Ederson’s strike has given Lazio a precious and hard-fought 1-0 win over Maribor, but Hernanes saw his penalty saved. The Aquile are now top of Group J, as Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw by Panathinaikos.
The Biancocelesti opted to play Hernanes and Ederson together for the first time, while Sergio Floccari took centre-stage in attack with Miroslav Klose rested. Slovenians Maribor beat Panathinaikos in their group opener, but had Nejc Potokar injured and Arghus suspended.
In the opening 12 seconds the Maribor goalkeeper Jasmin Handanovic, cousin to Inter’s Samir, had to beat away a fierce Hernanes strike.
However, Maribor went even closer when Zeljko Filipovic was allowed a free header from a corner, which Albano Bizzarri did brilliantly to tip on to the crossbar!
Andre Dias nodded over from a Hernanes cross, but Bizzarri again was called to parry from Goran Cvijanovic in a one-on-one.
Lazio also rattled the frame of the goal after 18 minutes in a thrilling start to this match at the Olimpico. Antonio Candreva steered his shot from the tightest of angles and clipped the upright.
Ederson thought he had given Lazio the lead when he tapped in a low Candreva cross from the right, but only after a full minute of celebrations did he realise that he’d been (correctly) flagged offside.
Candreva went to curl another cross towards the back post, but it stunned the goalkeeper to crack against the crossbar. It was the third time the teams had hit the frame of the goal in the opening half-hour. From that corner, Andre Dias’ header whistled wide.
Tavares was booked for shoving Candreva into the advertising boards by the side of the pitch, as the Lazio man cut his elbow.
After the restart Ederson should’ve scored when he burst between the Maribor centre-backs, but pulled his angled drive wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.
The visitors also had a chance that seemed easier to score, as Bizzarri missed a corner and was glad to see Tavares hit the free header into the ground and wide from six yards.
Lazio finally did break through on the hour mark, as Floccari hooked down a ball over the top and his shot was beaten away with great difficulty by Handanovic at the near post, but only into the path of Ederson to fire in the rebound from eight yards.
Floccari again surprised the Maribor defence and ran on to a cross from the left, protecting the ball so Vidovic could not stop himself from clattering into the striker. The referee awarded a penalty and straight red card. Hernanes stepped up, but the stuttering run-up and spot-kick was saved by Handanovic on to the upright.
Maribor were still in the game and Agim Ibraimi’s snapshot whistled wide, then a series of shots were charged down from a corner in the final minute.
Lazio 1-0 Maribor
Scorers: Ederson 63 (L)
Lazio: Bizzarri; Konko, Ciani, Dias, Cavanda; Cana; Candreva, Gonzalez (Zarate 84), Hernanes, Ederson (Onazi 69); Floccari (Kozak 91)
Maribor: Handanovic; Milec, Rajcevic, Vidovic, Mejac; Cvijanovic (Komazec 87), Filipovic, Mertelj, Ibraimi; Tavares (Mezga 62), Beric
Ref: Marciniak (POL)
Sent off: Vidovic 76 (M)
Saved penalty: Hernanes 77 (L)
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