Guberti 29, Pazzini 36
Lazio must have thought that its luck was about to change when Sergio Floccari controlled a long pass and slipped the ball past Marco Storari for the opener. Stefano Guberti put pay to any thoughts that the day maybe Lazio’s when on 29 minutes his shot from fully 30 yards sent the Blucerchiati into raptures. Lazio had not defended a set piece well and had been punished for allowing the man on loan from Roma too much time and space to shoot. Lazio’s misery was later compounded when only seven minutes later Sampdoria scored again this time it was Giampaolo Pazzini’s turn when he latched onto a superb flick from Franco Semioli to volley home from close range. It was a shame for Lazio as they had played well throughout the game despite having Mauro Zárate sent off late on, but Sampdoria hung on to win 2-1.
Lazio will have to admit to itself that the club is in serious trouble, it lies at 17th place only three points clear of Livorno. The next three games are crucial to Lazio’s season as it face Bari at home, Cagliari away and Siena at home. There are possibilities of picking up points in these games even though with Lazio’s current form it still will not be easy, the run in after this though will prove a lot tougher. Lazio travel to play Milan at the end of March followed by a testing two ties against Napoli and Bologna, the run in gets worse as this is followed by the fierce Rome derby and then a tricky away day at Genoa. The season finishes with a huge home tie against current champions Inter then relegation rivals Livorno are next before Udinese at home is the final fixture. When assessing the run in, it will be crucial for Lazio to get as many points as possible in March and the form of Mauro Zárate and Sergio Floccari will be key in helping the Biancocelesti survive, however if they take the spirit shown in the game at Sampdoria into the rest of the season we should be seeing Lazio in the top flight next year.
Victory for Sampdoria has moved them to sixth place and back into the Europa League places. After not living up to early season promise Sampdoria is looking to at the very least secure European football for the Genoese club. The three points at Lazio will be a big boost after it fell foul of Parma the week before. The sight of Giampaolo Pazzini scoring after superb inter play with Franco Semioli will be a welcome sight as it will look as though the promising signs seen at Fiorentina three games earlier were not just a one off. The Genoese is slowly getting back to form now with only one defeat in eight and more stability shown throughout the team. Sampdoria’s run in, in March, does throw up a tricky visit of Juventus but other than that it should be quietly confident that it can make the European slot its own.