Sergio Floccari’s brace in 60 seconds completed a remarkable Lazio comeback, snatching a 3-3 draw away to Trabzonspor.
This was a head-to-head for leadership of Group J, as both teams won their opening Europa League games. An injury crisis ruled out Miroslav Klose, Giuseppe Biava, Andre Dias, Abdoulay Konko, Diego Novaretti, Bruno Pereirinha and Stefano Mauri, so 20-year-old newcomers Felipe Anderson and Brayan Perea received their full Lazio debuts. The Turkish side was in fine form, having won the last four matches in all competition.
Federico Marchetti needed a save after 120 seconds on Yusuf Erdogan’s snapshot, made trickier by the heavy rain in Trabzon. Hernanes also forced Onur Kivrak to punch away a long-range strike.
However, from that move Trabzonspor went on a classic counter-attack to score. The Lazio defence was wide open and Paulo Henrique rolled a slide-rule pass for Yusuf Erdogan to sprint into the box with an angled drive.
Felipe Anderson threatened an equaliser immediately, but the goalkeeper smothered at his feet. Marchetti beat away an Adrian Mierzejewski screamer that bounced on the wet turf and was fortunate nobody could get on the rebound.
Marchetti was not so lucky moments later, as Mierzejewski’s strike took a wicked deflection off Lorik Cana to dip mercilessly under the bar. Senad Lulic had given the ball away in the build-up.
Eddy Onazi got Lazio back into the game when he sprung the offside trap and chipped the on-rushing goalkeeper. It has been an action-packed week for the Nigerian, who caught a mugger in Rome and delivered him to police. This was his third goal for the club, two of them in the Europa League.
This seemed to turn the tide and Hernanes could’ve equalised on 32 minutes, but his daisy-cutter only clipped the outside of the post with Onur Kivrak thoroughly beaten.
However, a defensive error and a lucky ricochet sent Paulo Henrique clear and he kept his cool one-on-one with Marchetti.
A Hernanes free kick was plucked out of the air, but this latest goal hit the Biancocelesti’s confidence once more. With the last move of the half, Lulic nodded inches wide from a corner.
Michael Ciani nodded in straight after the restart, but the corner had already gone out of play during its flight.
A Hernanes header was well saved from six yards and Onazi tried his luck with a fierce strike from distance. Lulic went on a mazy run to set up Felipe Anderson, but Onur Kivrak rushed off his line and parried the finish with his face.
Sergio Floccari replaced Antonio Candreva and immediately tested the goalkeeper, then Anderson dribbled through defenders only for the shot to be deflected on to the side-netting from six yards.
Onur Kivrak again smothered a Cana header from a corner, but on the counter-attack Alanzinho fired straight at Marchetti one-on-one and Paulo Henrique lobbed off target.
Keita came off the bench and immediately set up a goal, his corner nodded in by Floccari when the goalkeeper misjudged the flight of the ball.
Incredibly, Lazio completed the comeback just 60 seconds later. Floccari ran on to a Perea slide-rule pass and placed his angled drive across the goalkeeper.
The Aquile tried to win it in the final stages, albeit leaving dangerous gaps at the back for the Trabzonspor counter-attack. Floccari’s curler was straight at Onur Kivrak, then Lucas Biglia’s first touch let him down on a Floccari chipped pass and he was crowded out in the six-yard box.
Trabzonspor 3-3 Lazio
Scorers: Yusuf Erdogan 13 (T), Mierzejewski 22 (T), Onazi 29 (L), Paulo Henrique 35 (T), Floccari 84, 85 (L)
Trabzonspor: Onur Kivrak; Bosingwa, Aykut Demir, Mustafa Yumlu, Olcan Adin; Zokora, Colman (Aykut Akgun 57); Yusuf Erdogan, Mierzejewski, Malouda (Alanzinho 64); Paulo Henrique
Lazio: Marchetti; Cavanda, Ciani, Cana, Lulic; Hernanes (Ederson 74), Biglia; Candreva (Floccari 60), Onazi, Felipe Anderson (Keita 79); Perea
Ref: Hansson (SWE)
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!