Thursday November 28 2019
Correa earns lucky Lazio reprieve

Joaquin Correa gave lucky Lazio a Europa League reprieve as they beat CFR Cluj 1-0 to keep their slim hopes of a last-32 place alive.

Thomas Strakosha, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ciro Immobile were all left at home, so Bobby Adekanye - a summer signing from Liverpool - was given his full debut in Lazio's attack.

Cluj only needed a draw to reach the last 32, compared to the Aquile's quest for six points from their final two group games, and it showed as they sought to sit back.

However, Simone Inzaghi's side managed to find an opening through the middle and Correa was able to poke a finish across Giedrius Arlauskis for the lead.

That forced the Romanian champions to come out of their shell, and they almost equalised through Damian Djokovic, whose shot from distance crashed against the woodwork.

Correa, on the other hand, went even closer for 2-0 but prodded a one-on-one wide when it seemed easier to hit the target.

Cluj threw the kitchen sink at Lazio after the break, but substitute goalkeeper Silvio Proto made a string of crucial stops.

They had the ball in Proto's net, but Lacina Traore was correctly adjudged offside when he turned in from a header.

The hosts, who ultimately emerged victorious with their only attempt on target, can now qualify for the knockout stages if they beat Stade Rennais and Cluj lose to group winners Celtic.

Lazio 1-0 CFR Cluj

Correa 24

Lazio: Proto; Bastos, Vavro, Acerbi; Lazzari, Parolo, Cataldi, Luis Alberto (Patric 80), Jony (Lulic 75); Adekanye (Caicedo 65), Correa

CFR Cluj: Arlauskis; Cestor, Boli, Burca, Camora; Bordeianu (Deac 62), Djokovic, Culio; Petele (Susic 73), Omrani, Paun (Traore 65)

Referee: Palabiyik (TUR)

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