Mauri lifts Lazio into fourth place


Stefano Mauri helped take Lazio into the top four of Serie A on Saturday night with two goals in a 3-0 win over Atalanta. Mauri struck early in the second half and again in the 71st minute before Senad Lulic sealed a second straight win for Stefano Pioli's men, who had gone three games without winning before beating Parma last weekend. The win lifts the Biancoceleste above Napoli and Sampdoria, who have tricky fixtures at AC Milan and Juventus respectively on Sunday, leaving Atalanta just three points above the drop zone. Atalanta, like Lazio, returned to winning ways last weekend by beating Cesena 3-2, a result which lifted some of the pressure on Stefano Colantuono after a run of six games without a win. They had the chance to build some momentum following that win when Rolando Bianchi took the ball down on his chest and volleyed wide from the edge of the penalty area. At the other end, Felipe Anderson nearly touched a left-wing cross in with the ball going agonisingly past Mauri in the centre. Those were the only notable chances in a tight first half, but the game soon opened up in the second half thanks to the Anderson and Mauri partnership. In the 51st minute, Anderson burst down the right wing and sent in a low cross which Mauri met on the slide five yards out to break the deadlock. Anderson nearly added a second on the hour mark when he curled a low shot towards the far corner, but Marco Sportiello dived down to his left to turn the ball wide with his fingertips. Anderson then set up Mauri to curl in a precise shot from the edge of the penalty area and double Lazio's lead in the 71st minute. Ten minutes later, Lulic made it three to finish Atalanta off, heading in Dusan Basta's cross from six yards out to complete the win at the Stadio Olimpico.