Luis Alberto lifts Lazio to fourth in Serie A before Bayern clash

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Spanish midfielder Luis Alberto (C) got Lazio back winning in Serie A against Sampdoria.

Luis Alberto scored the only goal as Lazio battled past Sampdoria 1-0 to move fourth in Serie A on Saturday before they take on holders Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16 next week.

Lazio's six-match winning streak ended last weekend with a painful 3-1 defeat at Inter Milan.

But Spaniard Alberto struck after 24 minutes in Rome curling in off a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic cross for his seventh league goal this campaign.

Simone Inzaghi's side overtake Juventus to move into the Champions League berths, equal on points with third-placed Roma, with both their rivals playing later this weekend.

"Today we had a difficult game. We suffered in the second half, but we deserved the win," said Inzaghi.

"We have two objectives, to get past this round in the Champions League and hold our place in Europe, knowing that we have battleships against us."

Lazio are back in the Champions League this season after a 13-year break and face Bayern in Rome on Tuesday.

Despite the Germans losing 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga on Saturday, Inzaghi said the six-time European Cup winners "were the only club in the draw we didn't want".

"They are champions of Europe and the world," he added.

"They have some problems. We have to enjoy the challenge which we would have loved to experience in a packed stadium."

Lazio lost 3-0 to Sampdoria earlier this season and were again made to work by Claudio Ranieri's mid-table side.

Lazio forward Ciro Immobile and Sampdoria's Fabio Quagliarella both threatened in the first half after Alberto's opener.

And Vedat Muriqi came off the bench in place of Alberto after an hour, minutes later missing a chance for the second.

Adam Marusic sent through from the right but Kosovar Muriqi was unable to control the ball to finish off on front of goal.

Lazio nevertheless held on despite a late flurry during which they picked up three yellow cards, to extend their unbeaten home run against their Genoa rivals to 15 games, and sit 11 points behind leaders Inter Milan.

At the top of the table leaders Inter and AC Milan, one point behind in second, renew their duel for pole position on Sunday in the San Siro.

Champions Juventus, in fifth, play catch-up at home against lowly Crotone on Monday.

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