Genoa beat Lazio 3-2 in Sunday's early match to boost their own European qualification hopes while denting their visitors' prospects of securing a UEFA Champions League finish. Rodrigo Palacio opened the scoring with a piece of genial invention before a Bosko Jankovic brace killed the game within a minute of the restart.
Cristian Ledesma pulled a goal back from the penalty spot before Alvaro Gonzalez's last minute strike set up a nervy ending. It was the second home game in a row that Genoa had been dragged back to 3-2 after leading 3-0 but coach Pasquale Marino said that can happen sometimes. "We made some mistakes but overall we controlled the game and with less difficulty than against Napoli," he said.
"Every game has its own story, we always try to win but when opponents are behind they don't have anything left to lose and push forwards a lot. Lazio are a great team but we deserved the win, there's nothing more to say on that."
Despite the close final score Lazio, who finished with ten men after Mobido Diakite's dismissal, never looked like getting anything out of the game, conceding three soft goals. The first on nine minutes was part genius, part sheer luck as Jankovic swung over a corner which Palacio flicked on with his heel at the near post. The ball looped up over goalkeeper Federico Marchetti and dropped in at the far post, with the visitors falling foul to not having a man stationed there.
Gonzalez had a shot deflected just wide after good work from Miroslav Klose but it wasn't long before the visitors conceded again. Giuseppe Sculli, playing against the side he left last month, broke down the left and sent over a cross which Marchetti misjudged, allowing Jankovic to arrive at the back post and fire goalwards. It wasn't a great strike but it squirmed under Marchetti and then bobbled over Marius Stankevicius's outstretched leg on the line, almost in slow-motion.
Genoa goalkeeper Sebastien Frey made smart saves from Antonio Candreva and Klose as Lazio put some pressure on at the end of the first period. But a slip from Javier Garrido in the first minute of the second half allowed Jankovic to get in behind him and shoot across Marchetti into the far corner.
Lazio pulled a goal back when Giandomenico Mesto brought down Senad Lulic in the box and Ledesma dispatched the resulting penalty. Any hopes the visitors had of a comeback were put to bed in the last ten minutes as they had centre-back Diakite sent-off for something he said to referee Paolo Tagliavento.
And yet in the final minute they set up a tense finale as Klose pulled back a long punt forward for Gonzalez to fire home.