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Football

Lazio suffer shock loss to Chievo

Juventus are rumoured to be signing French striker Nicolas Anelka as Lazio miss opportunity to close gaps on leaders.
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2013 22:11
Chievo keeper Christian Puggioni (L) celebrates with teammate Bostjan Cesar after unlikely victory [AFP]

An Alberto Paloschi strike in the 61st minute handed Chievo a shock 1-0 win and derailed Lazio's Serie A title hopes on Saturday.

With Juventus only managing a draw against Genoa it was the perfect opportunity for Lazio to close the gap on the leaders in Rome's Olympic stadium.

But despite dominating for long periods, Vladimir Petkovic's side, playing with German veteran striker Miroslav Klose, ultimately failed to find a way through the Chievo defence and left the pitch to a chorus of jeers and whistles.

Antonio Candreva skewed an angled drive wide after being set-up Sergio Floccari and then Frenchman Abdoulay Konko saw his close range shot saved by 'keeper Christian Puggioni.

"We needed some extra firepower up front. It's a short-term deal. We have tied Anelka to a five-month dea"

Juve club president Beppe Moratta

Lazio had limited Chievo's offensives in the opening period, but were stunned when the visitors scored a well-deserved goal just after the hour.

French midfielder Cyril Thereau found space on the edge of the Lazio box and cut the ball back for Bojan Jokic. The Slovenian's first-time drive came off the crossbar and Paloschi was on hand to tap home the rebound.

The goal took the wind out of Lazio's sails and they were left even more frustrated after chances by Andre Dias and Stefano Mauri went begging.

Juventus spurned the chance to move eight points clear of Napoli and Lazio after being held 1-1 by Genoa in what was Davide Ballardini's first game back in charge of the visitors.

Antonio Conte's side had relaunched their title defence with a resounding 4-0 win over Udinese last week when both Napoli and Lazio drew in their respective fixtures.

But despite dominating a pulsating encounter in Turin, Juventus grudglingly settled for a share of the spoils after second-half substitute Marco Borriello levelled Fabio Quagliarella's opener for the hosts.

Juve created several chances in the final 20 minutes but came up short, and were left furious after being denied a solid penalty claim after the ball came off the arm of Swedish defender Andreas Granqvist.

They now have a six-point lead over Napoli, who travel to Parma on Sunday, with Lazio third, also on 43 points, after their defeat by Chievo.

But frustraing draw aside, there could be some good news for the Italian club in the form of a new arrival.

According to club president Beppe Moratta, Juventus have signed French striker Nicolas Anelka from Shanghai Shenhua on a five-month rolling contract.

The former France international, 33, becomes the Serie A champions' second big-name signing in a week after the capture of Spain international Fernando Llorente, who will join the club on July 1.

Moratta said: "We needed some extra firepower up front. It's a short-term deal. We have tied Anelka to a five-month deal."

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