Lazio 3-1 Borussia Dortmund
Lazio made a triumphant return to the UEFA Champions League as they defeated Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in their opening Group F match.
Skipper Ciro Immobile haunted his old team as he gave Lazio an early lead and set up their third goal, which sealed the club’s first win in the competition in 13 years.
Despite their disappointing form to start the Serie A season, Lazio looked like the superior side in the first half. Dortmund finally got going in the second half, but they were left to rue their missed chances and defensive errors.
The UEFA Champions League 2020 betting odds had Dortmund as favourites to win Group F, but this result has now put Lazio in prime position to claim top spot.
Highlights of the game
And as fate would have it, Immobile would make some Champions League 2020 highlights against his old team as he gave Lazio the lead after just six minutes.
After Lazio’s press turned Dortmund over in their own third, Joaquin Correa passed off to his strike partner Immobile, and the Italian marksman made no mistake with his fine finish.
Dortmund took their time to get into the game. They had to wait until the 21st minute to get their first notable chance on goal, but it was a good one. Erling Haaland laid the ball off to Raphael Guerreiro, who made a brilliant run into the box but couldn’t finish past Thomas Strakosha.
Dortmund would be left to rue that missed chance as Lazio doubled their lead just a few minutes later.
Centre-back Luiz Felipe, who got the start due to Lazio’s rash of injuries in defence, met Luis Alberto’s corner with a glancing header that Dortmund keeper Marwin Hitz directed into his own goal.
Five minutes later, Dortmund again had another good chance on goal that they squandered. Wing-back Thomas Meunier — who made the costly turnover which led to Lazio’s opening goal — was in acres of space near the penalty spot, but he sent his side-footed shot wide of goal.
Dortmund finally looked more like themselves in the second half as they upped the pressure on the home side. Haaland forced a good save from Strakosha four minutes after the break while Guerreiro blasted a shot from the edge of the box over the bar.
The visitors would finally pull a goal back on 71 minutes through Haaland, who smashed Gio Reyna’s pass first-time right into the roof of the net.
However, the home side would reestablish their two-goal advantage just five minutes later as Immobile, who scored the first, now turned provider.
The Lazio skipper got behind the Dortmund defence — with a help of a lovely through ball from Luis Alberto — and cut the ball back to substitute Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro to score their third, which all but sealed the win for the Romans.
With Dortmund having gone down so early, they ended up having to chase the match, resulting in significantly more possession (65 per cent). They also ended up having more shots, 14-11. Seven of those 14 shots were on target, but the visitors couldn’t capitalise on those chances.
Erling Haaland had another impressive match in the big European stage. He has now scored 11 goals in his nine Champions League matches to date, which is a phenomenal strike rate.
Meanwhile, rising 17-year-old star Gio Reyna — who became the youngest American to create an assist in the Champions League last season — has now provided two assists in as many Champions League matches.
As for Immobile, he now has five career Champions League goals; he scored the first four in his lone season with Dortmund.
Lazio will look to carry the positive momentum of their Dortmund win into Serie A. They will be hoping to end their three-match winless run when they host Bologna, who have lost three of their first four matches. They will then travel to Belgium to face Club Brugge in their next Champions League assignment next week.
As for Dortmund, they will be eager to bounce back this weekend as they host struggling rivals Schalke in the Revierderby. Don’t forget to check out SBOTOP’s preview of that massive match.
BVB will also stay home for their next Champions League match against Zenit St. Petersburg, who suffered a heartbreaking 1-2 defeat to Brugge.
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