Balde stun­ner helps Lazio to pre­cious win

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MI­LAN: A stun­ning late strike by Keita Balde helped Lazio to a 3-1 win over Torino on Mon­day that keeps the cap­i­tal side in the hunt for Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion in Serie A.

Lazio, who re­claim fourth spot from In­ter Mi­lan and sit four points be­hind Napoli in third, took the lead at the Sta­dio Olimpico through Ciro Im­mo­bile in the 56th minute.

How­ever, Maxi Lopez headed past Thomas Strakosha from a free-kick to bring Torino level.

But in the clos­ing min­utes Torino left huge gaps in their de­fence on a Lazio counter-at­tack, and Jor­dan Lukaku had plenty of time to set up Balde for a strike from out­side the area that beat Eng­land’s Joe Hart at the goal­keeper’s near post.

Hart had been two me­tres off his line and de­spite try­ing to make amends three min­utes later, Felipe An­der­son had no trouble fir­ing past the on-loan Manch­ester City shot-stop­per, who ap­peared to suf­fer a knock as he came out to block.

In­ter had stepped up their bid for a top-three fin­ish with an em­phatic 7-1 win over Ata­lanta at the San Siro on Sun­day, but Lazio are now two points ahead of Ste­fano Pi­oli’s men in fourth.

Ju­ven­tus, 2-1 win­ners over AC Mi­lan on Fri­day, re­main on course for a record sixth con­sec­u­tive Serie A ti­tle and a third con­sec­u­tive league and Cup dou­ble.

Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri’s men lead Roma by eight points with Napoli 10 points off the pace in third. AFP

AP PIC

Torino goal­keeper Joe Hart saves from Lazio's Marco Parolo in their Serie A match on Mon­day. Lazio won 3-1.

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