Lazio vs. Cesena  3 - 2


Reja thrilled after ´extraordinary´ comeback

10 February 2012 05:20

Lazio players would have a monument built in their honour if it was up to coach Edy Reja, after their astonishing comeback against Cesena.

Playing with 10 men for nearly an hour, Lazio recovered from two goals down to claim a 3-2 victory on Thursday, jumping to third on the Serie A table in the process.

"The boys have been extraordinary," Reja told Sky Sport Italia. "This game is like winning the derby for me."

"This is a team that gives every last drop of sweat; you should build them a monument!"

"What did I tell the team during the break? I calmed the boys down and I just said that we were stronger than Cesena and that we just had to get out there and believe it."

"I was certain that we would turn the game around."

Lazio's victory has drawn them to within two points of second-placed AC Milan, albeit having a played game more than Massimiliano Allegri's side, who face Udinese on Saturday.


Serie A: Lazio 3 Cesena 2

10 February 2012 03:58

Lazio have produced a stunning comeback to beat Cesena 3-2 in Serie A on Thursday, despite a first-half red card to Abdoulay Konko.

Cesena led 2-0 at halftime after goals to Adrian Mutu and Vincenzo Iaquinta, who scored from the penalty spot on debut, but Lazio rallied to score three goals in 10 second-half minutes.

Iaquinta, who joined Cesena on loan from Juventus last month, started up front alongside Mutu and the veterans were in good touch early.

Mutu tapped home his strike-partner's low cross in the 14th minute and then won a penalty in the 33rd minute when Konko slid in from behind and tripped the Romanian in a heavy challenge.

The French defender, who joined Lazio from Genoa in July, was the last man and was rightly sent off just before Iaquinta comfortably converted the penalty.

Lazio, however, looked inspired with only 10 men on the field and started the second half in determined fashion.

Hernanes got the comeback started with a top-notch goal in the 53rd minute.

The Brazilian playmaker collected the ball with his back to goal as he moved across the top of the box and, after taking a touch, turned and struck a powerful shot past Cesena custodian Francesco Antonioli.

That sparked a frenetic 10 minutes for the home side as Senad Lulic and substitute Libor Kozak also got on the scoresheet, handing Lazio the lead.

The victory takes Lazio above Udinese into third on the Serie A table although Udinese have a game in hand on the club from the Italian capital.

Cesena manager Daniele Arrigoni will be furious after his side surrendered their two-goal lead as an away win would have been a huge bonus for the struggling club, who are second last and four points from safety.


Serie A preview: Udinese target Milan

9 February 2012 17:15

Udinese have a chance to close the gap on second-placed AC Milan in Serie A this week, while Inter Milan will be out to end their poor run.

Francesco Guidolin's Udinese, three points adrift of AC Milan, host Saturday's clash, when the visitors will be without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Sweden international was red-carded in his team's 0-0 draw at home to Napoli on Sunday, and handed a three-match ban AC Milan intend to appeal.

Ibrahimovic has netted 15 league goals this campaign, a tally bettered only by Udinese forward Antonio Di Natale (16).

Inconsistent Udinese have failed to win consecutive games this year, but they have the opportunity to take a step toward second by defeating Milan at Stadio Friuli.

Freezing temperatures across Italy have forced several Serie A games to be postponed in recent weeks, but all are scheduled to go ahead.

Elsewhere, Claudio Ranieri's Inter enter their clash against Novara on Sunday on the back of a four-match winless run in all competitions.

Inter had looked potential title challengers after recovering from their slow start to the campaign, but losses to Roma and Lecce have seen them fall nine points adrift of leaders Juventus.

Juventus travel to the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara to take on Bologna, and will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten league record, which has stretched to 21 matches.

Antonio Conte's men also took a step closer to booking a spot in the Coppa Italia final with a 2-1 win over AC Milan in the first leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.

Lazio could briefly move third if they beat Cesena on Thursday.

That fixture has been moved forward because of the Six Nations rugby clash between Italy and England, which is to be played in Rome on Saturday.

In other matches, Parma welcome Fiorentina to the Stadio Ennio Tardini on Sunday, Palermo face Cagliari, and Roma host struggling Siena.

Catania sit 14th despite heading into their clash against Genoa on the back of a five-game winless league run, while Napoli host Chievo.

Elsewhere, Lecce are three points from safety ahead of their trip to Atalanta.

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +48 84
2 38 +41 80
3 38 +17 64
4 38 +9 62
5 38 +20 61
6 38 +3 58
7 38 +6 56
8 38 +1 56
9 38 -2 51
10 38 -10 49
11 38 -5 48
12 38 -2 46
13 38 -6 46
14 38 +0 44
15 38 -9 43
16 38 -10 43
17 38 -19 42
18 38 -16 36
19 38 -30 32
20 38 -36 22
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