Thursday February 14 2013
EL: Lazio six-goal Monchengladbach thriller!

Lazio snatched a thrilling 3-3 draw away to Borussia Monchengladbach after Federico Marchetti saved a penalty and Andre Dias was sent off.

The Biancocelesti were still unbeaten in the Europa League and visited Borussia Monchengladbach under light snow without the injured Miroslav Klose, Cristian Brocchi and Stefano Mauri. The Germans left starlet Granit Xhaka on the bench, but were unbeaten against Italian sides since falling to Milan in 1974.

Juan Arango and Antonio Candreva fired snapshots off target from distance, but Lazio nearly scored a truly bizarre goal. Cristian Ledesma hassled the goalkeeper, who kicked a clearance on to his leg and saw it ricochet back over the empty net.

However, the referee pointed to the spot as Andre Dias mistimed his tackle on Patrick Hermann to force a penalty. Martin Stranzl stepped up and converted the spot-kick under the bar, giving Federico Marchetti no chance. It was only the third goal Lazio have conceded in the Europa League this season.

Andre Dias gave away another pointless free kick on the edge of the box by bringing down Luuk De Jong, but Arango’s shot was charged down.

The Italians threatened on 25 minutes, as a fierce Candreva free kick bounced right in front of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who struggled to palm it out for a corner.

Hernanes also went close from a set play, curling his free kick just over the bar. De Jong anticipated Abdoullay Konko to get on the end of a Tolga Cigerci long ball, but nodded off target.

Lazio were pushing forward continually in the first half and Sergio Floccari got his head to a Senad Lulic cross, forcing Ter Stegen to palm it out for a corner.

However, Monchengladbach went extremely close to a second, as Arango’s free kick smacked against the upright, then Herrmann’s follow-up was well saved by Marchetti.

It was wide open and a Hernanes screamer was deflected inches past the far post. A Ledesma free kick was whipped into the middle for Stefan Radu to head over with the goalkeeper stranded.

Centre-forward Libor Kozak replaced midfielder Ledesma for the second half and they were far more aggressive.

It paid off, as Candreva whipped in a cross from the right and Floccari got between defenders for a spectacular volley under the crossbar from seven yards, continuing his remarkable form. The volley was with the outside of his right boot, his sixth goal in the last seven official games.

Lazio were pouring forward now and turned the game around completely with a similar goal. This time Lulic put in the cross from the left, Kozak got away from everyone to spring the offside trap and volley in at full stretch. This was his sixth goal in the Europa League, including the preliminary rounds.

Monchengladbach were stunned and almost conceded a third when Candreva drilled wide from the edge of the box.

However, Andre Dias gave away another penalty by hauling down Stranzl as a corner came in and it was his second yellow card too. Stranzl stepped up again, but this time Marchetti got to the spot-kick and deflected the powerful effort into the air as a Lulic goalline clearance ensured nobody could follow it up.

Moments later Stranzl was again denied, though this time it was by the base of the upright with Marchetti beaten.

Floccari had another effort off target, but Lorik Cana gave away a third penalty of the night by hauling down De Jong. Marchetti faced a different spot-kick taker this time, substitute Thorben Marx, and he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to equalise.

Marchetti was ready to palm a long-range Alvaro Dominguez snapshot round the base of the post, as it bounced just in front of him.

Monchengladbach turned it all around again in this thrilling encounter, as Arango thumped a free kick over the wall from 30 metres and it dipped at the near post, but Marchetti was unsighted and couldn’t get there in time.

It still wasn’t over, as 10-man Lazio snatched an equaliser deep into stoppages. The goalkeeper flapped away a set piece and Hernanes curled the cross back in for Kozak’s glancing header. It was the last kick of an amazing game in Germany.

B Monchengladbach 3-3 Lazio

Scorers: Stranzl pen 17 (M), Floccari 57 (L), Kozak 64, 93 (L), Marx pen 84 (M), Arango 89 (M)

Borussia Monchengladbach: Ter Stegen; Stranzl, Brouwers, Dominguez, Wendt; Cigerci (Xhaka 75), Jantschke (Hanke 75), Nordtveit (Marx 73), Arango; Herrmann, de Jong

Lazio: Marchetti; Konko, Andre Dias, Biava, Radu; Ledesma (Kozak 46); Lulic (Ciani 87), Candreva (Cana 72), Hernanes, Gonzalez; Floccari

Ref: Karasaev (RUS)

Sent off: Andre Dias 69 (L)

Saved penalty: Stranzl 70 (M)

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