|Lazio are surprise leaders of Serie A, having been relegation candidates in the last season [AFP]|
Lazio have extended their lead at the top of Serie A with a 1-0 win at Palermo.
The Rome giants now lead Italy’s top flight division by four points following their fourth away victory on the trot on Sunday, although they finished the game with only 10 men.
Lazio took victory with a goal against the run of play on 27 minutes, with Andre Dias, a defender, scoring with a volley at the far post from a Stefano Mauri freekick.
Giuseppe Biava saw red with 13 minutes to go, but Lazio held on to reach 22 points in the league, ahead of Inter Milan on 18 points and AC Milan on 17, after nine games each.
Fernando Muslera, Lazio’s Uruguayan goalkeeper, was in good shot-stopping form and prevented Palermo from fulfilling their attempts to equalise.
“It is always hard to come to Palermo and win,” Muslera said, “but the whole team played a part in this win and that is what made the difference today.
“Everyone works hard and sacrifices themselves and because of this we deserve to be top of the table.”
Lazio have surprised many by leading the table in the first stage of the season, after being relegation material last term.
Southerners Napoli climbed to fifth on Sunday, level on points behind Juventus, with a 1-0 win away to Brescia.
Napoli needed a late goal from Argentine Ezequiel Lavezzi, who got on the end of a Marek Hamsik cross, to win the game.
Sampdoria also left it late to take victory at Casena, with forward Giampaolo Pazzini striking home in injury time at the end of the match to win 1-0.
Elsewhere, Udinese beat bottom side Bari 2-0 away from home, while lowly Bologna lost by the same result at Cagliari.
Parma and Chievo played out a scoreless draw.