Vladimir Petkovic has “huge regrets” after Lazio’s Europa League elimination to Fenerbahce and feels the controversial first leg was decisive.
The Biancocelesti lost 2-0 in Istanbul with a debatable penalty and 90th-minute strike after Eddy Onazi had been sent off in the first half.
Tonight’s 1-1 draw behind closed doors at the Olimpico was not enough to turn that around, as Lazio had 26 shots on goal compared to one from Fenerbahce.
“The first leg compromised our qualification,” said Coach Petkovic. “I am sure we could’ve gone through otherwise.
“I am in any case very happy with the performance and compliment my lads, as we tried to win all the way to the end, even if it no longer counted.
“Both us, and Juventus in the Champions League, had a good journey. Perhaps we just lacked a little bit of luck. It’s also true we were missing our fans, as after taking the lead they could’ve given us a big hand. I hope we won’t be in that position ever again.”
Lazio had to play behind closed doors for their last two home games after persistent incidents of racist chanting in the crowd.
“One of the huge regrets is that we didn’t reach this appointment 100 per cent on form, while we also had 15 shots on target tonight and still didn’t win the game.
“We must not cry over things we can’t change. The lads gave their all to overturn the negative result in Istanbul and I am happy with them. Now we will rest for a day, then prepare for Juventus on Monday night, as I believe Lazio can still finish in the top three.”