Lazio vs Udinese, Final Score 2-1: Eagles off to a flyer

Paolo Bruno

Lazio survived a second half fightback to edge past Udinese 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico and record a fourth win in five home games against the Friulani.

Hernanes and an Antonio Candreva penalty put the Biancocelesti in cruise control early in the first half. Substitute Luis Muriel replied in the second half for the visitors, but it's Lazio who get the points on the board after the first weekend of the new Serie A season.

Lazio came into the game on the back of a 4-0 Super Cup thumping by Juventus last weekend. Due to racist chanting aimed at the Bianconeri's black players during the defeat, the Curva Nord was closed for this game as punishment. Lazio's players sported anti-racism slogan "We Love Football, We Fight Racism" on their shirts.

Udinese were upset by Slovan Liberec in the Europa League in midweek and were without first choice goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic due to injury. The home side missed injured quintet Abdoulay Konko, Bruno Pereirinha, Vinicius, Felipe Anderson and Emiliano Alfaro. Lazio captain Stefano Mauri was in the stands, as he waits on an appeal to overturn a six month ban for failing to report alleged match fixing from 2011. New signings Diego Novaretti and Lucas Biglia did make their debuts for the Eagles.

Lazio came out of the blocks the faster of the two sides and Hernanes opened the scoring on 13 minutes. The Brazilian found space out wide and blasted a fierce shot past Ivan Kelava, beating the reserve goalkeeper at his near post.

Kelava's nightmare start continued three minutes later as he brought down Miroslav Klose in the box and was lucky just to be booked. Candreva stepped up and doubled the advantage from the spot.

Udinese used the interval to regroup and found a way back into the match on the hour mark. Naldo dispossessed Hernanes on the edge of the box and launched a quick counter-attack. Luis Muriel got ahead of the Lazio defence to run clear and coolly lifted the ball over Federico Marchetti to half the deficit.

A mistake by Andre Dias almost gifted Udinese an equaliser with 15 minutes left to play. Maicousel picked the Brazilian defender's pocket and squared for Piotr Zielinski, only for the Pole to sky his shot after the ball hit a bobble inside the Lazio box.

Lazio: Marchetti; Cavanda, Novaretti, Cana, (Andre Dias 46) Radu; Candreva, Gonzalez, (Onazi 76) Biglia, Hernanes, Lulic; Klose (Floccari 82)

Udinese: Kelava; Naldo, Danilo, Domizzi; Basta, Pinzi, (Zielinski 68) Badu, Pasquale; Maicosuel, Pereyra; (Lazzarri 59) Di Natale (Muriel 46)

Goals: Hernanes 13 (L) Candreva pen 16 (L) Luis Muriel 60 (U)

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