S.S Lazio 4-0 Xanthi FC
S.S. Lazio stepped up a gear after the interval to subdue the spirited challenge of Greek outfit Xanthi FC in tonight’s UEFA Cup first round first-leg tie in Rome.
The crack Italian side, still smarting from a poor start to their domestic season, struggled to break open a stubborn visitors' rearguard for much of the first half, but finally broke the deadlock when Christian Manfredini gave them the lead just before the interval.
No looking back
In the second half, there was no looking back for the Rome-based team. Claudio López made it 2-0 after 52 minutes, Simone Inzaghi scored a third after 68 minutes, and César Rodrigues made it four a minute later. Lazio also hit the crossbar twice and had two goals disallowed.
"Before the kick-off, the team was a bit tense after the weekend defeat against Chievo," said Lazio's coach Roberto Mancini. "We struggled in the first half, and Xanthi were dangerous on the break. Our first goal helped a lot, and made the second half easier for us. All in all, I'm happy with the result, but there’s still room for improvement."
Thanks for qualification
"It's our first game in Europe," said Xanthi coach Nikolaos Karageorgiou, "and we're immediately playing against a big team in a big stadium. We lost concentration in the second half, but the players gave all they had, and I'd like to thank them for getting us into Europe, as well as our fans for their great support."