Defeat slows Lazio Champions League push


Lazio missed a glorious chance to strengthen their grip on third place in Serie A on Wednesday after losing 2-1 at relegation-threatened Novara.
A beautifully-struck free-kick from substitute Giuseppe Mascara 11 minutes from time gave Novara a win that is likely to only delay their return to the second tier.
The home side had taken a first-half lead courtesy of an own-goal from Modibo Diakite, but Lazio pulled level when Antonio Candreva turned in the rebound after Stefano Mauri’s shot had been saved.
Novara remain eight points from safety before 17th-placed Genoa kick off later on against AC Milan.
Udinese can move level on 55 points with Lazio by beating Inter Milan later, with the two rivals for the final qualifying position for next season’s Champions League set to meet on Sunday.
Lazio’s defeat also gives Napoli and Roma new hope of snatching third place.
Elsewhere later, Serie A leaders Juventus travel to Cesena.
Wednesday’s matches are those rescheduled from April 14, when the entire Italian football league programme was cancelled after Livorno’s Piermario Morosini collapsed and died during a second division game at Pescara.