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Sassuolo stun Lazio to boost Euro hopes

MILAN: Domenico Berardi and Gregoire Defrel scored in either half as Sassuolo stunned Lazio 2-0 in Rome on Monday to boo

February 29, 2016

imageMILAN: Domenico Berardi and Gregoire Defrel scored in either half as Sassuolo stunned Lazio 2-0 in Rome on Monday to boost their chances of European football next season.

Lazio welcomed Eusebio Di Francesco's visitors looking to get back to winning ways after being held to a scoreless draw at Frosinone last week.

But after a messy, rain-hit encounter that saw Lazio struggle for long spells, it was the visitors who were celebrating claiming their 10th win of the season.

Sassuolo, claiming their second successive win after last week's 3-2 defeat of Empoli, broke the deadlock on 41 minutes when Berardi beat Etrit Berisha from the penalty spot after Defrel was felled by a clumsy challenge from Mauricio.

Lazio spurned a quickfire equaliser when Marco Parolo steered his header a foot wide from Lucas Biglia's cross.

Lazio upped their efforts after the break, but it was Sassuolo who next came closest, Berisha doing brilliantly to stop Berardi on a one-on-one after being allowed to go clear by Mauricio.

Sassuolo gave Lazio a mountain to climb on 67 minutes when Defrel beat Berisha with a perfect finish after taking Nicola Sansone's pass through the middle.

Lazio forward Felipe Anderson came off worse in a challenge and, along with German striker Miroslav Klose, was hauled off with 15 minutes remaining.

Stefano Mauri and Filip Djordjevic came on to try and salvage a share of the points but Lazio slumped to their 10th defeat of the season to remain eighth at 24 points behind leaders Juventus, who beat Inter Milan 2-0 on Sunday to boost their bid for a fifth successive 'scudetto', and four behind Sassuolo.

Sassuolo's joy was tempered by seeing Berardi hobble off in the dying minutes with a suspected ankle injury after he went in for a challenge on Luca Biglia that left him kicking the Brazilian's studs.

In Monday's late match, second-placed Napoli are away to Fiorentina in a bid to close the gap on Juve to one point.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016