Lazio fail to keep up with Juve
Fourth-placed Lazio missed the chance to keep pace with leaders Juventus when they were held to a 0-0 draw at struggling Bologna in Serie A on Monday and are now eight points off top spot.
Bologna were not pretty but they were certainly effective, stifling a Lazio side who looked to create chances throughout the first half as they sought to leave with a victory.
Bologna, by shutting down Brazilian playmaker Hernanes and attacking midfielder Antonio Candreva, cut off Lazio's supply lines, leaving Libor Kozak increasingly frustrated up front.
The visitors had their chances, with Candreva testing goalkeeper Federico Agliardi in the 13th minute and Giuseppe Biava misdirecting a Michael Ciani cross just before the break.
But Lazio struggled in the early stages of the second half, allowing the hosts to create a series of chances with Tiberio Guarente sending Alberto Gilardino's pass wide and Gilardino failing to reach Saphir Taider's cross from close range.
When Kozak was sent off for a second booking four minutes from time Lazio's hopes of breaking the deadlock were over.
The draw leaves Lazio on 30 points from 16 games, three behind third-placed Napoli and just a point above city rivals AS Roma. Bologna are now sixth from bottom with 15 points.
Sampdoria lost 2-0 at home to Udinese in a mid-table clash after first-half goals from Danilo and Antonio Di Natale.
The visitors went ahead in the 17th minute when Brazilian defender Danilo headed Di Natale's corner in at the far post.
Di Natale doubled the lead just before the half-hour after linking up with Emanuel Badu before going through on goal and sliding the ball past goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
Sampdoria had their moments but, with teenage Argentine Mauro Icardi on his own up front, they struggled to create chances despite enjoying most of the possession.
The win takes Udinese up to eighth place with 22 points, while Sampdoria have slipped to 13th on 17.
"Our spirit has increased but so has our quality," said
Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin. "I want to see that sort of attitude in our upcoming games.
"Di Natale once again showed his quality and his class. He sacrifices so much for the team."
Sampdoria manager Ciro Ferrara added: "We probably could have played all day today and the ball would never have gone in.
"We started well - in the first 20 minutes we had the game in our hands - but you make mistakes and you're punished. That's what Serie A is like."