Ciro Immobile fired Lazio to two wins from two in Serie A with a hat-trick in a 6-1 hammering of Spezia on Saturday, while Atalanta laboured to a goalless draw with Bologna.
Immobile struck his first just seconds after Daniele Verde had given Spezia a shock fourth-minute lead in Rome, levelling the scores with a delicate dinked finish and then ramming home the second 10 minutes later with a first-time strike from just outside the penalty area.
The 31-year-old then missed a penalty in first half stoppage-time only to nod home completely unmarked from the subsequent corner to complete his treble.
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Felipe Anderson, Elseid Hysaj and Luis Alberto — who also created three of the goals — added three more stylish strikes after the break as Lazio put on a show of passing football that belied new coach Maurizio Sarri’s pre-match complaints about what he called a “shameful” Stadio Olimpico pitch.
One of Italy’s Euro 2020 heroes and the winner of the European Golden Shoe in 2020, Immobile looks in fine form in Sarri’s expansive system, having scored four of the nine goals Lazio have racked up in their opening two matches.
Italy’s entertainers over the past few seasons, Atalanta looked bereft of ideas in their stalemate with Bologna in Bergamo.
Having conceded five to second-tier Ternana in their first-round Italian Cup exit and two against promoted Salernitana last weekend, Bologna looked perfect home opposition for usually goal-hungry Atalanta.
However Gian Piero Gasperini’s side struggled to create many opportunities and had to settle for a point following an underwhelming performance.
Later on Saturday, Juventus begin life after Cristiano Ronaldo when they host promoted Empoli at the Allianz Stadium a day after the Portuguese superstar left for Manchester United.
Fiorentina are in action in the other late match against Torino at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence.