Miroslav Klose scored three minutes from time to earn Lazio a crucial 3-2 win at rock bottom Lecce on Saturday and move the Roman club up to second in Serie A. Klose scored a brace and provided the pass for Lorik Cana to add Lazio's other goal while David Di Michele and Stefano Ferrario netted for the hosts.
Klose's double took him to eight league goals this season and brought him level with AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic at number three in the scoring charts. Lazio could yet lose second place later in the tomorrow if either AC Milan draw or Udinese win, but the result ensured the capital-based club will remain amongst the front-runners.
"We know Klose's strength and if you leave him alone for a moment in the area he's unforgiving," Reja told SkySport. "Today I can say without a problem that we struggled and we were kissed by luck, Lecce deserved at least a draw.
"I expected a different performance from us but instead we struggled throughout the game. We're taking home three points thanks to our strikers but what I like about my team is their desire to fight even on a difficult evening."
Lecce may have come into the game bottom of the table but they showed no hint of an inferiority complex. From the start they were on top and they earned a penalty after Di Michele beat the offside trap and was brought down by Federico Marchetti's rash dash from his line. The former West Ham striker dusted himself down and dispatched the spot-kick.
Marchetti may have been at fault in giving away the penalty but he redeemed himself to a certain degree with a pair of fine saves from Luis Murial and Di Michele. Then, out of nothing, the visitors equalised as Mobido Diakite climbed highest to win a header and Klose turned sharply to guide the ball home from close range. Yet still it was Lecce who threatened as Murial cut inside a defender but then shot wastefully wide of the near post from 12 yards.
Lazio may have been holding on at times in the first half but they came out with a bang after the break. Cana burst from midfield, played a one-two with Klose and then shot across Massimiliano Benassi. But by the hour mark the hosts had levelled as Ruben Olivera swung a free-kick into the box and Murial hooked the half-cleared ball back into the danger area where Ferrario was one of four players lining up to knock the ball home.
Di Michele had a great chance to snatch a late winner for Lecce after turning Marius Stankevicius inside out and leaving him on his seat but he then chipped not just substitute goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo but also the bar. And the hosts were made to pay as France forward Djibril Cisse crossed from the right and Klose ghosted across his marker to flick a glancing header inside the post.