Lecce’s decision to part company with Eusebio Di Francesco did not reap the instant dividends they would have hoped for as Miroslav Klose’s brace helped title hopefuls Lazio snatch a late 3-2 victory.
A 4-2 mauling by Napoli last weekend proved to be the final straw for the Lecce hierarchy, who decided to let Di Francesco go and bring in Serse Cosmi as his replacement.
The Lecce powerbrokers looked as though they would be quickly vindicated as David Di Michele and Stefano Ferrario scored either side of strikes from Klose and Lorik Cana for the Rome outfit.
But Klose, a thorn in many sides for club and country throughout his glittering career, had the final say with an 87th-minute winner that ensured Lecce remain bottom of the table and put Lazio firmly on the shoulder of leaders Juventus in the progress.
The shambolic nature of the performance against Napoli had done for Di Francesco, but the start to this game was the complete opposite as Lecce took the lead inside 11 minutes.
Di Michele won a penalty when he was felled by Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti and dusted himself down to score and lift some of the gloom around the Stadio Via del Mare. The only sticking point for the home side was that Marchetti was only booked and not sent off.
Buoyed by their new dawn, Lecce pushed for more goals and Di Michele went close from 30 yards, while Luis Muriel was denied by Marchetti.
The goalkeeper then saved well from Di Michele, causing then home side even more anguish about his stay of execution following his foul, and things got worse for them when Edoardo Reja’s men equalised with their first attack on 28 minutes.
Klose was the scorer, ramming in from close range after a lay-off from Mobido Diakite.
Undeterred, Lecce poured forward and Juan Guillermo Cuadrado’s drive was parried away by Marchetti, before Klose should have done better with a header for the Biancocelesti.
Muriel and Tommaso Rocchi traded efforts in the build-up to the break, but after it, Lazio went ahead.
Just two minutes of the second period had gone when Klose started a counter-attack that Cana finished off with a crisp strike.
But unlike their capitulation last week, Lecce roared back.
Christian Obodo warmed Marchetti’s hands and, a minute before the hour, they were level when Ferrario got his head to a Muriel free-kick.
Muriel, outstanding on the night, then went close from distance and, when Hernanes and Di Michele saw chances go begging, the game seemed set for a draw.
But Klose was one who did not give up and, with three minutes left, he got his head to a Djibril Cisse’s cross to stun the home side.