Lazio secured their highest Serie A finish in over two decades with a confident 2-0 win over Empoli.
The Biancocelesti needed victory in Tuscany following Inter’s 1-0 win over Torino, a result which temporarily saw them leapfrog Maurizio Sarri’s side in the league table.
Empoli held Lazio to a 2-2 draw in Rome when the two teams met back in January, so Sarri and his players were aware that nothing could be taken for granted as they prepared for the clash at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.
Lazio were clearly in control in the first half, putting Empoli under consistent pressure as Luis Alberto and Pedro both had early chances, forcing Guglielmo Vicario to action. The Azzurri shot stopper continued to impress in the first 45 minutes, stopping Ciro Immobile and Patric from giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The two sides went into the half time break level but things quickly changed in the second half. A dangerous corner from Luis Alberto was perfectly met by Alessio Romagnoli, whose header flew past Vicario to make it 1-0 to Lazio.
The Empoli goalkeeper continued his heroics in the second half but it wasn’t enough to keep the Biancocelesti out, and eventually Sarri’s side doubled their advantage, but not before Nicolo Cambiaghi was shown a second yellow card in the 90th minute for a cynical foul on Mattia Zaccagni.
In the 92nd minute, a well placed shot by Luis Alberto from outside the penalty area crept past Vicario, comfortably closing out Lazio’s win and guaranteeing all three points in Tuscany.
The result was enough to see Lazio secure a second place finish in Serie A, their best finish since winning the Scudetto in the 1999-2000 season.