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Lazio close gap

Action on the Cagliari goal at the Olympic Stadium, yesterday.

Action on the Cagliari goal at the Olympic Stadium, yesterday.

Lazio closed the gap with leaders Juventus to five points last night as they beat a stubborn Cagliari side who finished the match at the Olympic Stadium with nine men following a controversial decision that led to the hosts’ second goal from a penalty.

The visitors had taken a second-half lead against the run of play following a Marco Sau goal on 62 minutes.

But Lazio, who were denied by the woodwork twice following an Anderson Hernanes free-kick and a deflected Stefano Mauri corner, hit back to avoid defeat and keep the pressure on Juventus who play Sampdoria today.

On 79 minutes, Abdoulay Konko cancelled Sau’s goal for Lazio when he tapped home from a Mauri delivery.

The comeback was completed four minutes from time as sub-stitute Antonio Candreva blasted home a penalty awarded for a dubious foul on Miroslav Klose.

Cagliari goalkeeper Michael Agazzi was dismissed by referee Daniele Orsato and his team-mate Andrea Cossu was also shown a red card for protests.

Also yesterday, Catania and Torino shared a tame goalless draw at the Stadio Massimino in the first Serie A game of 2013.

The Sicilians held on to a point, despite playing nearly the full game with only 10 men following an early red card for Francesco Lodi.

The home side missed a penalty too, but there was little else to write home about in a game which Catania coach Rolando Maran and president Antonino Pulvirenti had to follow from the mouth of the tunnel after being ejected from the technical area.

The dismissal came in the 13th minute, with Lodi lashing out in retaliation towards Riccardo Meggiorini and receiving his marching orders from ref Mauro Bergonzi.

The home fans disapproved not only of that decision, but of several more to come, and perhaps their anger influenced Bergonzi to point to the penalty spot when Mariano Izco went to the ground inside the penalty area as he cut across Giuseppe Vives.

Gonzalo Bergessio stepped up and hit the penalty against the bar.

Catania continued to pose the greater threat as a disappointing Torino failed to do anything with their one-man advantage.

The nearest they came to breaking the deadlock came in the 66th minute when Alessio Cerci curled a shot towards the far corner with Mariano Andujar scampering across his goal and ultimately happy to see it miss the upright by a foot.

Serie A

Catania 0
Torino 0

Att: 12,548.
Red card: Lodi (C) 13.
Missed penalty: Bergessio (C) 22.

Lazio 2
Konko 79; Candreva 86 pen;
Cagliari 1
Sau 62;

HT: 0-0. Att: 30,000.
Red cards: Agazzi (C) 85; Cossu (C) 85.

  P W D L F A Pts
Juventus 18 14 2 2 39 11 44
Lazio 19 12 3 4 28 19 39
Fiorentina 18 10 5 3 36 19 35
Inter 18 11 2 5 30 19 35
Napoli (-2) 18 11 3 4 33 17 34
Roma 18 10 2 6 42 29 32
Milan 18 8 3 7 34 26 27
Parma 18 7 5 6 25 24 26
Catania 19 7 5 7 26 27 26
Udinese 18 5 9 4 26 26 24
Atalanta (-2) 18 7 3 8 18 27 22
Chievo 18 6 3 9 20 29 21
Torino (-1) 19 4 9 6 20 22 20
Bologna 18 5 3 10 21 24 18
Samp (-1) 18 5 3 10 20 27 17
Pescara 18 5 2 11 15 35 17
Cagliari 19 4 4 11 17 35 16
Palermo 18 3 6 9 15 27 15
Genoa 18 3 5 10 18 30 14
Siena (-6) 18 4 5 9 16 26 11

Playing today
Chievo vs Atalanta
Fiorentina vs Pescara
Genoa vs Bologna
Juventus vs Sampdoria
Milan vs Siena
Napoli vs Roma - 20.45
Parma vs Palermo
Udinese vs Inter

Top scorers
14 goals: El Shaarawy (Milan).
13 goals: Cavani (Napoli).
10 goals: Klose (Lazio), Lamela (Roma).

Next fixtures
Tuesday: Coppa Italia QF 21.00 Lazio vs Catania.
Wednesday: Coppa Italia QF 20.45 Juventus vs Milan.
Saturday: 18.00 Bologna vs Chievo. 20.45 Inter vs Pescara.
Sunday: 12.30 Torino vs Siena. 15.00 Lazio vs Atalanta; Cagliari vs Genoa; Catania vs Roma; Napoli vs Palermo; Parma vs Juve; Udinese vs Fiorentina. 20.45 Sampdoria vs Milan.

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