Lazio return to Serie A summit
Lazio returned to the top of Serie A after a workmanlike win over Bari at the Stadio San Nicola.
Anderson Hernanes broke the deadlock after a dull first half and Sergio Floccari added a second after an hour to earn I Biancoceleste all three points in a dreary encounter. Bari woke up late and had a hatful of chances to score in the last ten minutes but by then the damage had been done as Lazio moved back to the top of the pile on 16 points.
The few fans who had chosen to attend the match at the Stadio San Nicola on a wet and humid evening were hardly entertained in the first half. A header from Andre Dias which missed the post by inches was the only highlight of a very disappointing opening 45 minutes.
It did not look like the second half was going to be much better until Hernanes opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. It was a scrappy goal with Stefano Mauri's harmless-looking ball finding its way through to Hernanes, who placed his shot through the legs of Jean-Francois Gillet.
The game finally came to life and Hernanes almost scored a second three minutes later, but this time he shot into the side-netting. The second goal arrived within ten minutes of the first and was another messy effort.
Mauri struck his shot poorly but still managed to inadvertently find Floccari in the centre. Floccari's shot was even worse as he thumped the ball into the ground, but it looped up over Gillet and into the goal.
Fortune was on Lazio's side but the reverse was true for Bari, who could have had four goals late on but ended drawing a blank. Substitute Jose Castillo's header was saved by Nelson Muslera in the 71st minute before the post, Muslera, and then the post again contrived to prevent Castillo from scoring ten minutes from time.
Castillo then fired across the face of goal with only Muslera to beat and Sergio Almiron shot straight at the Lazio goalkeeper as a late Bari surge went unrewarded.