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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

King Ciro's 200th goal for Lazio keeps European dream alive

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Champions League, Group Stage, Game 4

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

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Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio-Feyenoord 1-0


An Immobile goal just before halftime fends off stern Dutch threat


Official SS Lazio photo

The team


Lazio had been well beaten 3-1 in Rotterdam two weeks earlier and Maurizio Sarri made three changes to the starting line up. In defence Manuel Lazzari and Patric came in for injured Adam Marusic and Nicolò Casale while in midfield Daichi Kamada replaced Nicolò Rovella. The attacking trio was confirmed: Felipe Anderson, Ciro Immobile, Mattia Zaccagni.


Looking at the table tonight's game was a must win for Lazio if they wanted any chance of continuing in Europe's top competition.


Feyenoord manager Arne Slot had no injury problems and played the same team that had been doing so well recently. Lazio’s běte noire Santiago Gimenez led the attack.


First half


There was not a massive crowd for this possibly decisive Champions League night, about 40,000. High ticket prices and the upcoming derby, by far more important for the majority of fans, had kept many at home in front of their TV screens or in bars.


The game started with the Dutch trying to play their usual effective style of play, quick passing interplay from the back and sudden attacking forays using their pace on the wings. In the first ten minutes at least however Lazio countered it well, pressing high, regaining possession quickly and forcing the "Roffa's" into uncharacteristic errors. Lazio looked confident and there was optimism.


As the half went on however Feyenoord gradually gained control as their passing became slicker and quicker. The visitors had no major chances but looked more harmonious and threatening.


In the 20th minute the Dutch were forced to replace defender Bart Nieuwkoop due to a head injury and on came Gernot Trauner.


The first real goal scoring opportunity came in the 31st minute. It unsurprisingly fell to the Dutch and Gimenez in particular. Quinten Timber cut in from the left of midfield and put a perfectly dosed low ball through the Lazio central defenders to the Mexican striker on the left side of the box, he drilled a low left footed shot on the opposite post but Ivan Provedel dived to his left and tipped it out for a corner.


Four minutes later the visitors came knocking again. A fast series of passes around the left side of the area led to Quilindschy Hartman with the ball inside the box, he avoided Lazzari cut in slightly and fired a powerful effort towards the near post but luckily just wide. It was so close that from the Curva Nord it looked like a goal, as the ball hit the side netting and then settled neatly behind the goal.


In the 46th minute Lazio unexpectedly took the lead. Matias Vecino did well in midfield dispossessing an opponent and fed Felipe Anderson just over the halfway line on the right. The Brazilian then chipped a wonderful ball over the Feyenoord defence, who messed up the offside trap, giving Immobile a clear run on goal but on the right, he raced into the area, went round the keeper and from a tricky angle approaching the byline did well to find the target. Against the run of play but Lazio 1 Feyenoord 0.



This was Immobile's 200th goal for the Biancocelesti.


A difficult first half for Lazio who were suffering Feyenoord's ball possession, precision and speed. A perfectly timed goal however by wounded warrior Immobile gave Lazio the ideal tactical situation for the second half.


Second half


There were no changes to the teams for the second 45 minutes.


The game soon took on its predictable pattern. Feyenoord on the attack and Lazio in the trenches ready to hit on the break.


In the 53rd minute Sarri decided to put on a more protective midfielder and replaced Kamada with Rovella.


Feyenoord attacked constantly but Lazio were compact and defended well, denying the visitors any real chances.


In the 63rd minute came two more changes for Lazio. The Biancocelesti substituted an injured Zaccagni (he had appeared to twist his knee slightly in the first half) with Pedro and a tired Immobile with Taty Castellanos. Immobile went off to a standing ovation.


In the 67th minute Feyenoord went extremely close to an equaliser. The referee, who had seemingly suddenly decided to blow every contact as a free kick to the Dutch, awarded one about 5 metres to the left of the box. Igor Paixão curled a cross into the crowded area where it was headed by Jimenez and the ball literally shaved the post, low to Provedel's left.


There followed more pressure by the visitors who however seemed to be tiring despite still dominating territory and possession.


In the 78th minute Luca Pellegrini and Matteo Guendouzi came on for Elseid Hysaj and Vecino. The two replacements both had a good impact on the game. Luis Alberto went down a few minutes later with an apparent muscular problem but Lazio had already made 5 changes so he was strapped up and battled on.


In the 81st minute Slot threw on some fresh legs. He had already changed Trauner with Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Paixão with Luka Ivanusec in the 74th, and now attempted the last assaults with Ayase Ueda and Antoni Milambo instead of Timber and Ramiz Zerrouki.


Lazio defended but now occasionally had more space on the break. The referee gave six minutes of additional time to groans of frustration from the home supporters.


In the 5th minute of injury time Lazio had the chance to close the match. Feyenoord miscued a low cross which went straight to Luís Alberto who freed Pedro down the left wing, the Spaniard surged forward and put a low through ball teeing up Castellanos in front of goal but a defender got back well and his shot was deflected, spinning up and out for a corner. Mind you at this stage even a corner was solid gold.


Lazio tried to play out the game near the corner flag but failed so there was time for one last desperate attack for the Rotterdam outfit. With five seconds remaining Jahanbakhsh won a challenge with Pellegrini on the right and put a cross in, Ueda rose higher than anyone and headed down towards goal where Provedel crouched down and slapped the ball forward where fortunately Patric hammered the ball into Curva Nord before any possibility of a tap in on the rebound. Final whistle, Lazio 1 Feyenoord 0.


A gutsy performance by Lazio who had dug deep, struck with King Ciro and then defended stoically for an extremely precious win against an impressive Feyenoord.


Lazio have given themselves a chance now. A home win against Celtic and a point away to Atlético Madrid would qualify Lazio. Not easy but possible which is already more than many pundits and some fans thought going into the prestigious tournament.


Who played for Lazio


Provedel, Hysaj (78' Pellegrino), Patric, Romagnoli, Lazzari, Kamada (53' Rovella), Vecino (78' Guendouzi), Felipe Anderson, Immobile (63' Castellanos), Luis Alberto, Zaccagni (63' Pedro)

Substitutes: Sepe, Magro, Gila, Isaksen, Cataldi,

Manager: Sarri


Who played for Feyenoord


Bijlow, Nieuwkoop (20' Trauner, 74' Jahanbakhsh), Geertruida, Hancko, Hartman, Timber (81' Ueda), Zerrouki (81' Milambo), Wieffer, Gimenez, Paixao (74' Ivanusec ), Stengs

Substitutes: Wellenreuther, Lamprou, Beleen, Dilrosun, Lopez, Van Den Belt, Lingr.

Manager: Slot.


Referee: Marciniak (Pol)


Goal: 45+1' Immobile


Bookings: Nieuwkoop (F), Vecino (L), Zerrouki (F), Wieffer (F), Rovella (L)


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