Lazio’s Ciro Immobile scored against his former club Borussia Dortmund in a 3-1 home victory marking their return to the UEFA Champions League group phase after a 13-year absence on Tuesday.
Their second strike was credited as an own goal by goalkeeper Marwin Hitz.
Substitute Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro got the third as the Italians shrugged off poor form in the new Serie A season to secure a winning start to their Group F campaign.
Borussia Dortmund’s Norway striker Erling Haaland kept up his prolific UEFA Champions League scoring form with a second half goal to make it 2-1.
But that was the German club’s only consolation.
Immobile, who played for Borussia Dortmund in the 2014/2015 season, gave Lazio an early lead after their pressing secured the possession from the visitors’ new signing Thomas Meunier.
That allowed Joaquin Correa to steal a pass through to Immobile, who scored from close range in the sixth minute.
It was the fifth UEFA Champions League goal for the 30-year-old Italian international, the four previous efforts having been netted in Borussia Dortmund colours.
“It was an emotional night, playing UEFA Champions League football after so many years.
“We had a perfect match, we’re happy. Borussia Dortmund are a great side, we needed a great performance,” Immobile said.
Lazio’s lead was doubled in the 23rd minute when Luiz Felipe, returning from injury, attacked a corner-kick and got a glancing touch with his head to steer the ball towards goal.
But the ball hit the face of Hitz as it flew into the ent.
Borussia Dortmund had few opportunities to force a first half chance.
But, after the break, they were more attacking as Haaland began to power his way through the home defence and look dangerous.
He eventually pulled back a goal in the 71st minute with a powerful left foot finish from a square pass delivered by American teenage substitute Gio Reyna.
Haaland now has 11 goals in nine appearances in the competition.
But just as Borussia Dortmund went in search of parity, a quick counter-attack saw Immobile set up substitute Akpa-Akpro to restore Lazio’s two-goal advantage five minutes later.
Lazio’s win contrasted to their domestic form where they have collected one point from their last three Serie A outings.
Earlier on Tuesday, Belgium’s Club Brugge snatched a stoppage time winner to beat Zenit St Petersburg 2-1 in Russia in their opener in the group. (Reuters/NAN)
– Oct. 21, 2020 @ 10:09 GMT |