Ciro Immobile scored one and created another for Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro, while Luiz Felipe’s header was deflected in, as Lazio stunned Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in their Champions League comeback.
It’s an ideal result, especially as Club Brugge won 2-1 away to Zenit St Petersburg in Group F.
The Biancocelesti made their return to the Champions League after 13 years, but confidence was low following one point from their last three Serie A games, including Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Sampdoria. Luiz Felipe returned after over a month out with an ankle issue, but Manuel Lazzari, Andreas Pereira and Stefan Radu were injured. Emre Can was suspended for the Germans, also missing Nico Schulz, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Marcel Schmelzer and Manuel Akanji, while Roman Burki was benched.
Ciro Immobile had a disappointing period at Borussia Dortmund, but he opened the scoring for Lazio here, controlling a Tucu Correa pass with his right boot and immediately prodding in with his left, anticipating the goalkeeper’s movement.
Immobile threatened a second, his strike from a tricky angle stinging the gloves of Marwin Hitz, then he ran on to a through ball and was denied only by a desperate Mats Hummels block.
Borussia Dortmund’s first real chance came on 21 minutes, Raphael Guerreiro bursting through the centre for Thomas Strakosha to parry with a leg.
Correa should’ve done better when accidentally sent clear by a Hummel error, forcing the save, but on the resulting corner Lazio doubled their lead because Luiz Felipe’s glancing header ricocheted in off Hitz. It was the ideal way to mark his comeback from over a month out, even though UEFA assigned it as an own goal.
Thomas Meunier missed a sitter by side-footing wide from 12 yards when set up by Axel Witsel, but the hosts continued to create the better chances, as Lucas Leiva’s volley was deflected over and Hitz forced into a flying save to stop Luis Alberto scoring directly from the corner flag.
Erling Braut Haaland was quiet in the first half, but got a dangerous shot away to test Strakosha after the restart, while Guerreiro blasted over the bar.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic limped off after a body-check, but Dortmund got a goal back when Patric gave the ball away playing out from defence and Haaland smashed it into the roof of the net.
Lazio were getting increasingly pinned back and visibly running out of steam, but restored the two-goal cushion with an unexpected hero. Immobile burst down the left and pulled it back, laying the ball on a silver platter for Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro to fire in from seven yards. It was a dream for the former Salernitana midfielder.
Strakosha fingertipped looping Haaland and Jadon Sancho headers over the bar, but ultimately the Germans barely tested the Lazio goalkeeper.
Lazio 3-1 Borussia Dortmund
Immobile 6 (L), Hitz og 23 (L), Haaland 71 (B), Akpa-Akpro 76 (L)
Lazio: Strakosha; Patric, Luiz Felipe (Hoedt 51), Acerbi; Marusic, Milinkovic-Savic (Akpa-Akpro 68), Leiva, Luis Alberto (Parolo 80), Fares; Correa (Muriqi 68), Immobile (Caicedo 80)
Borussia Dortmund: Hitz; Piszczek (Brandt 65), Hummels, Delaney; Meunier, Bellingham (Reyna 46), Witsel, Guerreiro; Reus (Reinieri 78), Sancho; Haaland
Ref: Turpin (FRA)