A true moment of magic from Ivan Provedel was enough to see Lazio take home a point in their Champions League opener against Atletico Madrid.
The Biancocelesti looked disappointing in the early stages of the Serie A season and concern was high amongst supporters heading into their European campaign.
Lazio are in Group E alongside Atletico, Feyenoord and Celtic, making every game crucial as Maurizio Sarri’s side fight for a spot in the knockout stages.
In a packed Stadio Olimpico, Lazio looked strong in the early stages of their clash with Atletico, seeing far more of the ball as they regularly ventured forward, trying to unlock the Spanish side’s defence.
Early chances came from Alessio Romagnoli, Mattia Zaccagni and Luis Alberto, but none were able to beat Jan Oblak, keeping things all square in the first third of the Champions League clash.
Unfortunately for Lazio, everything changed in the 29th minute, when a deflected long shot from Pablo Barrios ricocheted past Provedel, giving Atletico a 1-0 lead against the run of play.
Atletico grew into the match a little in the second half, forcing the Biancocelseti keeper to make a number of impressive saves in order to keep things open for the home side.
Lazio pushed harder and harder for an equaliser as the minutes ticked by, but their efforts seemed in vain and it looked to be a frustrating European night for Sarri’s outfit, until a true moment of magic occurred on a warm Roman night.
In the 95th minute of the match, with the game ready to come to a close, a beautiful lofted ball from Luis Alberto was perfectly met by a charging Provedel, who expertly guided his header past Oblak to tie things up for Lazio, breaking Atletico hearts in the final moments.
The Italian goalkeeper had been the best player on the night for Lazio and it was fate that he would be the one to secure a point for the home side in the closing seconds, kickstarting the club’s European campaign with a bang.