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It's a shame that Miroslav Klose's injury has hurt Lazio so much. With him, Lazio were cruising, comfortably in third place. Without him, over their last eight games prior to their 2-0 win over Atlanta, they were 2-2-4, falling to sixth before jumping back to fourth with their recent win.
Nevertheless, Lazio's performance this season has been very solid, considering the team's value in comparison with the team values of other teams in Serie A.
Lazio comes in ninth, behind teams like Roma, Fiorentina and Genoa, who have all underperformed this season.
The truth is that Lazio's squad is highly unremarkable. There are a number of decent players, but only Cristian Ledesma, Hernanes and Klose stand out as players of true quality, and Klose of course is in the twilight of his career.
Lazio, despite their late-season meltdown, have done well to be where they are, and should be happy that coach Edy Reja even had them in contention for a Champions League spot with one match to go.
Other clubs that deserve recognition are Bologna as I've already mentioned earlier, and Udinese, who like Lazio had no business competing with Napoli and Inter Milan for a spot in the Champions League.
However, I've selected Lazio over Udinese because Udinese, though under-equipped, do have more skilled and dangerous players than Lazio.