January 6, 2018 / 4:51 PM / a year ago

Soccer-Immobile hits four in Lazio rout, Napoli stay top

MILAN, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Lazio forward Ciro Immobile hit four goals in a 5-2 rout of SPAL on Saturday while a routine 2-0 win at home to Verona kept Napoli top of Serie A.

Torino’s new coach Walter Mazzarri enjoyed a winning start with a 3-0 win over Bologna, who missed a penalty when the score was 1-1, and AC Milan scraped past Crotone 1-0 with the help of a goalkeeping mistake.

Meanwhile, bottom club Benevento, who failed to win in their first 18 games, made it two in a row by beating Sampdoria 3-2.

Napoli, aiming to stop Juventus’ run of six successive titles, lead with 51 points from 20 games while Juve are second with 47 ahead of their visit to Cagliari later on in the day.

Maurizio Sarri’s side needed 65 minutes to break down stubborn Verona before Kalidou Koulibaly headed in from a corner and Jose Callejon volleyed home Lorenzo Insigne’s cross.

Immobile took his tally to 20 in the league with his haul against SPAL, scoring a hat-trick between the 19th and 41st minutes and adding another five minutes into the second half.

Luis Alberto got Lazio off the mark in the fifth minute, wriggling through the defence to score a brilliant individual goal, before Mirko Antenucci levelled with a penalty three minutes later.

Antenucci also scored SPAL’s other goal in the 31st minute.

Lorenzo De Silvestri headed Torino in front in the 38th minute, as Mazzarri took his place on the bench 48 hours after replacing the sacked Sinisa Mihajlovic, before a controversial start to the second half.

Bologna’s Simone Verdi went down in the area and was booked for diving but the referee changed his mind and awarded a penalty after consulting with the video assistant referee (VAR).

However, Erick Pulgar’s spot kick was saved by Salvatore Sirigu and Torino went on to score further goals through M’Baye Niang and Iago Falque.

The VAR was also used at AC Milan who had a goal chalked off for a foul by Franck Kessie.

However, they were already in front by then after Crotone goalkeeper Alex Cordaz punched an attempted clearance straight at Leonardo Bonucci and the ball rebounded in.

Massimo Coda hit the woodwork twice before scoring a brace for Benevento against Sampdoria.

Gianluca Caprari gave the visitors a halftime lead but Coda curled in the equaliser in the 59th minute and scored with a free kick six minutes from time.

Enrico Brignola added a third and Dawid Kownacki pulled one back for Samp. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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