In a dramatic UEFA Champions League encounter at the Olimpico, Lazio and Atlético Madrid battled to an electrifying 1-1 draw, leaving fans on the edge of their seats until the final whistle.
Diego Simeone, once a hero at Lazio, returned to Rome as the Atlético manager and received a warm welcome from the home crowd. However, it was Lazio who dominated the early proceedings, with Mattia Zaccagni and Daichi Kamada testing Jan Oblak in the Atlético goal. Luis Alberto came close with a volley that narrowly missed the target.
Against the run of play, Atlético seized the lead in the 29th minute when Pablo Barrios unleashed a long-range shot that took a deflection off Kamada. Lazio’s frustration grew as Luca Pellegrini was forced off due to injury, leading to a halftime reshuffle by Maurizio Sarri.
Atlético pressed in the second half, with Ivan Provedel denying Axel Witsel’s attempt. Ciro Immobile had a chance to level the score but was thwarted by Oblak. The match remained intense, with chances at both ends, including Antoine Griezmann and Samuel Lino missing opportunities for Atlético.
As the clock ticked down, with Lazio seemingly defeated, Provedel, the Lazio goalkeeper, emerged as the unlikeliest hero. He astonishingly headed home a cross-shot from Luis Alberto seconds before the final whistle, making him only the fourth goalkeeper in Champions League history to score.
In the end, both teams had to settle for a well-fought draw, leaving Atlético Madrid with a sense of déjà vu in the competition, as they aim to improve on their past performances.