Lazio vs. Cagliari: Final score 2-0, Klose the catalyst in valuable Lazio win

Paolo Bruno

Lazio put their recent poor form behind them as Miroslav Klose came off the bench to inspire the Biancocelesti to their first victory since the 25th of September.

After an underwhelming loss against Atalanta last weekend, Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic rang in the changes, making no less than five alterations to his side. Luis Cavanda, Michael Ciani, Senad Lulic, Hernanes and Sergio Floccari were out, Bruno Pereirinha, Diego Novaretti, Stefan Radu, Ederson and Antonio Candreva were in. After a good win over Catania, Diego Lopez named just a single change to the side, Daniele Dessena coming in for Andrea Cossu.

The match began in scrappy fashion with neither side really able to take control. Not surprisingly, the home side saw more of the ball but Cagliari looked dangerous on the break, especially given Lazio's high defensive line. Chances were in short supply however and it was 18 minutes before either side had a sight at goal, the chance falling to Cagliari. Matias Cabrera's shot from 18 yards was deflected over the bar after good work down the right hand side from Marco Sau.

Cagliari were exploiting Lazio's high line more and more and in the 27th minute, a quick counter attack saw Radja Nainggolan able to play in Victor Ibarbo, the Colombian bearing down on goal until a last-ditch challenge from Diego Novaretti saved the day for Lazio, deflecting the ball wide of Federico Marchetti's goal.

By far the liveliest player for Lazio was Antonio Candreva but his industry down the right hand side was unmatched by the rest of his teammates. In the 29th minute, he managed to get to the bye-line and dig out a cross for the so-far ineffectual Bryan Perea, the Colombian meeting it with his head but diverting over under pressure from Davide Astori.

Another Lazio chance came before half time, the quiet Felipe Anderson side-footing from 25 yards but the shot lacked any real venom and Michael Agazzi was able to gather easily.

At half-time, Petkovic introduced Michael Ciani for Diego Novaretti and Miroslav Klose for Ederson and it only took six minutes for the German striker to make an impact. Antonio Candreva's right-wing cross was deflected into his path and the man with 68 international goals made no mistake, heading beyond Agazzi to give the home side the lead.

Just two minutes later and again it was Klose who made the impact, surging into the Cagliari penalty area. When he made it to the byeline, he dragged the ball back and the sliding Francesco Pisano handled the ball on the way past. Antonio Candreva stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards, blasting into the top corner and sending Agazzi the wrong way.

With two goals on the board, Lazio finally began to play with a little confidence and had the Cagliari defence in disarray once more when Felipe Anderson crossed in for Bryan Perea. The Colombian headed against the post but Klose was left with the goal at his mercy however his legendary finishing deserted him at the crucial moment and he shanked his effort wide with the goal at his mercy, his blushes only saved by a questionable offside flag for Perea's header.

Cagliari did come back into the match late on with Davide Astori stretching to beat Michael Ciani to Radja Nainggolan's free kick, the outstretched boot of the Italian international diverting the ball inches past the post.

Federico Marchetti had a few wobbles throughout the match but none so bad as when Daniele Conti hit a free kick from all of 35 yards. Marchetti parried the ball straight into the path of Nainggolan but it took the Belgian midfielder somewhat by surprise and his effort went harmlessly wide.

Conti had the chance to pull one back in injury time but his free header went wide when he really should've hit the target and Lazio pick up a morale-boosting three points, probably saving Vladimir Petkovic's job for at least another week.

Lazio: Marchetti; Pereirinha, Novaretti (Ciani 46), Cana, Radu; Biglia, Onazi; Candreva, Ederson (Klose 46), Felipe Anderson (Cavanda 87); Perea

Goals: Klose 52, Candreva pen 55

Cagliari: Agazzi; Perico (Pisano 44), Rossettini, Astori, Murru; Conti, Dessena, Nainggolan, Cabrera (Cossu 70); Ibarbo, Sau (Pinilla 59)

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