Thursday February 22 2018
EL: Immobile hat-trick, Lazio Manita

Ciro Immobile bagged a hat-trick with the inspirational Felipe Anderson also on target, thrashing FC Steaua Bucharest 5-1, overturning the first leg result.

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The Aquile were unfortunate to lose the first leg 1-0 to a Harlem Gnohore counter-attack, but had a good chance of turning it around on home turf, so used a strong line-up with Ciro Immobile, Felipe Anderson and Luis Alberto. Luis Felipe and Mihai Pintilii sat out bans.

Immobile was sent clear by Felipe Immobile within five minutes, but blasted over the bar under defensive pressure. He didn’t make another mistake soon after, chesting down a Senad Lulic cross at the back post, letting it bounce and hitting the half-volley into the near top corner from a very tight angle.

Steaua had the chance to equalise, but Constantin Budescu’s finish was off target after good work from Harlem Gnohore.

Marco Parolo should’ve done better when running on to a through ball, only to fire straight at the goalkeeper, then Immobile scuffed his finish after Felipe Anderson’s pull-back and hit the side-netting of an empty net when drawing out the goalkeeper.

Lazio lost Martin Caceres to a knee problem, making way for Bastos. It proved a blessing in disguise, because Bastos doubled their lead with a bullet header on a corner and put the Aquile ahead on aggregate.

Felipe Anderson was dominant down the left flank too, riding a tackle at speed and rolling across for Immobile to finish with the outside of the right boot.

Steaua made two changes at half-time, but Felipe Anderson added a fourth, as he ran at defenders and placed a snooker shot into the near bottom corner to round off a fantastic individual performance.

Coman came off the Romanian bench and made an immediate impact, his scorching strike thumping the upright after a poor clearance.

It was only a brief respite, as while Alessandro Murgia was on the ground, having accidentally charged down a shot with his face, Lazio countered with Felipe Anderson and Immobile cut back at the far post to send two to ground for his hat-trick. He became the first Italian player to score a treble in the Europa League and the first to get a hat-trick in the knockout rounds of a major competition since Luca Toni got four for Bayern Munich against Aris Salonika in December 2007.

During that counter, Felipe Anderson clutched the back of his thigh and came off as a precaution. Gnohere scored in the first leg and got a consolation goal in the second too. He had fired straight at Thomas Strakosha, but the ball ricocheted in back off the striker’s chest.

Lazio 5-0 FCSB (5-1 agg)

Immobile 7, 43, 70 (L), Bastos 33 (L), Felipe Anderson 51 (L)

Lazio: Strakosha; Patric, De Vrij, Caceres (Bastos 26); Basta, Parolo, Lucas Leiva, Luis Alberto (Murgia 67), Lulic; Felipe Anderson (Caicedo 74); Immobile

Steaua Bucharest: Vlad; Benzar, Planic, Gaman (Balasa 61), Junior Morais; Nedelcu (Filip 46), Teixeira; Man, Budescu, F Tanase (Coman 46); Gnohere

Ref: Vincic (SVN)

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