MILAN (AFP) – Miroslav Klose struck a brace in a 4-2 win over 10-man Cagliari as Lazio moved up to third place in Serie A on Monday and stretch their unbeaten run to six games.
Cagliari have enjoyed a promising run including a 4-1 win away at Inter Milan since wily veteran Zdenek Zeman took over the Sardinians at the start of the season.
However Lazio had won five of the sides’ past six league meetings and after Victor Ibarbo saw red in the 72nd minute the hosts survived a brief, second-half fightback at the Olympic Stadium to claim their sixth win of the season.
Lazio are six points adrift of leaders and defending champions Juventus but only three points behind city rivals Roma, who lost 2-0 to Napoli on Saturday.
“I’m happy, because I’ve seen the fruit of the work we did leading up to the game,” Lazio coach Stefano Pioli told Sky Sport.
“I’m not looking at the league standings. We’ll first do that in January. Our objective is to qualify for Europe, but it’s a case of taking small steps and taking it game by game.”
Lazio’s quickfire start was rewarded with a seventh-minute opener from captain Stefano Mauri, who bundled the ball past
Alessio Cragno from close range as it ricocheted in the Cagliari box.
It was far from pretty, but Klose made amends on 25 minutes when Germany’s all-time record goalscorer fired past Cragno from close in after Senad Lulic had headed Antonio Candreva’s cross into the 36-year-old German’s path.
Klose, who retired from international football after helping Germany to World Cup glory in July, grabbed his second a minute later when he beat Cragno from the edge of the area with a slightly deflected shot.