Despite missing an early penalty, Lazio strolled to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Udinese at the Stadio Olimpico. The result moves the Eagles above their city rivals Roma into fifth place in Serie A.
Alvaro Gonzalez and Miroslav Klose put the hosts ahead in the first half, before a trademark Hernanes free kick put the game to bed just short of the hour mark.
Lazio were without injured trio Andre Dias, Cristian Brocchi and Mauro Zarate. Klose shook off the flu to start and Antonio Candreva lined up against his parent club. Hernanes was only fit for the bench and was joined there by contract rebel Modibo Diakite.
Udinese - fresh from their Europa League elimination, were without a host of players. Giampiero Pinzi, Mehdi Benatia, Dusan Basta, Andrea Lazzari, Diego Fabbrini, Luis Muriel and Paulo Vitor Barreto were all unavailable. Lazio bore the slogan "No Racism" on their usually unsponsored shirts, following the fallout from their recent Europa League meetings with Tottenham.
The home side started on the front foot. Candreva flashed a loose ball over in the first minute, then Danilo had to cut out a dangerous Mauri ball, with Klose lurking and ready to pounce at the near post.
Lazio were awarded a penalty after Radu flicked a corner onto Willians' hand. Cristian Ledesma stood up and casually stroked the ball towards the near bottom corner, but Zeljko Brkic dived early to get a firm hand on it and deny the Lazio midfielder. Antonio Di Natale rattled the Lazio bar from a free-kick and Andrea Coda failed to head in the rebound.
Lazio took a deserved lead after a well worked move. Stefano Mauri's perfectly weighted through ball released Gonzalez down the left hand side. The Uruguayan ran into the box to smash the ball home in convincing fashion.
Udinese suffered a blow when they lost Maurizio Domizzi to a leg injury. Meanwhile, Candreva was given licence to roam down the flanks and was causing chaos. A mazy run took the winger into the box, but Brkic stood up and got a strong wrist onto a point blank shot. Brkic made a hash of the resulting corner, forcing Danilo to close down and block Ederson from getting a shot at goal.
Lazio doubled their lead when Mauri's flick on from the halfway line released Klose. The German ran clear of his two markers and side footed home to register his eighth league goal of the campaign, in his 50th Lazio game.
Udinese's best period of the game came in the final ten minutes of the first half. Federico Marchetti produced a couple of howlers in the Lazio goal, first misjudging the bounce on a Danilo header, which just went wide. He then uncharacteristically spilt another Di Natale free kick, with the rebound falling to Coda once more, but yet again, the unlucky Udinese man failed to put the ball across the line.
The second half started out scrappy after both sides made changes at the break. Klose took too many touches in the box as he tried to walk the ball into the net. Coda then hacked down the veteran on the edge of the area. From the resulting set piece, Hernanes lifted the ball over the wall and into the far corner. The Prophet pulled off a perfect trademark backflip to celebrate his 30th Lazio goal.
The hosts played out the rest of the match as if it were a training game. Udinese substitute Thomas Heurtaux threw himself in the way to stop Mauri from pulling the trigger after a Klose lay off.
In stoppage time, Luis Cavanda stretched his legs with a run into the box. Senad Lulic tried to craft a volley out of the defender's looping ball, but the Bosnian had difficulty controlling the pass and the chance passed.
Lazio: Marchetti; Cavanda, Biava, Ciani, Radu; Ledesma; (Cana 65) Candreva, (Lulic 82) Gonzalez, Ederson, (Hernanes 46) Mauri; Klose
Udinese: Brkic; Coda, (Heurtaux 87) Danilo, Domizzi; (Angella 24) Pereyra, Willians, (Ranegie 46) Allan, Badu, Armero; Maicosuel; Di Natale
Goals: Gonzalez 17 (L), Klose 31 (L), Hernanes 59 (L)