Celtic vs Lazio: 1-2 Lazio Leave It Late Again in Europe

Scottish champions Celtic hosted Lazio in Glasgow this evening in both sides second Champions League group game. Celtic had gone down to Feyenoord away first time out while Lazio had earned a point at the death through Goalie Ivan Provedel. Pedro pounced however as Lazio leave it late again in Europe.

Both teams wanted a win to keep pace with their group rivals and it was the home side who were quickest out of the blocks.

They were roared on by a boisterous crowd at Parkhead and it only took them 12 minutes and two beautiful key passes to take the lead. The Lazio defence was split apart by Matt O’Riley’s filtered pass to Kyogo Furuhashi who slotted in underneath Ivan Provedel with ease. The noise level in the stadium reached a crescendo.

This gave them the confidence to dominate the next few minutes. Daizen Maeda dragged a shot wide 5 minutes later to symbolise this. Celtic have strong Irish ties and their supporters rejoiced in seeing Irishman Liam Scales snuff out any advances by Felipe Anderson or Manuel Lazzari.

Vecino Draws Level

The game evened out after this spell of pressure and possession and shots were both level after almost half an hour. The away side tried to fill the gap left by Celtic and this culminated in Matias Vecino’s equaliser on 29 minutes. After a corner Alessio Romagnoli directed his header goalwards and Vecino was waiting at the back post. He got his forehead to the ball and just about beat Joe Hart. The ‘Keeper got his hand to the effort but had to reach into the net to push it back over the line. Goal-line technology confirmed the goal.

The parity in the scoreline at half-time reflected the performance by both teams.

After the break the Bhoys looked the most likely to take the lead but the first opportunity fell to Felipe Anderson. He had lots of time inside the area and instead of taking his chance it was overcomplicated and four players closed down quickly.

A free kick drill was set up on the hour and Provedel had to keep his eye on the ball as it travelled through so many bodies. He got down well and saved at his left post. Alistair Johnston blazed the follow up well over. The game was on a knife edge and a neautral would have said it could have tipped either way.

The Hoops brought on Luis Palma and Cameron Carter-Vickers two minutes later. The latter received a standing ovation on his first appearance since August. Luis Alberto got himself booked for dissent and he was swiftly replaced by Matteo Guendouzi with 20 minutes left on the clock.

Parkhead was starting to reach boiling point, the home fanatics urging their team to find a way through for a winner. The Biancocelesti sat back and invited the pressure onto them. They almost paid for this dodgy strategy on two occasions.

Palma played the leading role. First Alessio Romagnoli had to put in a goalsaving slide tackle on the Honduran just before he could unleash his effort in the 79th minute. Secondly, two minutes later a cross was swung in and Maeda got a flick on to Palma who was completely unmarked on Lazzari’s wing. He finished at the near post but there followed a lengthy VAR delay. Eventually Maeda’s touch proved fatal as Palma had strayed off. Booes and whistles filled the air.

Lazio Leave It Late in Europe

Lazio benefitted from 6 added minutes in the most dramatic of fashions. The unfortunate Carter-Vickers losy the ball to sub Gustav Isaksen and he offloaded to Guendouzi. Alberto’s replacement put in a long cross to the back post and the former Barcelona star Pedro was in waiting. He thumped a powerful header across the goal and past Hart into the back of the net.

Madness descended on the away section, the Aquile’s 900 strong support sprinted to meet their hero at the gate. The rest of Celtic park was deflated and dejected.

Lazio will hope this smash and grab shakes off their bad start and it boosts them to four points and joint top of group E. Celtic are bottom and will come to Rome seeking revenge.