Italy: Lazio eye top four with Lecce win

Rome: Lazio closed in on Serie A’s Champions League places on Sunday with a 1-0 win over lowly Lecce to pull level with fourth-placed Fiorentina.

Felipe Anderson crashed in the only goal of a hard-fought win in the 58th minute at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, a fifth straight success in all competitions for Maurizio Sarri’s team.

Fiorentina, who sit in the last Champions League spot and host Udinese later on Sunday.

Bologna are a point behind in sixth after losing 2-1 at Cagliari, who moved up to 16th and one point away from the relegation zone after snapping a five-match winless streak.

Before kick-off in the Italian capital Lazio paid tribute to their former manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, who on Wednesday said he had no more than a year to live after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Eriksson won the Serie A title in 2000 and the last-ever Cup Winner’s Cup the year before with a star-studded Lazio team that featured Sinisa Mihajlovic, Juan Veron, Alessandro Nesta and Marcello Salas.

‘My Way’ played over the speakers while fans unfurled a banner saying “The battle starts now, Sven we are with you”.

The match was played in front of fans despite Lazio being hit with one-match stand closures for supporters racially abusing Romelu Lukaku during the midweek Italian Cup win over local rivals Roma.

Lazio will serve the ban in their next home match against Napoli at the end of the month.

AC Milan host Roma in the weekend’s headline match on Sunday, with Stefano Pioli’s third-placed side trailing league leaders Inter Milan by 12 points.