Serie A - Juve snatch late win
Milos Krasic struck a dramatic 94th-minute winner as Juventus clinched a deserved 2-1 victory over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.
The teams looked certain for a share of the spoils after Giorgio Chiellini’s early headed goal was matched by Mauro Zarate's effort within ten minutes.
But as Lazio drifted further and further on to the back foot, seemingly content with a point, Krasic finally provided the elusive moment of magic for Juve with virtually the last kick of the game.
The three points sees Juve climb to second in the Serie A table leapfrogging both Napoli and Lazio courtesy of a superior goal difference to sit six points adrift of leaders AC Milan.
Juventus made the most perfect start possible with a goal inside the opening three minutes as Lazio were caught napping, Chiellini showing great determination to direct a powerful header past Fernando Muslera from Alberto Aquilani’s well flighted corner kick.
It took a further ten minutes for Lazio to rouse from their slumber but when they did it was with great effect as parity was restored.
Again it was a corner kick that created the goalscoring opportunity but Juve goalkeeper Marco Storari will have to shoulder the responsibility for allowing Lazio back into the game.
Lumbering clumsily into a crowded area, Storari flapped at the loose ball allowing Zarate to pounce and stroke the ball into the empty net via the far post.
The visitors very nearly completed a dramatic quickfire turnaround as Sergio Floccari raced clear but dragged his shot wide of the target from 18 yards.
As Lazio retreated, Juventus accepted the invitation to propel themselves on to the front foot and went close to restoring their advantage through the industrious Alberto Aquilani.
The former Liverpool man stood menacingly over a free kick 20 yards from goal before blasting the ball sweetly towards the top corner, but he was cruelly denied by the slightest of deflections off the Lazio wall that re-routed the ball onto the top of the crossbar.
Juventus continued to huff and puff in search of a second goal but all to no avail as there was a distinct lack of quality in the final third.
Krasic showed moments of promise when in full flow on the right wing but failed to produce a final product of note.
The Serbian was then gifted the opportunity to get himself on the scoresheet by a careless piece of defending from Andre Dias but again he fell at the final hurdle, firing well over from 25 yards.
There was to be yet one more chance for the home side before the half time break as Krasic and then Fabio Quagliarella were denied by desperate blocks during a messy goalmouth scramble in the Lazio penalty area.
Despite the interval, there was no change in the flow of play as Lazio persisted with a policy of containment while Juve continued to misfire in attack.
Krasic in particular was guilty of wastefulness with cross after cross sent sailing over the heads of willing recipients in the penalty area.
Despite the home side’s dominance, Lazio goalkeeper Muslera was not drawn into a save of note until the second minute of injury time as substitute Alessandro Del Piero sent a free kick towards the top corner.
With the referee poised to blow for full time, Muslera must have thought his vital contribution had secured a point for his side.
But there was time yet for one more surge from the persistent but wasteful Krasic, who finally produced the goods with a delicate chip over the committed goalkeeper to seal the points and extend Juve’s remarkable unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions.