Klose keeps Lazio in Italian title race

Updated 6:28 PM EST, Sat December 15, 2012
Lazio striker Miroslav Klose scored his 10th Serie A goal this season in Saturday
Lazio striker Miroslav Klose scored his 10th Serie A goal this season in Saturday's 1-0 win over Internazionale.
PHOTO: Getty Images

Story highlights

Veteran striker Miroslav Klose earns Lazio a 1-0 victory at home to second-placed Inter Milan

Result means leaders Juventus can move seven points clear of Inter with victory on Sunday

In Spain, Malaga move to within four points of third-placed Real Madrid with 2-0 win at Sevilla

In Germany, Bayern Munich denied a record winter-break lead as Bayer Leverkusen beat Hamburg

(CNN) —  

Miroslav Klose maintained his status as Lazio’s lucky charm on Saturday, keeping his side in the Italian title race and denting the hopes of Inter Milan with a late winner against the second-placed visitors.

The veteran Germany international netted his 10th league goal this season and his 14th overall, firing home a low right-foot shot in the 82nd minute.

Neither club nor country have lost when the 34-year-old has found the target in a period stretching back to the February 16 Europa League defeat by Atletico Madrid.

Saturday’s 1-0 victory put his Rome-based side level on points with third-placed Napoli, who host Bologna on Sunday.

Inter stayed four points behind leading champions Juventus, who will try to move further ahead with a home victory over mid-table Atalanta on Sunday.

“Klose showed that he’s world-class – hats off to him for the finish – but we didn’t deserve to lose,” said Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni.

“Lazio were excellent in the first half but I don’t think I’ve seen a team come here and cause them as many problems as we did in the second half. We might not have deserved to win but we certainly didn’t deserve to lose.”

Inter twice hit the woodwork before conceding, with Fredy Guarin driving a low shot onto the base of the upright.

Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti tipped Antonio Cassano’s curled attempt onto the same post and dealt with Yuto Nagatomo’s follow-up.

Earlier, Udinese snatched a 1-1 draw at home to Palermo thanks to an 89th-minute equalizer from captain Antonio Di Natale.

The striker netted his 10th goal in Serie A this season to lift his side up to eighth, while Palermo stayed just above the bottom three.

In Spain, Malaga moved to within four points of third-placed Real Madrid with a 2-0 victory at Sevilla.

Manuel Pellegrini’s team, through to Thursday’s last-16 draw of the European Champions League, took a 49th-minute lead through Argentine defender Martin Demichelis.

Sevilla had Federico Fazio sent off for a foul on Joaquin with 20 minutes to play, and Portuguese midfielder Eliseu doubled Malaga’s lead from the resulting penalty.

Earlier, Real Sociedad moved up to eighth after a 0-0 draw at Granada, while Athletic Bilbao went 11th with a 1-0 at third-bottom Mallorca.

Seventh-placed Getafe drew 1-1 with Osasuna.

Sunday’s big match sees leaders Barcelona host closest rivals Atletico Madrid, while Real Madrid host second-bottom Catalan club Espanyol.

In Germany, Bayer Leverkusen denied Bayern Munich a record winter-break lead by beating Hamburg 3-0.

Stefan Kiessling scored twice to go top of the Bundesliga charts with 12 this season as second-placed Leverkusen cut the deficit to nine points – leaving Bayern one short of Borussia Dortmund’s 2010 halfway milestone following Friday’s 1-1 home draw with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Champions Dortmund can reclaim third place by winning at Hoffenheim on Sunday, having lost it after Eintracht Frankfurt won 2-0 at Wolfsburg.

Freiburg moved up to fifth with a 3-1 win at Schalke, whose miserable run continued as top scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was sent off late in the match. Freiburg’s two-goal Jan Rosenthal also departed after his second booking a minute earlier.

Mainz went up to sixth after a 3-1 at home to Stuttgart, with two goals from winger Nicolai Muller.