Goran Pandev celebrates the goal against Lazio; photo: Yahoo!

Pandev nets one goal, Napoli falls to Lazio

Goran Pandev celebrates the goal against Lazio; photo: Yahoo!Goran Pandev scored the lone goal for Napoli against his former club Lazio, but his side suffered a 3:1 loss to drop six points behind third place.

This was an important game as both Napoli and Lazio are battling for third place, the final position in Italy’s Serie A that leads to the Champions League.  Napoli fielded a very offensive minded formation, and trailed 1:0 early in the 9th minute when Antonio Candreva scored past Napoli keeper Morgan De Sanctis from a tight angle.

Napoli had in immediate chance to level the score in the 10th minute when Pandev put Edinson Cavani through on goal but his effort was denied by the Lazio keeper.  Napoli enjoyed more of the possession at this time and managed to score the deserving equalizer in the 34th minute through Pandev.  Ezequiel Lavezzi displayed tremendous skill by making a nice backheel pass to Pandev who showed good finishing by slotting a left footed shot past the opposing keeper.  It was Pandev’s first goal since 22 January when he netted one goal in a 1:1 draw against Siena.

Video of the goal by Pandev:


Lazio took the initiative in the 2nd half and took the lead once again in the 68th minute with a wonder goal by Stefano Mauri.  The midfielder scored with a beautiful bicycle kick following a cross from the left.  Lazio then put the game away in the 80th minute when Cristian Ledesma converted a penalty after Tommasso Rocchi was fouled by a Napoli defender inside the area.  Pandev wore down as the game went on and was substituted a minute before the third Lazio goal by Eduardo Vargas.

With the loss, Napoli remained in fifth place, but now trails third placed Lazio by six points with seven rounds remaining in the Italian top division.  Lazio has 54 points, Udinese is next with 51 points, while Napoli remained at 48 points.  The mentioned three clubs are battling for third place since each side is well behind the top two teams on the table in Juventus and Milan.   

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