Serie A - Lazio sink Bari to go top of Serie A
Lazio went top of Serie A with a 2-0 win at Bari thanks to second half strikes from Hernanes and Sergio Floccari.
Lazio were unconvincing for much of the contest but a clinical finish from Hernanes set the away side on their way.
With Bari then searching for an equaliser, Floccari's lucky strike put the game beyond a toothless Bari.
The win means that Eddy Reja's side leapfrog AC Milan and Internazionale to go top of Serie A, with five wins from seven games.
In a tepid first half of very few clear cut chances, Lazio defender Andre Dias spurned the best opportunity after Cristian Ladesma whipped in a fast curling ball from a free kick wide on the right. But Dias, with the goal at his mercy, could only head wide of the mark.
But Lazio proved why they are now Serie A leaders and came out of the blocks for the second half like a different side to the one that showed very little attacking threat in the first period.
And it was the lively Hernanes who gave Lazio the lead out of nothing in the 52nd minute.
Stefano Mauri's speculative low cross from the left wasn't cleared by Bari and the ball went all the way through to Hernades at the far post, who took a touch before putting the ball low through Gillet's legs and into the back of the net.
With Bari making tentative attempts to find a path back into the game, Lazio struck again, albeit in very fortuitous circumstances.
Mauri volleyed a deep cross towards goal and, from very close range, Floccari redirected the shot with his knee over the helpless Jean Francois Gillet.
The double-strike took the wind out of Bari's sails but Lazio just about deserved their lead for their superior class on the attack.
Jose Castillo gave Lazio cause for concern in the last ten minutes when he found the post with a free header from a corner and, again, when he could only lift the ball wide with Lazio keeper Fernando Muslera fully committed.
Mauri, Hernanes and Floccari linked superbly at times, but the flashes of their chemistry were too few and far between to show any indication that Lazio possess an attacking threat to rival those of their Milan-based Serie A title rivals.
But Lazio were fluid when they had to be and Hernanes's clinical finish showed the kind of predatory instincts that the Romans will need if they are to sustain their position at the Serie A summit.