(EFE) – Lazio saved a point in extremis against Zenit (1-1) with a goal from Ecuadorian Felipe Caicedo in the last minutes, in a duel in which the Russian team deserved the victory.
The hosts scored first and in the second half were close to scoring second, but the entry of the Latin American striker changed a match in which the Italians had missed their best scorer, Ciro Inmobile.
Lazio was about to pay dearly for the ultra-conservative approach of its coach, Simone Inzaghi, who only reacted when all was lost. He adds five points in his return to the maximum continental competition.
The transalpine squad arrived at the game without two of its main stars, the Spanish Luis Alberto and Inmobile. In addition, the veteran Spanish goalkeeper, Pepe Reina, returned to play at 38 years in the Champions League due to the loss of Strakosha.
Meanwhile, the Russians were also lame in their line of attack, since the Brazilian Malcom is still in the dry dock and the Iranian Azmoun, the usual attacking partner of the giant Dzyuba, could not be from the game either.
The first half hour was a want and not power of Zenit, which was in great need of points after losing the first two games of the league.
Meanwhile, Lazio was very shy in attack. Only rarely did he advance lines. No sign of the most creative away player, Milinkovic-Savic.
The goal came on the first play worthy of the name. The eternal Yuri Zhirkov, 37, crossed the head of Dzyuba, who finished off with a shoulder and after several shots the ball fell into the boots of Yerokhin, who shot Reina with half scissors. (min.32)
Only then did the Italians take over the ball, but they did not disturb Kerzhakov.
After the break the game was animated. The Italians were clearly going for the tie and the Russians were not satisfied with a slight advantage either.
Yerokhin was about to surprise Reina again and minutes later, in the play of the match, a brilliant incursion by the young Mostovoi was about to certify the local victory, but his shot with the outside scraped the left post defended by the goalkeeper Spanish.
Desperate, Inzhagui decided to take out Caicedo, a globetrotter who played several seasons ago in Russian football.
In the last minutes the Italians locked up the locals in their field. After Pereira put Kerzhakov to the test, the Ecuadorian striker scored the tying goal by finishing first, coming from behind a magnificent cross from the right (min.82).
Milinkovic-Savic had in his boots the second goal in the last minutes with a shot that was about to surprise the local goalkeeper, although it was the Russians who got to pierce the rival goal in added time, although the referee annulled the goal for a millimeter offside.