Lazio moves into Champions League spots with win over Empoli

Lazio's Felipe Caicedo heads the ball, top left, heads the ball during the Italian Serie A soccer match between SS Lazio and Empoli FC at Olimpico stadium in Rome, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Maurizio Brambatti/ANSA via AP)
Lazio's Romulo in action during the Italian Serie A soccer match between SS Lazio and Empoli FC at Olimpico stadium in Rome, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Maurizio Brambatti/ANSA via AP)
Lazio's Felipe Caicedo, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring the first goal of the game during the Italian Serie A soccer match between SS Lazio and Empoli FC at Olimpico stadium in Rome, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Maurizio Brambatti/ANSA via AP)
Lazio's coach Simone Inzaghi shouts instructions from the sidelines during the Italian Serie A soccer match between SS Lazio and Empoli FC at Olimpico stadium in Rome, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Maurizio Brambatti/ANSA via AP)

ROME — Lazio remained firmly in the race for a Champions League place after a 1-0 win over relegation-threatened Empoli in Serie A on Thursday.

Felipe Caicedo scored the only goal of the match, converting a penalty three minutes before halftime after he had been tripped by Empoli goalkeeper Ivan Provedel.

Simone Inzaghi's side moved into fourth place, two points ahead of AC Milan and three above Atalanta and Roma, who all have a game in hand.

The top four in Serie A qualify for a spot in next year's Champions League.

Inter Milan, in third, is also only two points ahead of Lazio.

Empoli remained 17th, a point above the relegation zone ahead of the rest of the round of 23 fixtures.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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