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Error-prone Lazio fall at home to Verona

Milan (AFP) – Lazio fell to a 2-1 home defeat to Hellas Verona on Saturday, just days after the high of qualifying for the Champions League last-16 for the first time in two decades.

Both Verona’s goals came thanks to Lazio errors with Manuel Lazzari turning the ball into his own net just before the break in the Stadio Olimpico.

Felipe Caicedo pulled Lazio level after 56 minutes, with an impressive pivot having picked up the ball with his back to the goal.

However, a poor back-pass from Lazio defender Ștefan Radu allowed Adrien Tameze to grab the winner on 67 minutes.

Simone Inzaghi’s side suffered their third defeat at home this season, missing the chance to close in on the European places.

Lazio are eighth, nine points behind leaders AC Milan who host Parma on Sunday, with Verona moving up to sixth position.

The match was preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of 1982 World Cup winner Paolo Rossi, who died on Wednesday, aged 64.

Rossi’s photo was projected on a large screen with the words “Heroes never die” and “Ciao Paolo”.

The former Ballon d’Or winner’s funeral took place earlier Saturday in the north-eastern city of Vicenza.

– Torino in freefall –

In Turin, Andrea Belotti struck his 100th goal but Torino dropped to second last in the table after a 3-2 defeat to Udinese.

Torino matched their worst run of eight consecutive league defeats at home in Serie A, last suffered in 1959.

“Despite defeats in previous matches ‘Toro’ had always had good performances. I can’t say the same today,” said coach Marco Giampaolo, who took over in August, having been sacked by AC Milan after just seven games last season. 

Torino sparked to life after an hour managing to fight back from two-goals down against their mid-table rivals.

Ignacio Pussetto had put the visitors ahead on 24 minutes, after Udinese’s Brazilian midfielder Walace dispossessed Soualiho Meite, with play waved on despite protests of a foul from the home side.

Gerard Deulofeu sent the ball through for Argentine Pussetto to break through for a solo run to beat an outrushing Salvatore Sirigu in the Torino goal.

Rodrigo De Paul added a second for the visitors from the edge of the box nine minutes after the break, before Belotti reignited Torino hopes.

The 26-year-old picked up a Federico Bonazzoli cross on 66 minutes to finish off and repaid the favour with a back-heel allowing the Italian striker to get his first Serie A goal for Torino.

Belotti has accounted for eight of his struggling side’s 19 goals this season as they have garnered six points from 11 games.

However Udinese restored their advantage two minutes later with substitute Ilija Nestorovski finishing off a Roberto Pereyra cross.

Torino are just one point ahead of rock bottom Crotone who got their first win of the season, 4-1 over 16th-placed Spezia, with Brazilian forward Messias scoring twice. 

“It was a bad game, especially the first half, but Giampaolo is not at risk,” insisted Torino president Urbano Cairo, adding that the players would be heading into a training retreat from Sunday.

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