After an amazing comeback against Atalanta last Saturday, Lazio were hoping to take that energy to Scotland where they took on Celtic in Matchday 3 of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League. Sixth place in the Serie A against the current leaders in the Scottish Premiership, this match was decisive in seeing who would be at the top of Group E.
Celtic vs Lazio: First Half
Match official Ivan Bebek blew his whistle to kick off the match at Celtic Park. The Scottish side quickly asserted their dominance over Simone Inzaghi’s men with multiple efforts at goal one of them even striking the post as well as dominating possession. Even through all this pressure put forward by Celtic, Lazio ended all of it with their first attempt as they broke through on the counter attack. Joaquin Correa played a lovely ball to Manuel Lazzari who was at a tight angle but still managed to bury it past the keeper with a strong and powerful shot to give the Biancocelesti the 1-0 lead. Lazio took control of the match with a strong finish to the first half.
Celtic vs Lazio: Second Half
The match resumed and Lazio picked up where they left off, in control of the game and causing problems. Celtic looked like they were taking back the game after some pressure built up against Lazio again. Lazio had a great chance to double their lead when Sergej Milinkovic-Savic sent Correa through on goal. The Argentine beat a defender, struck the ball but was unfortunately denied by the post. Minutes later, after the Scottish side were knocking at the door for more than an hour they found the breakthrough as Odsonne Edouard played the ball across the box and found the man who struck the post in the first half, Ryan Christie who hit the ball first time as it flew past Thomas Strakosha, 1-1 at Celtic Park. Ciro Immobile was subbed on for Correa as Lazio needed the goal that would put them back in front. A beautiful pass and play between Immobile and Felipe Caicedo saw the Italian at a clear angle to score, however he did not strike the ball how he wanted and sent it way wide of the goal. As the clock was winding down, the pressure from Celtic kept rising. Celtic were awarded a corner just minutes before stoppage time after a shot from Scott Brown was deflected wide. The corner was sent in only to find Celtic defender Christopher Jullien alone as he headed the ball into the net to give the home side the 2-1 lead. Five minutes of stoppage time were added and Lazio were scrambling for a goal to try to walk away with a point from this match. An equalizer looked very clear for Lazio as the ball was cleared and flew straight into the path of Danilo Cataldi who struck the ball cleanly as it flew into the top corner only to be saved with one hand by Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster. That save was crucial as seconds later the match ended and Celtic walked away with all three points.
Celtic vs Lazio: Final Thoughts
Lazio have now lost their second match of the Europa League campaign and sit third in Group E. They will face Fiorentina this Sunday in a big match where points can go either way.