ROME (Reuters) - Lazio went top of Serie A with a 2-0 win over Bologna on Saturday in one of the five weekend top-flight matches which were unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Luis Alberto fired Lazio in front in the 18th minute and set up the second for Joaquin Correa three minutes later as the hosts extended their unbeaten Serie A run to 21 games. Bologna had two goals disallowed in the second half, one for handball and then one for offside following a VAR review.
Lazio have 62 points from 26 games, two ahead of Juventus whose match at home to third-placed Inter Milan on Sunday was one of five postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Serie A had initially announced that the five games would be played behind closed doors but changed its mind earlier on Saturday because broadcasters, fans and the clubs did not want to play in empty stadiums.
Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who has continued working this season despite undergoing treatment for leukaemia, was given a standing ovation by Lazio fans before the kickoff.
Mihajlovic played for Lazio when they won the last of their two Serie A titles in 1999-00, a team that also included current Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi.
“I never imagined we’d be top after 26 matches even knowing that I coach some really good lads,” said Inzaghi. “We should have had a bigger lead at halftime but we suffered a bit in the second half, which was a merit of Bologna.”
“We are top on our own merits, I haven’t thought about the postponement of Juventus against Inter.”
Lazio began confidently with Correa missing from close range in the second minute after weaving his way through the Bologna defence and Ciro Immobile, Serie A’s leading scorer with 27 goals, clipping the post.
They went ahead when Immobile and Correa combined to set up Luis Alberto who scored with a low shot from the edge of the area. Luis Alberto then turned provider when he sliced open the Bologna defence to set up Correa who scored with a deflected shot.
Lazio gave a surprisingly nervy second-half performance, though, and Stefano Denswil had the ball in the net for Bologna in the 52nd minute but the ball ricocheted off his arm and it was ruled out.
Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu then volleyed home but that was also chalked off for offside against Rodrigo Palacio in the build-up.
Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond