Lazio 0-3 AC Milan: Ibrahimovic scores as Milan impress
Ibrahimovic returns to Milan starting eleven (Photo by Claudio Pasquazi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Lazio’s Scudetto hopes took a potentially fatal blow in Rome tonight as they lost 3-0 to an impressive AC Milan side.

Milan took the lead after 22 minutes when Hakan Calhanoglu’s deflected shot beat Thomas Strakosha. The lead was quickly doubled by Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the penalty spot.

In the second half, Stefano Pioli’s team sealed the points with a calm Ante Rebic finish from inside the box.

Ibrahimovic returned to the Milan starting eleven after being out injured since picking up a calf injury in late May during training. Lazio on the other hand, were without a recognised striker after both Felipe Caicedo and Ciro Immobile picked up suspensions.

Simone Inzaghi opted to play a front two of Joaquin Correa and Luis Alberto, two very versatile attacking midfielders.

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The opening goal came after 22 minutes, courtesy of Turkish international Calhanoglu. Milan moved the ball quickly on the edge of the box, and Calhanoglu worked a shooting opportunity excellently. His shot from the edge of the box clipped Patric which helped it loop over the wrong-footed Strakosha.

Unfortunately for him and Milan, Calhanoglu went off injured towards the end of the half. He was replaced by Lucas Paqueta.

Milan thought they had doubled their lead when Ibrahimovic tucked away at the far post on the half hour mark. It was correctly ruled out for offside.

Efficient  Display from Milan

Immediately afterwards Stefano Pioli’s men had doubled their lead. A penalty was given for a handball by Stefan Radu. Ibrahimovic stepped up and seemed to have had his penalty saved by Strakosha, but the ball squirmed from beneath the Lazio keeper and trickled over the line. It perfectly illustrated the fine margins involved in a title race.

The game was very even until the Rossoneri’s quickfire double, but after that Lazio did look like a side playing without their talisman. Immobile and Caicedo have contributed 37 of Lazio’s 66 Serie A goals this season.

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Lazio started the second half brightly and thought they’d pulled a goal back when Manuel Lazzari fired home after a counter-attack. The linesman’s flag went up however and Alberto’s through ball was played too late, meaning Lazzari had strayed offside.

Not long later Milan killed the game. Giacomo Bonaventura slipped the ball into the box for Rebic, who calmly slotted passed Strakosha into the bottom-left corner.

Advantage Juventus in Title Race

This result brings Lazio’s run of 16 unbeaten Serie A games at the Stadio Olympico to an end. It also means that Juventus sit seven points clear at the top with eight games left to play. The Bianconeri beat neighbours Torino 4-1 earlier in the day, meaning this was a key fixture for Lazio.

This result proves to Milan that they have what it takes to beat the top teams, having now beaten Roma and Lazio since the restart. They’ll be hoping to do Lazio a favour in their next fixture, as they host Juve. Lazio will look to bounce back from this defeat away at Lecce.