Lazio and Roma taste victory as coronavirus strikes Serie A

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Lazio have won 3-2 at relegation-threatened Genoa in one of only two matches to go ahead in Serie A on Sunday after an outbreak of the coronavirus.

The other match saw Lazio's city rivals Roma hammer visitors Lecce 4-0.

Adam Marusic, Ciro Immobile and Danilo Cataldi scored for second-placed Lazio as they remained unbeaten for a 20th-straight game of which they have won 16.

Immobile's strike took his top-scorer tally to 27 goals this season - six clear of Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lazio trail leaders Juventus by just one point and opened up a five-point advantage over third-place Inter Milan.

The Nerazzurri's match against Sampdoria was one of four top-flight matches postponed on orders from the Italian government late on Saturday night after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China.

A third death from the virus was reported on Sunday.

The government ordered a ban on all sporting events in Lombardy and Veneto - the regions in the heart of the outbreak - and later Turin.

Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari were also called off while Torino's match at home to Parma was postponed hours before kick-off on Sunday, after new cases in Piedmont.

The numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy soared to 152 - the largest number outside Asia with almost all of Italy's cases clustered in the north.

"It is right to take precautionary measures and understand where the problem starts," Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said.

"The answer isn't playing matches behind closed doors, because the fans are the heart of our sport."

"We must not underestimate what is happening, football is moving in the right direction.

"The answer isn't playing matches behind closed doors, because the fans are the heart of our sport."

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The Giallorossi's win in Rome lifted left them three points behind Atalanta and the final Champions League spot.

Cengiz Under opened the scoring 13 minutes in at the Stadio Olimpico before Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubled the margin.

Edin Dzeko narrowly beat the offside trap to make it 3-0 then was involved in the build-up for a goal from Aleksandar Kolarov.

Some Lecce fans travelling to the game were attacked by rival Bari supporters at a highway rest stop with a van set on fire, police said.

Source AAP