Milan, Italy (AFP) – Title-chasing Lazio suffered their first Serie A defeat in nine months, falling 3-2 at Atalanta on Wednesday to stay four points behind leaders Juventus after surrendering a two-goal lead.
Lazio, playing their first game since February 29 after the coronavirus lockdown, thanked a Marten De Roon own-goal for putting them ahead after six minutes in Bergamo with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic adding a superb second from distance five minutes later.
But Robin Gosens headed fourth-placed Atalanta back into the game seven minutes before the break with Ruslan Malinovskyi rifling in the equaliser on 66 minutes.
Jose Luis Palomino then sealed the home win 10 minutes from time.
Lazio — bidding for their third Serie A title after 1974 and 2000 — have lost just three times in the league this season.
Their most recent defeat before Wednesday was 1-0 at the hands of Inter Milan on September 25.
“We knew that returning against Atalanta was one of the worst opponents to have,” said Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi whose side were held 3-3 by the Bergamo side in Rome in October.
“Unfortunately the title race gets more complicated and we regret this, because we’re coming off a long series of unbeaten games.
“I don’t like losing and the lads are a little down.”
Atalanta are four points behind third-placed Inter Milan, who were held 3-3 at home against Sassuolo earlier Wednesday.
Eight-time reigning champions Juventus were the only one of the top three to win this week with their 2-0 victory in Bologna on Monday.
Romelu Lukaku struck his 25th goal of the season but Inter’s title hopes stalled.
“The draw hurts us,” said Inter boss Antonio Conte.
“We had several chances to kill off the game. There is a lot of regret. If we look at the goals there is so much to be reviewed, small and big individual errors.”