Lazio beat Empoli 3-1

In-form Lazio beat Empoli 3-1 in the Serie A at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy, on Sunday.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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In-form Lazio were looking for their sixth win in a row when they entertained Empoli in the Serie A at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy, on Sunday. With no defeats so far this year, and boasting the best defence in the league, the home side were hoping to consolidate their position as third in Serie A. Impressive in their recent matches, having taken 7 points from a possible 9 in their last 3 games, Empoli are enjoying their first season in Serie A since their promotion last summer. Good start It was the hosts who started the better as they found themselves 1-0 ahead after just seven minutes. A clearance from Empoli keeper, Daniele Balli found Cristian Ledesma who headed onto Stefano Mauri who then delivered a deft lob for Goran Pandev to volley to give Lazio a 1-0 lead. Minutes later, Empoli had a chance of their own through Vittorio Tosto, but the Lazio 'keeper, Angelo Peruzzi proved himself to be a safe pair of hands, leaping to save the shot. Lazio were able to extend their lead in the 25th minute when Tommaso Rocchi finished off a move he had started himself, to find the back of the net with his first touch off a slick pass from Pandev. Strengthen lead Again, Empoli had several chances to get themselves on the score sheet, the best being a diving header from Ighli Vannucchi which skidded across the face of the goal but the score remained 2-0 at the break. The start of the second half was evenly balanced and Lazio had to wait until the 73rd minute to extend their lead further. A side pass from substitute striker Stephen Makinwa left Christian Manfredini with a couple of touches before he lobbed the ball over a flailing Balli to add to a commanding Lazio performance and take the score to 3-0. Empoli did gain some reward for their considerable contribution to an entertaining game. Sergio Almiron blasted a free kick in the third minute of stoppage time through the Lazio defence and over the head of a diving Peruzzi. But it was too little too late and at the final whistle, Lazio were 3-1 winners. The result leaves Lazio third in Serie A, two points ahead of fourth placed Palermo while Empoli lie sixth, one point behind AC Milan.