ROME (AP) — Ciro Immobile boosted his bid for Serie A’s top goalscorer award with another two goals as Lazio beat relegation-threatened Hellas Verona 2-0 on Monday.
Immobile, who won the prize with Torino in 2014, took his tally to 22 for the season, four more than closest challenger Mauro Icardi of Inter Milan.
Lazio ended a three-match losing run and moved into fourth spot, a point above fifth-placed Inter Milan and one behind Roma.
It was also an end to Immobile’s goalscoring drought, with his first goal since Jan. 6.
“I am happy,” Immobile said. “Fourty-four days without scoring a goal plus the first half. I missed a few chances in the first half which I would have scored had I been more serene. I’ve coped with it well thanks to these guys. I’m happy for the team, it hasn’t been a good period for us.
“Tomorrow’s my (27th) birthday and I really needed these two goals.”
Immobile had been off form since returning from injury at the end of January and missed two chances in the opening 10 minutes.
Lazio was dominating but wasted opportunities. Luis Alberto hit the crossbar in the 33rd minute.
Immobile eventually broke the deadlock in the 55th, at his sixth attempt, running onto Luis Alberto’s through-ball and drilling it into the bottom corner.
He doubled his tally five minutes later.
Immobile cut the ball across to Senad Lulic, who drew a great stop from Verona goalkeeper Nicolas, but the Italy forward headed in the rebound.
Verona remained in penultimate position in Serie A, five points from safety.
Napoli leads Serie A with a point more than Juventus, and 17 more than Lazio.