Rome: Miroslav Klose scored the winner as Lazio beat Inter Milan 1-0 in the Italian football league Serie A at home.
The veteran German striker hit in the goal in the 82nd minute to move Lazio to third place in the Serie A, just one point behind Inter, reports Xinhua.
Inter`s fifth defeat of the season leaves them four points behind league leaders Juventus, who can extend their lead at the top with victory over Atalanta Sunday.
In an earlier kick-off of the day, Udinese drew 1-1 with Palermo. Antonio Di Natale equalised for the hosts in the last minute, after Josip Ilicic put Palermo in front in the 33rd minute.
The first half of the game between Lazio and Inter turned out more like to be a warm-up session with neither side conjuring up a shot on goal inside the first 45 minutes.
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 a slightly closer position in the 72nd minute.
Each time, the rebound fell to Diego Milito, who first shot wide and then was denied by Federico Marchetti.
Inter head coach Andrea Stramaccioni conceded Lazio were better in the first half, but felt "Inter deserved to take the lead" in the game.
"Lazio were the better team in the first half, as we were never able to threaten, even though we didn`t concede any real scoring opportunities either," he said.
"After the break we put in a great performance. Inter deserved to take the lead, but incidents went against us and Klose is a champion. That`s football, we didn`t deserve to lose," he said.
Klose then took centre stage in the latter stage of the second half, 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 which he guided into the far post as he again fell to the ground.
Lazio head coach Vladimir Petkovic praised Klose after the victory, but warned Lazio must now start improving their away record.
"If we always give 100 per cent, then we can play like this every week. We saw a good team that only suffered under pressure for about 10-15 minutes in the second half," he said.
"I always say that the team works for Klose just as he works for the team by scoring goals. He is a great champion and puts his qualities at the disposal of the squad. Now we must learn how to play like this outside the Olimpico too."
First Published: Sunday, December 16, 2012, 11:48