Lazio's forward from Senegal Balde Diao Keita celebrates after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Lazio vs Palermo on April 23, 2017 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. / AFP / Vincenzo PINTO
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A Keita Balde five-minute hat-trick in a 6-2 romp over Palermo boosted Lazio's Europa League hopes Sunday as AC Milan edged further away from Europe with a shock 2-1 home defeat to Empoli.A Ciro Immobile brace had Lazio up 2-0 inside 10 minutes and a Balde hat-trick in the space of five first-half minutes, including a 24th minute penalty, secured the points well-before the halftime interval.Palermo hit back with a second-half brace from Andrea Rispoli, but Luca Crecco wrapped up an emphatic win with a goal in the first minute of added-on time to secure a 19th league win and a return to fourth spot.Lazio reduced the gap on third-placed Napoli, held 2-2 at Sassuolo, to seven points.The win left Empoli fourth from bottom but five points ahead of Crotone, and Maccarone said: "We didn't really concede much to Milan, so we're very happy to be taking this victory home with us.
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