Lazio hit top spot before Inter meet Juventus

Updated: Oct 04, 2010, 09:58 AM IST

London: Lazio rose to the heady heights of top spot in Serie A for at least a few hours with a 1-0 win over Brescia while struggling city rivals AS Roma went down 2-0 at second-placed Napoli.

Lazio, relegation candidates last term but revitalised under Edy Reja, moved on to 13 points from six games but will be overhauled on goal difference by Inter Milan if the champions beat rivals Juventus later (1845 GMT) in the day`s big clash.

"We have to arrive at 40 points before anything else, no joking," experienced coach Reja told Sky, still half-expecting another relegation dogfight for the 1974 and 2000 champions.

"This result and position in the table is a reward to the lads who since the start of the campaign and in pre-season have never given up."

Stefano Mauri netted for hosts Lazio just before the break when playmaker Hernanes, bought from Sao Paulo and already looking one of the Serie A signings of the season, used his trickery to release the midfielder who finished with aplomb.

Palermo`s new Slovenian midfielder Josip Ilicic has also made a big impression in his first weeks in Italy, scoring his third league goal with a spectacular left-foot shot to set up a 2-1 win at stumbling Fiorentina.

Highly rated Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore netted another fine goal for the second before Alberto Gilardino hit back for the hosts, who also missed a penalty and had other chances before having Riccardo Montolivo dismissed.

It was a day for midfielders breaking into the box and Marek Hamsik made Napoli`s pressure tell by bagging the second-half opener in a 2-0 home victory over Roma, who were runners-up last term but now lie second bottom.

Claudio Ranieri`s Roma beat Inter at home last weekend for a first win of the campaign but they threatened little in Naples where the home side went close through Edinson Cavani before Hamsik finally broke through.

Juan`s late own goal ended a miserable day for Roma and helped Napoli move into second above AC Milan, 1-0 winners at Parma on Saturday.

Luca Toni headed home deep into stoppage time to give Genoa a 2-1 home win over Bari while Sampdoria drew 1-1 at Bologna.

Chievo and Cagliari played out a goalless draw and promoted Lecce beat visitors Catania 1-0 in the early kickoff.

Bureau Report