Lazio and Immobile Haunt Borussia Dortmund In 3-1 Win

For the first time in six attempts, Lazio started their UEFA Champions League campaign on home soil, and they delivered the goods in a 3-1 triumph over Borussia Dortmund.

Simone Inzaghi sent out his charges with only one thing on their minds: Press with intensity and do not let-up. Lazio followed the directives to the letter and exposed Borussia Dortmund on numerous occasions.

Ciro Immobile was the star of the night, coming off the pitch in the 80th minute but stamped his authority on the proceedings. He opened the scoring and laid down an assist while threatening the BVB backline all night long. Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro also got on the scoreboard, while Luiz Felipe was robbed of a goal with Lazio’s second strike given as an own goal.

Dortmund could not deal with the high-intensity press throughout the fixture, and this allowed Lazio the lead in the initial exchanges. Ciro Immobile was their tormentor, reminding his old employers what they missed for ruling on him far too soon. His face-off against the black-and-yellow had him at the peak of his prowess as he struck his 127th Lazio goal in just over 180 matches.

Thomas Meunier lost the ball, which allowed Joaquin Correa to pierce the Dortmund defense. The Argentine sent the ball into Immobile’s path, who did not miss from eight yards out. The ball went past Marwin Hitz and into the bottom right corner to open the proceedings.

BVB looked for an instant response. Jadon Sancho had a shot blocked within 60 seconds while Thomas Delaney came close to equalizing. However, it was the Biancocelesti who created two principal goal scoring opportunities. Immobile should have added to his tally, but Hitz denied his efforts. The Germans lived dangerously and were fortunate not to concede again. VAR left Lucien Favre shell shocked as strong penalty appeals were dismissed.

While Dortmund uncharacteristically failed to create tangible chances, it would fall to the Romans to double their lead. Luis Alberto swung in a corner, which was sent on its way by Luiz Felipe. The ball got a deflection of Hitz and into the right side netting. Inzaghi’s men were in the driving seat and were not disheartened by how the goal was recorded.

Favre’s men picked up the pace, first through Erling Haaland, who got a chance but saw his shot deflected behind. Meunier also had a chance to redeem himself but flashed wide of the right post. Anyone of these could have halved the deficit, but the scoreboard remained the same. On the other side of the pitch, Lazio would pile on the pressure with four corners in quick succession but nothing to show for.

The scoreline read 2-0 in favor of the hosts at half-time. After the break, both sides continued to attack each other. It was Borussia Dortmund who would strike first as Lazio saw their advances thwarted with ease.

Erling Haaland had dropped deep with Marco Reus at the tip of the BVB attack. The Norwegian exchanged passes with Gio Reyna and released the young American into Lazio’s right flank. Reyna raced towards the right side of the box and squared a pass into Haaland’s path. The Manchild from Bryne sent a force ball towards the Lazio goal to halve the deficit.

The black-and-yellow were in with a shout but their hopes were dashed five minutes later. Alberto and Immobile were in the thick of things again. The Spaniard sent a threatening ball into the Dortmund third, which the Lazio captain managed to control. He passed it to Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro, who sent the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-1.

The German side continued to try, and Haaland could have raised their hopes. However, his header from a Meunier cross was effortlessly sent behind for a corner by the alert Thomas Strakosha. It would prove to be the Bundesliga side’s last hurrah and they would fail to create anything of note in the final minutes.

The 3-1 win brings an end to the Biancocelesti’s three-match winless run. They were comprehensively beaten by Sampdoria in Serie A over the weekend but overcame their blushes in the Champions League. Meanwhile, Die Borussen have to return to the drawing board and rethink their strategy for the 2020-21 campaign. They should have given a better account of themselves but were resoundingly beaten by Lazio.