Lazio kept up the pace in the race for a top four finish with an important 2-0 win over an ambitious Monza.
The Biancocelesti went into the international break off the back of a tense Derby della Capitale victory over top four rivals Roma, and they restarted the action with a spring in their step in the sprint to secure Champions League qualification.
Maurizio Sarri stuck to his usual guard for Lazio’s away trip to Monza, although star striker Ciro Immobile was again rested, leaving Felipe Anderson to fill in as a false nine in the frontline.
Lazio looked hungry as the match kicked off and quickly found a 1-0 lead thanks to Pedro, who latched onto the end of Mattia Zaccagni’s low pass to poke the ball past Michele Di Gregorio, putting the away side ahead after just 13 minutes.
The Biancocelesti had a few more attempts throughout the first half, but it was Monza who looked to fight their way back, putting Sarri’s side under pressure on a number of occasions in the first 45 minutes.
In the second half, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic delivered a masterclass free-kick after 56 minutes to double Lazio’s advantage, a curling effort from around 25 yards out that just crept past Di Gregorio, giving the Serbian star something to smile about after a run of poor form.
Monza continued to try and fight their way back but their efforts were ultimately in vain as a mature Lazio defended their advantage, seeing out yet another clean sheet.
The win keeps Lazio in a strong position in the race for a top four finish, five points ahead of fifth place Roma.