Palermo fire five past depleted Lazio
Palermo thrashed a weakened Lazio 5-1 tonight at the Renzo Barbera stadium. Edgar Barreto, Massimo Donati and Matias Silvestre all scored as Palermo claimed a 3-0 half-time lead over Lazio, who were without eight players through injuries or suspension.
Igor Budan made it 4-0 early in the second half before Palermo captain Fabrizio Miccoli capped a great evening for the hosts with the team's fifth after 51 minutes played. To add insult, Lazio had defender Andre Dias sent off after being shown a second yellow card with 17 minutes remaining. However, Lazio did find the back of the net through substitute Libor Kozak five minutes from time.
Palermo's fourth successive victory at home has lifted the Sicilian club to eighth in the standings, while Lazio have dropped to fourth on goal difference. Lazio are level on 42 points with Udinese, who are third and now hold the last UEFA Champions League qualifying spot.
Lazio lost 3-1 at home to Atletico Madrid in midweek in the first leg of their last-32 UEFA Europa League tie and had to make do without a host of players, including four regular defenders.
The visitors had the first chance in the ninth minute when Emiliano Alfaro's 30-yard volley was kept out by Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano. Palermo took the lead one minute later, though, when Barreto's powerful drive from 25 yards beat Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti.
They struck again in the 20th minute when Donati hit a right-footed shot from outside the area towards the far post and out of Marchetti's reach. At the other end, Antonio Candreva tried his luck from long range but his effort went wide.
Palermo added to their lead in the 42nd minute. There was little Marchetti could do as an unmarked Silvestre got his head to Miccoli's free-kick and his well struck effort found the back of the net.
Two minutes after the restart, the hosts extended their advantage when Barreto found Budan in the box and his right-footed effort beat Marchetti. Lazio conceded again when Josip Ilicic set up Miccoli in the heart of the area and he fired past Marchetti.
Dias was then dismissed after a late foul on substitute Franco Vazquez, before the visitors broke through when Palermo failed to clear the ball in the area and Kozak struck from ten yards with a low shot past Viviano.