Lazio rode their luck in the first half and had to fight back for a 2-1 win over Rennes, as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic came off the bench to score and assist Ciro Immobile.
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Elsewhere in the group, Celtic beat CFR Cluj 2-0, so it's wide open for qualification.
This was already a must-win fixture for Simone Inzaghi after losing the opener 2-1 away to CFR Cluj, a match they had been leading before a late loss of focus. With Adam Marusic suspended and Joaquin Correa injured, Felipe Caicedo partnered Ciro Immobile. Rennes drew 1-1 with Celtic and had several familiar faces at the Olimpico, including ex-Milan striker M’Baye Niang and former Roma midfielder Clement Grenier.
Flavien Tait went over in the box in the opening minute, but seemed to go looking for contact with Denis Vavro.
Immobile volleyed over from a corner, but Lazio were fortunate VAR wasn’t used in the Europa League when on 22 minutes Francesco Acerbi charged down a shot with his outstretched arm in the penalty area.
Jonas Martin tested Thomas Strakosha from distance, while Damien Da Silva had to hoof Manuel Lazzari’s cross clear from six yards, as it fell between two Lazio players.
Bastos deflected a Tait curler wide from the edge of the box and Danilo Cataldi’s free kick was plucked out of the air, but it was a deeply disappointing first half performance.
Talented youngster Eduardo Camavinga caught the Lazio defence napping to drill inches wide straight after the restart. Simone Inzaghi introduced star names Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, but moments later, Rennes took the lead.
Grenier’s free kick went over Milinkovic-Savic to find a Jeremy Morel header at the back post, relatively undisturbed.
Luis Alberto, Caicedo and Camavinga fired wide from distance, but Milinkovic-Savic equalised with a well-taken strike. He seemed not even to be looking at the goal from 12 yards, surrounded by defenders, but still hit the Luis Alberto through ball first time into the near bottom corner with his left boot.
The Serbian substitute definitely made the difference, because he then whipped in a great cross from the right for Immobile’s towering header from 12 yards and turned the game around. It was, remarkably, the first headed goal Lazio had scored this season.
Strakosha flew to palm a long-range Benjamin Bourigeaud free kick out from under the bar, while Grenier’s volley flashed off target after a Niang knockdown.
Lazio risked a freakish own goal when the ball ricocheted off both Bastos and Milinkovic-Savic, but Strakosha was alert to pluck it out of the air.
At the other end, Edouard Mendy did the same as one of his teammates anticipated Marco Parolo from close range. There was a huge scare with the last kick of the game, as Rennes had a free kick right on the edge of the box, but Grenier's attempt deflected off the wall and Strakosha could gather.
Lazio 2-1 Rennes
Morel 55 (R), Milinkovic-Savic 64 (L), Immobile 75 (L)
Lazio: Strakosha; Vavro, Acerbi, Bastos; Lazzari, Parolo, Cataldi (Milinkovic-Savic 53), Berisha (Luis Alberto 53), Lulic (Jony 82); Caicedo, Immobile
Rennes: Mendy; Da Silva, Gnagnon, Morel; Traore, Grenier, Martin, Camavinga (Bourigeaud 70), Doumbia (Hunou 82); Tait (Raphinha 76), Niang
Ref: Boiko (UKR)
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