Chievo Verona vs Lazio, final score 0-2: Eagles continue to rise under Reja

Dino Panato

Lazio eased to a 2-0 victory over Chievo Verona at the Bentegodi, to make it five league games unbeaten for Edy Reja since returning to the touchline.

After going so long without an away win, Lazio have now recorded back-to-back road victories in Serie A. Antonio Candreva and Keita Balde helped the Biancocelesti get over their midweek Coppa Italia defeat to Napoli and the loss of playmaker Hernanes to Inter Milan, with goals in either half to despatch Chievo and do the league double over the Flying Donkeys.

Despite picking up a point at Napoli last weekend, Eugenio Corini's side haven't won at home in two months. Chievo will now be looking over their shoulders, as they lie just a point above the relegation places. Their new signings Michael Agazzi, Paredes and Victor Obinna didn't feature today.

Abdoulay Konko, Michael Ciani, Ederson and deadline day signing Helder Postiga were all injured for the visitors. Goalkeeper Federico Marchetti remained on the bench with a recurring thigh complaint/stomach bug.

It took just six minutes for Lazio to hit the front. Keita picked out Candreva in the box and the winger took a touch to run past Dario Dainelli, before rifling a shot across goal and into the top corner.

Chievo should have levelled two minutes later. A pinpoint Simone Bentivoglio cross found the head of Alberto Paloschi and Etrit Berisha could only watch as the ball went inches over. Miroslav Klose wasted a similar chance to double Lazio's lead. The German stretched to reach Cristian Ledesma's high ball and got to it before Christian Puggioni, but his header was too high.

The home side lost Dainelli to injury on 18 minutes, so Michele Canini came on for his debut, having arrived from Atalanta. Paloschi broke clear and cut the ball back into the Lazio defence rather than go for goal. The forward then inadvertently cleared Bostjan Cesar's goalbound header to let Lazio off the hook again.

Candreva's free kick from the edge of the area ricocheted off the head of Andre Dias in the wall and the ball looped up and bounced off the top of the crossbar. Lucas Biglia disguised a reverse pass to put Keita clear, but Puggioni spread his body to block the effort. Nine minutes before the break, Dias ran across the box to pick Cyril Thereau's pocket before the Frenchman could shoot. Perparim Hetemaj succumbed to an abdomen injury a minute before the break to add to Corini's injury list.

Keita was brimming with confidence and almost doubled Lazio's lead ten minutes after the restart. Candreva's cross was behind the Spaniard, but he still managed to connect with a backheel which Puggioni saved.

Candreva continued to be Lazio's architect. Another cross into the box was just too far for a stretching Keita to reach, while another ball bobbled in front of Senad Lulic, who blazed over from a promising position.

Keita finally got the goal his performance deserved on 70 minutes. His shot from the edge of the box took a deflection off the unlucky Canini to wrongfoot Puggioni and roll into the net. Because the initial shot was on target, the goal will go down as Keita's.

Puggioni was kept busy, as Lazio pushed for more goals. Biglia stung the goalkeeper's palms from distance and Klose rolled wide from a Candreva pull back. Late on, Alvaro Gonzalez saw one final effort beaten away.

Chievo Verona: Puggioni, Frey, Dainelli, (Canini 19) Cesar, Sardo; Bentivoglio, (Pellissier 62) Rigoni, Hetemaj, (Radovanovic 44) Dramé; Paloschi, Thereau

Lazio: Berisha; Biava, Dias, Radu; Cavanda, Biglia, Ledesma, Lulic; Candreva, (Crecco 90) Klose, (Perea 89) Keita (Gonzalez 84)

Goals: Candreva 6 (L) Keita 70 (L)

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