It was a pivotal match for Napoli" href="http://bleacherreport.com/napoli" target="_blank">Napoli to maintain their choke hold on fleeting Juventus" href="http://bleacherreport.com/juventus" target="_blank">Juventus, as going six points behind the bianconeri would prove disastrous for their dream of winning a scudetto for the first time since 1990.
Lazio's home record at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome is formidable, as they've won nine out of 12 matches in Serie A this season. Despite succumbing to injury in recent months, with the loss of German hit man Miroslav Klose being the most notable, the resurgent Sergio Floccari stepped in to keep Lazio in Champions League contention.
Having netted five goals in the last six appearances for Lazio, Floccari hasn't let biancocelesti fans become nostalgic for Klose. The oft-injured Italian hit man has failed to cement himself into any particular team in recent years, as his best season came during his Atalanta days. However, Floccari has delivered the goods after receiving renewed faith from coach Vladimir Petkovic.
On this day, Floccari was not only the sole goal scorer for Lazio, but hit the post twice. The first time with a curling masterpiece from 35 yards out, and then a thunderous header in the dying minutes which rattled off the crossbar of Morgan De Sanctis.
Needing a goal, Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri inserted three offensive players: Omar El Kaddouri, new acquisition Emanuele Calaio and the tricky youngster Lorenzo Insigne. It was El Kaddouri's corner kick to defender Hugo Campagnaro which proved to be the deciding factor to help Napoli acquire a precious point, in a match that ended as an exhilarating 1-1 tie.
There's no doubting Lazio was the better team during the entire course of the match. Despite Napoli's constant pressure and always dangerous counter attacking, it was the home team that looked more dangerous on a plethora of created chances.
Also worth mentioning the debut of the highly experienced Louis Saha, who joined the Roman outfit in the last days of the January transfer window from Sunderland. Even though he's 34 years old, Saha can relieve a very thin Lazio striking core. With Klose injured and Mauro Zarate perennially in the dog house, Saha will get his chances to show he's still capable of helping a team with European aspirations.
Overall, this match was yet another striking counter argument to the highly outdated notion that the Serie A is a slow, boring league. For neutrals, it was a heart warming reminder of the passion felt by two of the greatest fan bases in Italy who have been starved of important silverware in recent times.