Lazio have qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League following their 3-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow.
Coach Maurizio Sarri’s side shook off their lethargic 2-0 defeat to Juventus on the weekend and came out in Russia with a point to prove. The three points picked up in Moscow, alongside Olympique Marseille’s loss to Galatasaray, means that they have booked their place in the next round.
Lokomotiv Moscow (4-4-2): Daniil Khudyakov; Maksim Nenakhov, Tin Jedvaj, Murilo Cerqueira, Maciej Rybus; Konstantin Maradishvili, Dmitri Barinov, Alexis Beka Beka; Dmitri Rybchinskii, Vitaly Lisakovich, Francois Kamano.
Lazio (4-3-3): Thomas Strakosha; Patric, Luiz Felipe, Francesco Acerbi, Elseid Hysaj; Luis Alberto, Lucas Leiva, Toma Basic; Felipe Anderson, Ciro Immobile, Mattia Zaccagni.
The match kicked off slowly in the freezing Russian capital, with Lokomotiv Moscow having the first shot after only a few minutes. Lazio had a couple of chances in the following 20 minutes, but nothing that seemed too dangerous. It was a gritty and physical clash in Moscow, with the referee endlessly blowing his whistle for minor fouls. The Biancocelesti’s first half ended with a Felipe Anderson shot, calmly saved by Khudyakov.
Early into the second half, Lazio were awarded a penalty following a brief VAR check. Immobile made no mistake from the spot, giving his side a 1-0 lead after 55 minutes. Only a handful of minutes later the Roman club were awarded another penalty following a foul on Immobile by Barinov in the box. The 31-year-old Italian star did not change his side for the second penalty, again beating Khudyakov from 12 yards.
By this point, Lazio were firmly in control of the match and chances became more frequent, with both Pedro and Immobile trying to get in on the action. Pedro closed out the match in the 86th minute, scoring after a corner kick from outside the area to make it 3-0. In the dying minutes of the match, Milinkovic-Savic hit the crossbar from a long-range effort, a frustrating end to an enjoyable night in Russia.
Lazio’s final match of the Group Stage is against Galatasaray at the Stadio Olimpico; this will determine who will finish at the top of Group E.