Hellas Verona vs Lazio, final score 4-1: Lazio capitulate on the road once again

Dino Panato

Hellas Verona thumped Lazio 4-1 at the Stadio Bentegodi to end 2013 on a high and leave Lazio still looking for a first away win of the season.

Andrea Mandorlini's side are a force to be reckoned with on their own soil. A brace from Luca Toni, along with goals from Juan Iturbe and Romulo produced an eighth home win out of nine. Lazio on the other hand continue to stutter away from home and end the year on a sour note. Lucas Biglia had drew the sides level, before Verona ran away with the game.

Lazio were without flu victim Stefan Radu, Alvaro Gonzalez and Bruno Pereirinha, while Hernanes was suspended.

Hellas hit the front after only five minutes. Jorginho floated a free kick into the box, which Toni headed into the top corner after getting the better of both Andre Dias and Biglia.

Lazio were denied a penalty six minutes later after a Vangelis Moras bodycheck on Miroslav Klose went unpunished. Verona took the ball down the other end and almost doubled their lead. Iturbe capitalised on a Senad Lulic error to run into the box and force Federico Marchetti into a save.

The visitors started to create chances. Antonio Candreva fizzed a free kick over, while Rafael saw an Ogenyi Onazi snapshot late, but still managed to catch it. Klose missed a guilt-edged chance on 25 minutes. Rafael spilt Ederson's low cross into the German's path, but Domenico Maietta kept the German out from point blank range with a goalline clearance.

Lazio deservedly drew level two minutes later. Biglia headed in his first Serie A goal from a Candreva corner. Rafael was powerless to stop it and could only punch the ball into the net.

Verona re-took the lead right on the stroke of half time. Iturbe's 30 yard free kick dipped at the last second, bouncing over an outstretched Marchetti and into the net.

Rafael frustrated Lazio at the start of the second half with a string of saves. After keeping out a Lorik Cana header, the shot stopper punched clear a shot from Onazi. Lazio continued to look menacing from corners. Rafael denied Andre Dias, but Biglia got caught up in the ground and failed to control the rebound.

Toni should have grabbed a second goal after Juanito Gomez Taleb put him clear. The frontman hit the side netting when he really should have hit the target. Toni spurned another chance on the hour, directing a shot in the box straight at Marchetti.

Lazio made an attacking change, only to instantly concede a third goal after their defence were caught all at sea. Toni expertly drew Marchetti out and played the ball across the box for Romulo to tap into an empty net.

Klose stretched and just failed to turn Keita Balde's cross in. The substitute then stung Rafael's gloves himself as Lazio looked for a way back into the match. Instead, it was Verona that scored again 12 minutes from the end to put the game beyond the visitors. Jorginho capitalised on Cana's unfortunate slip to run clear and lay off for Toni to shoot into an open goal. It was the veteran forward's seventh strike in what is turning out to be a vintage season so far.

Sergio Floccari almost netted a consolation. His shot bounced in front of Rafael, but he managed to palm it clear and Verona saw the game out.

Hellas Verona: Rafael; Agostini, Maietta, Moras, Cacciatore; Hallfredsson, (Donati 75) Jorginho, (Laner 88) Romulo; Gomez Taleb, Toni, Iturbe (Donadel 69)

Lazio: Marchetti; Konko, Dias, Cana, Lulic; Ledesma; Candreva,(Perea 76) Onazi, Biglia, (Keita 62) Ederson (Floccari 70) Klose

Goals: Toni 5, 78 (V) Biglia 27 (L) Iturbe 44 (V) Romulo 63 (V)

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