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Dec 15, 2012

Miroslav Klose leads Lazio over Inter

Miroslav Klose scored late to give Lazio a 1-0 victory over Inter Milan on Saturday at the Stadio Olimpico.

Inter hit the post twice in a game that came to life in the second half, but it was Klose who decided matters in the 82nd minute to help Lazio move to within a single point of second-placed Inter in the standings.

Inter's fifth defeat of the season leaves it four points behind league leader Juventus, which can extend its lead at the top with victory over Atalanta on Sunday.

The game needed the first half to get going with neither side conjuring up a shot on goal inside the first 45 minutes.

The only flutter of excitement came three minutes before halftime when Klose pointed to where he wanted the ball to be delivered, but clipped the heal of Alvaro Pereira as he tried to get there, and his claims for a penalty were waved away by the referee.

The game then came to life in the second half with Inter hitting the woodwork twice in a strong five-minute spell.

Fredy Guarin was first to rattle the post with a shot from 25 yards in the 67th minute, with Antonio Cassano hitting the same part of the goal frame from slightly closer in the 72nd minute.

Each time, the rebound fell to Diego Milito, who first shot wide and then was denied by Federico Marchetti.

In between, Hernanes curled a free kick over the wall but into the arms of Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

Klose then took centre stage, missing two easy chances before scoring the most difficult one.

He first failed to control the ball just five yards in front of Handanovic's goal with the ball trickling to the Inter custodian in the 79th minute.

Two minutes later, Klose's control again let him down as he burst into the area, but again failed to get a shot in.

It was third time lucky in the 82nd minute though, as the German made up for his previous stumbles with a shot on the stretch that he guided into the far post as he again fell to the ground.

Inter launched a late assault on the Lazio goal but failed to find an equalizer as Lazio held on for the win.

In Saturday's other fixture, Antonio Di Natale was Udinese's savior once again with his last-gasp goal earning the Friulians a 1-1 draw at home to Palermo.

Josip Ilicic put the visitors in front in the 33rd minute with Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic getting caught out by a divot on a far from regular pitch after recent snow.

Brkic then kept Udinese in the game before Di Natale struck to grab a point for the home side, which extended its unbeaten run to three games.

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