It took a last-minute equaliser from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic for Lazio to salvage a point in a frustrating 2-2 draw with Lecce.
The Biancocelesti’s run of strong form is now a thing of the past, with Maurizio Sarri’s side losing three of their last four Serie A outings prior to their clash with the Puglian outfit. Despite the drop in results, the team still entered the matchday in the top four spots, giving them a strong change of securing Champions League qualification.
Lazio slumped to a 2-1 loss to Lecce back in January, a result that Sarri and his players haven’t forgotten and were keen to avoid repeating at the Stadio Olimpico. Although they were marginally better, it wasn’t enough for them to take home all three points, leaving things tense in the final weeks of the season.
Lazio started the match on the front foot, clearly keen to return to winning ways in front of their home fans, but it was Lecce who took the first step forward, being awarded a penalty in the 22nd minute after a foul by Elseid Hysaj on Alexis Blin. Gabriel Strefezza stepped up to the spot but shanked his shot wide, letting the Biancocelesti off the hook.
The Roman club started to grow more into the match after this and in the 34th minute a confident dribble by Luis Alberto allowed him to pass the ball through to Ciro Immobile, who took one controlling touch before smashing the ball past Wladimiro Falcone, giving Lazio a 1-0 lead.
Things were looking good for Sarri’s side until the closing minutes of the first half. A good attacking move from Lecce allowed Remi Oudin into a pocket of space outside the Lazio box, which he used to drill a shot into the bottom corner, beating a diving Ivan Provedel, drawing the match level.
Lecce carried this momentum into the second half of the game and looked the better of the two sides coming out of the break. In the 51st minute, Oudin put the Puglian outfit ahead with a reactive shot from the edge of the penalty area, a moment that caused sighs around the Stadio Olimpico as the away side took a 2-1 lead.
The momentum shifted in Lazio’s favour after this as they fought to try and find an equaliser, but as the second half drew on things were looking dire in Rome.
In the dying minutes of the match, with many fans resigned to the defeat, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored a scrappy header to draw the Biancocelesti level, allowing them to salvage a point after a painful match.