Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel headed home with the last touch of the match to secure an astonishing 1-1 draw for Lazio at home to Atletico Madrid in Group E of the UEFA Champions League.
With the Rome side desperate, a corner fell back to Luis Alberto just outside the edge of the box and he curled in a cross which Provedel rose majestically to head home.
For much of the night it had appeared that Pablo Barrios’ first-half deflected shot would be enough to give Atleti victory in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
Diego Simeone’s under-manned side did not have much of the ball in the first third of the game, but just before the half-hour mark they went ahead when the midfielder’s shot struck the leg of Japanese midfielder Daichi Kamada, leaving Provedel with no chance. After the goal Barrios showed a shirt of injured midfielder Thomas Lemar who is set for Achilles tendon surgery in the coming days.
Lazio’s best chance to draw level before the late drama was when Jan Oblak’s errant clearance found its way to Ciro Immobile in the area but his effort was a fairly tame one which the Slovenian keeper easily blocked.
Atletico could have extended their lead when the ball dropped for Samuel Lino in the area but Provedel came out well to block.
TALKING POINT – A MATCH WHICH WILL GIVE RIVAL’S HOPE
After the hullabaloo of the game’s ending dies down and vision of this game is analysed, one team will be particularly encouraged, Feyenoord. The Dutch side were distant third favourites for the group behind these sides but Arne Slot will be encouraged by the lack of quality on show in this game between two capital city heavyweights. Admittedly Atletico Madrid can be notoriously hard to break down, especially in Europe, but Lazio did not look to have the quality to create good chances at all, just relying on Luis Alberto or Mattia Zaccagni shooting from distance and a seeming lack of desire to attack balls in the box until their goalkeeper showed them the way. As for Atleti, they will hope to have their leader Koke, World Cup winner Rodrigo de Paul and striker Memphis Depay back when they meet the Rotterdam side in two week, if not the visitors will surely fancy their chances of getting something from the Metropolitan Stadium.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – IVAN PROVEDEL (LAZIO)
Even without the late drama he was as good as any other player on the park, proving extremely secure in the Lazio goal, except for the crudest of deflected goals. His stop to deny Lino kept his side in the tie and showed why he is now rated amongst Serie A’s best, but to have the presence of mind to finish in the way he did was remarkable.
Lazio: Provedel 8*; Marusic 6, Patric 6, Romagnoli 6, Pellegrini 6; Kamada 6, Vecino 6, Alberto 7; Anderson 6, Immobile 6, Zaccagni 7.
Subs: Lazzari 6, Isaksen 6, Guendouzi 6, Cataldi 6, Pedro 6.
Atletico: Oblak 7; Molina 6, Hermoso 6, Witsel 7, Savic 7, Lino 7; Saul 6, Barrios 7, Llorente 6; Morata 6, Griezmann 6.
Subs: Giminez 6, Correa 5, Riquelme 6.
29′ GOAL FOR ATLETICO! Against the run of play, Atleti score the opener with Barrios’ low strike getting a deflection of Kamada and leaving Provedel with no chance.
56′ GREAT CHANCE FOR IMMOBILE! After an awful mistake from Oblak as his clearance was headed straight back into the box by Kamada, but the Italian international’s shot was close to the goalkeeper and comfortably parried.
70′ LINO SHOOTS AT GOAL! For a moment, it looked like he had an age to shoot at goal, but Provedel comes out quickly to block his shot.
90′ GREAT STOP FROM OBLAK! His best of the night. Cataldi fired in a low drive from long range which was sneaking insde the corner but Oblak dived full-length to his right to push away.
90+5′ GOAL FOR LAZIO! And it is the goalkeeper Provedel who nets with a fantastic header. Luis Alberto curled in a ball from the left flank and the keeper, already up for the corner prior, met the ball at its highest point and crashed home a header leaving his opposite number with no chance.
- 2 – Provedel is only the second goalkeeper to score from open play in the Champions League. The last was Sinan Bolat for Standard Liege against AZ Alkmaar in 2009.
Source: Euro Sports