February 25, 2018 / 5:33 PM / 8 months ago

Soccer: Milinkovic-Savic strikes twice as Lazio sink Sassuolo 3-0

(Reuters) - Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored two superb goals to help Lazio move two places up to third in the Serie A after a 3-0 win at Sassuolo while the relegation scrap intensified with two of the bottom three winning on Sunday.

Second-placed champions Juventus, who are a point behind leaders Napoli, had their home game against Atalanta called off due to a snowstorm, with the pitch in their Allianz Stadium unplayable minutes before the scheduled 1700 GMT kick-off.

Roma are at home to AC Milan in the evening fixture (1945 GMT) while Napoli are away to lowly Cagliari on Monday.

Midfielder Mattia Valoti also netted a brace as second-bottom Hellas Verona beat Torino 2-1 and 18th-placed SPAL 2013 won 3-2 at Crotone, who are 17th only one point above them.

An early Cristiano Biraghi piledriver from 25 metres gave Fiorentina a 1-0 home win over Chievo Verona while Sampdoria edged visiting Udinese 2-1 with the home team’s hitman Duvan Zapata scoring after a spectacular solo run.

Serbia midfielder Milinkovic-Savic, who is reportedly being sized up by several European giants, fired Lazio ahead with a rasping shot from 25 metres and headed home the third after striker Ciro Immobile made it 2-0 with a penalty.

Top scorer Immobile scored his 23rd league goal of the season with the spot kick awarded for handball after match officials had consulted the video assistant referee (VAR) amid furious protests by the home side.

Valoti scored a pair of opportunist goals for Hellas Verona, nodding in the opener and sweeping home a late winner with a rebound from 10 metres to cancel out Mbaye Niang’s neat equaliser for Torino.

Colombia striker Zapata started a dazzling run deep in his own half and beat three defenders before scoring with a sublime lob from 15 metres as Sampdoria kept alive their remote hopes of finishing in the top four.

Centre back Matias Silvestre fired Sampdoria ahead and scored a late own goal to set up a tense finish after Zapata’s stunner had given the home side a two-goal advantage.

In the lunchtime kickoff, SPAL reinvigorated their hopes of staying in the top flight with a fine performance which scrapped Ante Budimir’s two goals for Crotone, who may well end up ruing defeat in the basement dogfight.

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic in Belgrade; Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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