unsurprisingly it was La Viola who started the brighter of the two sides at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence. In fact after only three minutes Ljajic struck just wide of the mark and Fiorentina didn't let up until they were eventually rewarded in the 19th minute when Cerci was pulled down in the area and Ljajic converted the subsequent spot-kick.
What was impressive was that Lazio actively sought an equaliser and shortly afterwards summer-signing Mark Bresciano went close. The Aquile kept pushing and eventually scored just after the half hour mark thanks to sharp attacking play which left the Fiorentina defence in disarray. In the end it was Mauri who supplied Ledesma and the midfielder struck home from within the area; albeit thanks to a deflection.
This opened up the game and both sides had chances to take the lead before half-time but failed to do so. The second half began as a much tighter affair though with neither side wanting to hand the advantage to the other. Fiorentina did come close on the hour mark but Vargas failed to convert the chance. It was then Lazio's turn to have crack at goal just seven minutes later and were not as wasteful! A close range shot from Hernanes was well saved by Frey but super-sub Kozak was quickest to react to the parry and slotted the ball into the open goal from only a few yards out.
The Biancocelesti then looked to protect their lead and did so successfully thanks to some great defensive work which denied Fiorentina any real chances and the opportunities which were opened up were easily saved by Muslera between the sticks.
An important win which will boost confidence back in Rome then and if Lazio can continue to turn out such confident performances (particularly in a defensive regard) on a weekly basis then Edy Reja's side could prove themselves to be a real force in Serie A this season and challenge for those European places.