Ciro Immobile sat atop the Serie A scoring charts on Saturday after his early double helped fire Lazio to a comfortable 3-0 win at rock-bottom Salernitana.
Immobile sinks Salernitana to move top of Serie A scoring charts
Ciro Immobile, pictured here after scoring at Inter Milan last weekend, has scored 17 Serie A goals for the season after his brace at Salernitana
Italy forward Immobile netted twice in the first 10 minutes to give the away side a lead that they never looked like relinquishing and take his league tally to 17, one more than Fiorentina's rising star Dusan Vlahovic, in 18 appearances.
After scoring his 140th league goal with Lazio, where he has played since 2016, Immobile hit back at criticism of his performances for the national team, where he has been much less prolific in front of goal.
"I'm a European champion, and my stats speak for themselves, I don't need to respond to that stuff on TV or on social media," said Immobile, who has scored 15 times in 54 caps for Italy.
"I scored twice at the Euro, scored 140 goals in Serie A with Lazio, I've won the European Golden Shoe... these are things that speak for themselves, I don't need to say anything."
Manuel Lazzari scored the other goal in a win which moved Lazio into sixth place, six points off the Champions League positions having played two games more than fourth-placed Atalanta, who host leaders and reigning champions Inter Milan on Sunday.
They are three points behind Juventus ahead of their match with Udinese in Turin later on Saturday.
Salernitana, who announced three new Covid-19 cases shortly before kick-off to take their virus tally to six players, stay in last place after their 15th defeat of their first season in Serie A in over two decades.
They are six points away from 17th-placed Venezia after losing to a team owned by Claudio Lotito, whose ownership also of Salernitana almost led to the promoted club being booted out of Serie A until they were saved at the last minute by new owner Danilo Iervolino.
Immobile opened the scoring with a well-placed strike with six minutes on the clock, the 31-year-old making the most of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's extravagant flick by rolling home a first-time finish with his left foot.
And three minutes later he gave Lazio a two-goal lead, this time tapping home Pedro's low cross from close-range.
Immobile would have had a first-half hat-trick had his header from a free-kick not landed just the wrong side of the goalline after crashing down from the underside of bar.
Lazio cruised through the second half and added a third in the 66th minute thanks to Lazzari's thumping near-post finish after being rolled in by Felipe Anderson.
Earlier Torino came from behind to win 2-1 at Sampdoria thanks to headers in each half from Wilfried Singo and Denis Praet.
Torino, ninth and four points behind Lazio who sit in the Conference League spot, have played one game fewer than the Roman outfit after their match at Atalanta earlier this month was not played following a spike of Covid cases at the Turin-based club.
Francesco Caputo scored for Sampdoria, who stay 15th and four points above the relegation zone after their third straight defeat.
Roberto D'Avera's side should have snatched a late draw when Fabio Quagliarella headed wide from close range when set up with a pinpoint cross from Riccardo Ciervo with a minute remaining.
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