Maurizio Sarri’s side dominated possession in the opening exchanges, but they lacked a cutting edge and struggled to break down a deep-sitting defence. Even when chances did come their way, they were squandered thanks to some poor finishing, with Ciro Immobile uncharacteristically missing from close range to send audible groans from the home crowd.
The longer the game stayed all square, the more the visitors grew in confidence, and their best first-half chance fell to Michaël Cuisance, although his shot was blocked after a flowing counter attack. Lazio responded, and came agonisingly close to opening the scoring just before HT, when Pedro hit the woodwork from close range after Felipe Anderson’s initial effort had been saved.
Lazio were nearly made to pay for those missed chances after the break, as Manolo Gabbiadini saw his shot saved after a terrible error in the hosts’ defence. Goalkeeper Ivan Provedel was called upon shortly afterwards too, denying Sam Lammers at the back post, before Immobile failed to convert another glorious opening at the other end, lifting over the bar from close range, while Adam Marušić was also guilty of missing the target.
The hosts had wrested back the momentum by now, and Anderson was once more thwarted by Samp goalkeeper Emil Audero, but the deadlock was finally broken in stunning fashion with just 10 minutes left, as Alberto hammered into the top corner from 20 yards. The lowest scorers in the Italian top flight predictably had no response, and they ultimately slipped to a ninth game without a victory, while Lazio jump above capital enemies Roma into fourth.
Flashscore Man of the Match: Felipe Anderson (Lazio)