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Empoli 2-1 Lazio

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Empoli snapped a three-game losing streak to inflict Lazio's first defeat in seven matches with a 2-1 win at the Stadio Castellini.

Federico Barba put the Tuscan side in front on the hour mark, with Massimo Maccarone doubling their lead soon after.

Filip Djordjevic pulled a goal back for the Biancocelesti but they were unable to find an equaliser as they missed an opportunity to move level with Roma in second.

The only statistic needed to sum up the first half at the Stadio Castellini was the one which showed how little the goalkeepers had been involved in the game, with not a single shot on target at either end of the field.

The only shots which did arrive failed to trouble the custodians, with Lazio's Antonio Candreva going the closest.

In a game of so few opportunities, it was important to make the most of them, and Empoli did just that with their first attempt on goal in the 52nd minute.

It was defender Barba who scored it, rising bravely when under the challenge of two Lazio defenders to head a corner inside the far post.

The complexion of the game suddenly altered and the chances started to arrive at both ends, with Maccarone doubling Empoli's lead four minutes later with an accurate left-footed shot rounding off a well-worked set-piece.

Like Empoli scored with their first shot on target, Lazio did the same to reduce the arrears in the 66th minute.

Candreva crossed the ball back from the goal line to the far post where Djordjevic rose to head the ball back into the opposite corner.

The remainder of the game was a battle for Empoli to hold onto their lead with Lazio pushing for an equaliser.

Djordjevic had another header deflected wide but Lazio's play was becoming a little too predictable and, as a result, easy for Empoli to defend against.

Candreva was the target down the right and he invariably tried to send the ball in for Djordjevic or substitute Miroslav Klose, but Empoli were not going to fall for it as they held on to three priceless points.

ends

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