Lazio climb to third after crushing of minnows Lecce

Lazio climb to third after crushing of minnows Lecce

ROME - Lazio went third in the Italian Serie A on Sunday thanks to a 4-2 defeat of promoted Lecce marked by a Joaquin Correa brace and a goal from top striker Ciro Immobile.

The Romans, now on 24 points from 12 games, are ahead on goal difference over Cagliari, who earlier crushed visiting Fiorentina 5-2.

Lazio's initial pressure led to Correa's opener, with the visitors levelling before half-time from Gianluca Lapadula.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic put Lazio back in front on 62 minutes, and after Lecce's Khouma Babacar had a penalty saved Immobile converted from the spot on 78 minutes, beefing up his tally to 14 goals.

Correa netted his second and Lazio's fourth before Andrea La Mantia's second for the guests.

Home captain Immobile received the Serie A best player award for October before the game at the Stadio Olimpico.

Atalanta were held 0-0 at troubled Sampdoria, having Ruslan Malinovskyi dismissed after a second caution on 74 minutes and going level on 22 points with Roma, who look to regain third place when they visit Parma later Sunday.

Cagliari continued their brilliant campaign with Marko Rog, Fabio Pisacane and ex-Fiorentina striker Giovanni Simeone settling matters against Fiorentina by the 34th minute, with Joao Pedro and Radja Nainggolan on target after the break. Youngster Dusan Vlahovic netted a late brace for the Florentines, who stayed eighth on 16 points.

The game at the rainy Sardegna Arena had a brief emotional interruption on 13 minutes to commemorate Davide Astori, who died of a heart attack in March 2018 while at Fiorentina after six seasons at Cagliari.

The defender donned the number 13, which both clubs have retired.

Mid-table Udinese drew 0-0 against second-last visitors SPAL, who saw Andrea Petagna miss a late penalty.

Champions Juventus (29) close the matchday at home to AC Milan, hoping to reclaim first place after Inter Milan (31) leapfrogged them by beating Verona on Saturday.

Napoli were held 0-0 at home to Genoa and Torino hammered tailenders Brescia 4-0 on Saturday, with Sassuolo beating Bologna 3-1 a day earlier.