Apollon Limassol beat Lazio 2-0, including a spectacular David Faupala bicycle-kick, so first place in the Europa League group is now impossible.
The Aquile were already qualified for the Round of 32, but still held out some hope of beating Eintracht Frankfurt to first place in the group going in to Cyprus. It would’ve been very difficult anyway, as Eintracht Frankfurt flattened Olympique Marseille 4-0.
Simone Inzaghi left the likes of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Ciro Immobile, Luis Alberto and Milan Badelj at home, with Lucas Leiva injured, giving the captain’s armband to Danilo Cataldi.
Valon Berisha drilled a loose ball inches wide from the edge of the box, then Joaquin Correa blasted over, but it was Apollon who broke the deadlock in some style.
David Faupala met a Joao Pedro cross from the right with a spectacular bicycle-kick from 10 yards to fly under the bar, surprising Silvio Proto.
Cataldi’s free kick was deflected just wide and Riza Durmisi’s cross-shot from a tight angle stung the goalkeeper’s gloves. Just as Lazio were pouring forward in a bid to equalise, they were caught out on the most classic of counter-attacks.
Papoulis sprung the offside trap and rolled across intelligently for Sasa Markovic to fire in, as Lazio defenders flung themselves too late into the path of the passes.
This is the first time that Apollon Limassol have ever beaten an Italian club. Inzaghi used the opportunity to give teenage defender Nicolò Armini his senior debut for Lazio, but goal-scorer Markovic should’ve seen red for a very dangerous studs-up tackle side-on to Cataldi’s ankle, getting away with a booking.
Apollon Limassol 2-0 Lazio
Faupala 31 (A), Markovic 82 (A)
Apollon Limassol: Bruno Vale; Joao Pedro, Ouedraogo, Soumah; Spoljaric, Sachetti; Sardinero (Zelaya 78), Markovic, Schembri (Papoulis 66); Faupala (Maglica 66)
Lazio: Proto; Bastos (Lulic 60), Acerbi, Luiz Felipe; Caceres, Murgia (Rossi 60), Cataldi, Berisha, Durmisi; Correa; Caicedo (Armini 85)
Ref: Reinshreiber (ISR)
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