It was all smiles for Diego Simeone before the first kick of the whistle as Lazio fans welcomed back the player who helped them win the 2000 Serie A title and three other trophies with the Roman club. However, his smile soon turned into shock as his team conceded a dramatic 95th-minute equaliser after Lazio’s Goalkeeper, Ivan Provedel, directed his header past Jan Oblak. As the Lazio players reeled away in celebration, Diego Simeone and his team could only stay rooted, just like how they defended the corner.
LAZIO GOALKEEPER IVAN PROVEDEL SCORES IN THE 95TH MINUTE 🤯 pic.twitter.com/ZINV29H2qP
— GOAL (@goal) September 19, 2023
Ivan Provedel Becomes 2nd Ever Goalkeeper to Score a Non-penalty Goal in Champions League History
Before cementing his place in history, Ivan Provedel did well to repel the onslaught of attacks by Diego Simeone’s team in the second half. After keeping his team in the game for long enough, Ivan took matters into his own hands by wandering himself upfield for the corner in the dying seconds before leaping highest and directing his header into the back of the net.
Despite emotions running high after becoming only the 2nd ever goalkeeper to score a non-penalty goal in the history of the UEFA Champions League, Ivan held back his own joy to focus on the team first in his interview. “I am going to enjoy this. But we only got one point; we did not win. Football is sometimes about moments and not performance. I am sorry that we had to equalise at the last second. I hope the point gives us momentum as motivation and enthusiasm.”
Ivan Provedel was not the only player creating history in this match as Diego Simeone’s young attacking midfielder Pablo Barrios became the youngest Spaniard ever to score in the Champions League for Atlético in his first start in European competition for the first team.
@eduardinhocfprovedel gênio😈🔥♬ Silence 2 Minutes – Silence for Meditation
Diego Simeone’s Official Post-Match Statement: “Lazio Banner Touched My Heart.”
Although Diego Simeone suffered heartache after seeing his team concede in the dying seconds, he did not fail to acknowledge the heartfelt message from the Lazio fans. In reference to the Lazio banner –Rome and Lazio will always be your home. Welcome back, Cholo, our champion of Italy, Diego Simeone, felt moved and praised their gesture.
“The fans are incredible. I felt so much emotion at the start of the game, but also just walking into the stadium. I have this affection that will never die. The banner was beautiful. It touched my heart.” When questioned on his potential return to the club, Diego Simeone replied: “I always say I would love to rediscover the old sensations I had here but as a coach. Now Sarri is here, he is a great coach, and I am having a long journey with Atletico.”
In reference to the result, Diego Simeone felt positive despite the late setback. “It was a good performance. Lazio played better with the ball because they needed it at their feet to hurt us. They had some chances, and we were lucky with our goal, but after that, we played well. We closed everything up in the second half. They did not have good chances, whereas we had three with Morata, Lino and Griezmann but failed to kill off the game.”
Lazio give a warm welcome to Diego Simeone who won the 1999/00 Scudetto for the club 🇦🇷
“Rome and Lazio will always be your home…
Welcome back Cholo, our champion of Italy” 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/XRiCwi4Jfa
— Italian Football TV (@IFTVofficial) September 19, 2023
Mauricio Sarri’s Official Post-Match Statement: “We Received the Right Reward.”
On the flip side, Mauricio Sarri proudly smiled at his team’s determination in search of the equaliser. “We found a solution eventually! Trailing at half-time with how the two teams had played their football was not fair, and we risked feeling like victims of bad luck, of surrendering to the circumstances. The team did not do that and received the correct reward.”
When questioned on why Lazio has struggled recently, Sarri calmly replied: “People claim we are struggling, but in the last three games, we have faced Napoli, Juventus and Atlético Madrid, ending up with a win, a defeat and a draw. I feel we played on level terms with three of the best teams in Europe. A point against Diego Simeone’s Atlético can be important for us because we got it against the favourites of this group.”
Judging from Diego Simeone and Mauricio Sarri’s statement, they felt their teams deserved all three points after their displays. What do you think? Is this result fair for both teams? Will Diego Simeone and Mauricio Sarri manage to regroup their squad for their respective league before heading into Matchday 2? Let us know on our site here.
— viè qqua! (@vie_qqua) September 19, 2023
Where to Watch the UEFA Champions League?
With teams such as Bayern and Real Madrid on the horizon, we know you are desperate in search of a website to watch the coverage of the UEFA Champions League. While the internet has many live score websites available, we recommend AsiaSports as it provides premium video highlights. For example, the site offers real-time and high-definition clips in various Asian and international languages tailored to entertain fans of different countries.