Ciro Immobile keeps Lazio flying high as Schalke shock drop rivals Hertha Berlin

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Ciro Immobile grabbed his 12th goal of the season to help Lazio secure a 3-0 win at Spezia and keep their stranglehold on second place in Serie A, where they remain Napoli’s nearest challengers.

Maurizio Sarri’s side entered the fixture 16 points behind runaway leaders Napoli, who have lost two of their last three matches in all competitions.

With 17th-placed Spezia in desperate need of points for their survival battle, a close encounter was anticipated and it took until the 36th minute for the deadlock to be broken when Immobile scored from the penalty spot.

Former West Ham midfielder Felipe Anderson wrapped up the victory seven minutes after half-time when he smashed home after a slick move.

More drama was to follow, with Spezia set to finish the night with 10 men after Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu was shown a second yellow card before Marcos Antonio added a third for Lazio a minute from time.

Elsewhere, Cyriel Dessers’ early effort helped Cremonese beat Empoli 1-0 to boost their faint survival hopes.

In Bundesliga, Schalke got the better of relegation rivals Hertha Berlin and moved off the bottom after a seven-goal thriller.

Marius Bulter struck a brace for Schalke with Tim Skarke, Simon Terodde and Marcin Kaminski also on target in the 5-2 triumph.

Stevan Jovetic and Marco Richter scored for Hertha, but they proved merely consolations and the visitors are now at the basement with their opponents up to 16th.

Rayo Vallecano boosted their faint European qualification ambitions with a 2-1 win over Osasuna to leapfrog their rivals in LaLiga.

Aridane Hernandez put through his own net and Isi Palazon scored soon after two minutes before half-time to put the hosts in a commanding position.

While Moi Gomez reduced the deficit, Vallecano held on to move up to eighth and only five points off sixth-placed Real Betis, who occupy the solitary Europa Conference League spot.

An Alexandre Lacazette spot-kick helped Lyon to a hard-fought victory at Toulouse.

Lacazette’s first-half penalty was quickly cancelled out by Zakaria Aboukhlal’s strike but Logan Costa’s 88th-minute own-goal ensured the visitors had the last laugh to move briefly up to sixth in Ligue 1 with this 2-1 win.

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