Lazio came into this game knowing that a Champions League group stage spot was confirmed, while the visitors had their sixth relegation in eight top-flight seasons confirmed last week, leaving neither side with much to play for in the penultimate round of SA fixtures other than pride.
The laid-back nature of the game showed from the hosts as they took the lead through Elseid Hysaj within five minutes. Ciro Immobile received just outside the box and the captain played the ball through first time to the advancing Albanian full-back, who calmly slotted the ball around Mouhamadou Sarr in the Cremonese goal.
The goal didn’t change the tempo much as Lazio continued to hold the ball, while Cremonese tried to move forward, but nothing was coming together for Serie A’s second-worst side this season.
Just as the game looked like it would be heading to half-time with nothing more to speak of, Pedro curled a low cross into the front post, where Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was lurking, as the Serbian flicked the ball into the far post to double Lazio’s lead.
There wasn’t much action at the start of the second half, but just as it looked like it was about to drop into the same stagnation, Cremonese found a way back into the game. Emanuele Valeri passed the ball to Pablo Galdames, whose deflected effort from the edge of the box went past Ivan Provedel.
The comeback was complete just before the hour mark, as Manuel Lazzari tried to head a loose cross back to his own keeper, but instead, the defender’s header bounced off the post and just crossed the line before Provedel could claw it back to make it 2-2.
Reignited by conceding the equaliser Lazio chased the winner, with Milinkovic-Savic making the most of a chaotic box to head the ball into an empty goal for the win and send the hosts above Inter Milan despite Maurizio Sarri’s late red card.
Meanwhile, Cremonese can take pride in their performance despite the late goal.