Lazio beats Sassuolo 2-1; Spezia wins relegation battle

Manuel Lazzari with his teammates of SS Lazio celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and US Sassuolo at Stadio Olimpico on April 2, 2022 in Rome, Italy.

Lazio boosted its bid for a European spot and put its derby nightmare behind it after a comfortable 2-1 win over Sassuolo in Serie A on Saturday. 

Manuel Lazzari and Sergej Milinković-Savić scored to send Lazio to fifth, a point above Atalanta and Roma, who play on Sunday. An unmarked Hamed Traorè pulled one back for Sassuolo deep into stoppage time. 

Lazio was still reeling from a hefty 3-0 defeat to city rival Roma before the international break. 

That had a negative effect on attendance, too, with less than 20,000 fans at the Stadio Olimpico. It was also a poor moment for team captain Ciro Immobile, who has received a lot of criticism following Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup because of his poor scoring record for the Azzurri.

Spezia celebrated wildly after a last-gasp goal earned what could prove to be a crucial 1-0 win over fellow struggler Venezia. 

Venezia — as it has done on several occasions this season — gifted the goal to Spezia when visiting defender Mattia Caldara’s header went straight to Rey Manaj. 

His attempt was saved by Venezia goalkeeper Niki Mäenpää but Emanuel Gyasi bundled in the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Spezia moved 10 points above the relegation zone. Venezia remained three points from safety. Bottom club Salernitana played mid-table Torino late.

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