Lazio returns to the winning streak by defeating Sassuolo

Lazio boosted its hopes of qualifying for the Champions League by winning 2-0 at relegation-threatened Sassuolo on Sunday for its first win of the new year.

Mattia Zaccagni converted a penalty in first-half stoppage time and Felipe Anderson sealed the result right at the end to help Lazio move to within three points of Inter Milan and Juventus and the final Champions League qualifying spots.

Atalanta and Roma can move back level with Lazio with wins over Salernitana and Fiorentina later.

It was Sassuolo’s sixth defeat in its past seven matches and left it seven points above the relegation zone.

Lazio had started the year poorly, losing at Lecce and then conceding two goals late on to draw 2-2 against Empoli last weekend.

It lost key forward and captain Ciro Immobile in the 15th minute when he limped off with a muscular problem.

Lazio struggled to carve out goalscoring chances but was handed the opportunity to break the deadlock at the end of the first half when Sassuolo defender Jeremy Toljan blocked Sergej Milinković-Savić’s header with an outstretched arm.

Zaccagni struck the resulting penalty into the bottom left corner.

Lazio had chances to double its lead but didn't manage to until stoppage time when Milinković-Savić nodded on a long goal kick and Anderson caught Sassuolo defender Ruan Tressoldi napping to rush into the area and round goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo before depositing into an empty net.

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