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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten


Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Champions League, Group Stage, Game 2

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

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Celtic Park, Glasgow

Celtic Lazio 1-2

A last second Pedro goal allows the Biancocelesti to win their first away game in Champions League for twenty years

Official SS Lazio photo

The team

Maurizio Sarri made a number of changes compared to the previous game in Milan. In came Patric in defence, Manuel Lazzari as right back, Matias Vecino as playmaker, Daichi Kamada regained his place and Ciro Immobile was also back.

First half

As Sarri mentioned in presenting this game, Celtic are not a physical team. They are rather “un-British” in their approach, control of the ball and lots of passes. So Lazio had to be careful not to make mistakes. But they did immediately. In the 12th minute Daizen Maeda to Matt O’Riley to Kyogo Furuhashi who caught Alessio Romagnoli out of position and allowed the Japanese to present himself in front of Ivan Provedel and score.

It could have been two four minutes later. With a bit of luck Maeda managed to get hold of a stray ball, went into the box but he angled his shot too much and it went wide.

Lazio gradually gained a little more courage but had trouble creating chances. Since the beginning of the season the last pass is the one of the things in which they make most mistakes and tonight was no exception. But at least there was more pressing and they tried to make it difficult for the Scots.

In the 29th minute corner for Lazio. Luis Alberto took it, Vecino tried to make an impact but failed. The ball however went up in the air. Romagnoli headed it towards the goal, on its way Vecino gave it another header and neither Joe Hart nor Alistair Johnston were able to clear. Celtic 1 Lazio 1.

The first half ended with an O’Riley shot well saved by Provedel in the 37th minute. A very fast game, “breathless” as defined by the BBC.

Second half

In the 50th minute Lazio’s first chance in open play. Kamada to Immobile who saw Felipe Anderson all alone on the right wing. Ball to the Brazilian who once in the box could not decide whether to volley the ball with his left or with his right, did neither and lost both time and an opportunity.

In the 58th minute Reo Hatate was dangerous on a free kick but Provedel made a good save.

In the 62nd minute the start of the substitutions. For Celtic in came Cameron Carter-Vickers, Luis Palma and Paulo Bernardo, out went Nathaniel Philips, Yang Hyun-jun and Reo Hatate. Sarri made three changes: Gustav Isaksen, Matteo Guendouzi and Taty Castellanos for Felipe Anderson, Luis Alberto and Ciro Immobile.

Taking off Luis Alberto meant two things: less quality in the Lazio midfield to create chances and more courage for Celtic who started to press like crazy in the attempt to get the ball off the Biancocelesti.

In the 69th minute Kamada tried a shot from outside the box, well saved by Hart. In the 81st minute Celtic scored. Johnston crossed into the box, Maeda flipped the ball to Palma who faked a shot. Lazzari fell for it and Palma beat Provedel with a shot on the front post. But he was offside.

Sarri sensed that he needed to do something so in came Adam Marusic for a very tired Lazzari and Pedro for Mattia Zaccagni. Brendan Rogers also made his last substitution: out went Furuhashi and in came Oh Hyeon-gyu.

The Biancocelesti were in big trouble but managed to hold steady and avoid any other further dangers. And then …

In the seventh minute of injury time, Pedro managed to interrupt a Celtic play, Castellanos got to the ball and passed to Isaksen who in turn gave it to Guendouzi on the right. Perfect cross to the left and Pedro headed the ball towards the far post, wrong footing Hart. Celtic 1 Lazio 2.

Triumph in difficult circumstances. Lazio had not won away in Champions League since September 16, 2003 in Istanbul. A long wait.

Who played for Celtic

Hart; Johnston, Phillips (62` Carter-Vickers), Scales, Taylor; O`Riley, McGregor, Hatate (71` Bernardo); Maeda, Furuhashi (86` Oh), Yang (62` Palma).

Substitutes: Bain, Morrison, Turnbull, Iwata, Forrest, Ralston, Johnstone.

Manager: Rodgers.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel; Lazzari (84` Marusic), Patric, Romagnoli, Hysaj; Kamada, Vecino, Luis Alberto (67` Guendouzi); Felipe Anderson (67` Isaksen), Immobile (71` Castellanos), Zaccagni (84` Pedro).

Substitutes: Sepe, Magro, Casale, Gila, Pellegrini, Cataldi, Rovella.

Manager: Sarri.

Referee: Rumsas (Lithuania)

Goals: 13' Furuhashi, 29' Vecino, 90'+6' Pedro

Bookings: Phillips, Luis Alberto, Castellanos, Vecino


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