ROME (AP) — Miroslav Klose scored two goals a minute apart as Lazio beat visiting Cagliari 4-2 Monday to move into third place in Serie A.
It was the fifth win in six matches for the Roman club, which is level with Sampdoria three points behind city rival Roma and six points behind Italian leader Juventus.
"We wanted to get third place tonight and now that we've got it we want to keep it," Klose said in fluent Italian to Sky Italia, acknowledging Lazio's turnaround after losing three of its four opening games. "I see how hard we work so I'm confident that it pays off."
Lazio captain Stefano Mauri put the hosts ahead seven minutes in at the Stadio Olimpico and the 36-year-old Klose scored in the 25th and 26th. Cagliari pulled one back with an own goal from Lazio's Dutch defender Edson Braafheid in the 48th.
Then after being reduced to 10 men, Cagliari made the final minutes interesting with another score from Joao Pedro in the 84th. But Ederson restored Lazio's two-goal lead in added time.
Mauri set the tone when he used the tip of his foot to find the target from inside the box. He returned from a six-month sports ban earlier this year but is still being investigated by judicial authorities for match-fixing. Klose tapped in from close range after being set up by Senad Lulic for his first score, then had time to line up a shot that was deflected in off a defender for his second. After helping Germany win the World Cup, Klose has three goals in Serie A this season.
Cagliari forward Viktor Ibarbo was sent off for a reaction foul in the 72nd. Pedro's goal came with a volley through the legs of goalkeeper Federico Marchetti. Cagliari, which was unbeaten for three matches, remained four points from the bottom.
Earlier, Hellas Verona came back from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Cesena and move to the middle of the table. French forward Gregiore Defrel put the hosts ahead in the 22nd following an excellent headed setup from Hugo Almeida. Argentine striker Juanito Gomez equalized for Verona in the 77th with a looping header.
Verona scored with 10 men, since all three substitutions had been used when Danish defender Frederik Sorensen came off with an apparent injury following a collision in the 73rd.
Verona is level 10th with Fiorentina, 12 points behind Juventus. Cesena remained one point from the bottom.