Pandemonium at the Olimpico: Saponara wizardry conjures up 98th-minute equaliser
It looked like our Olimpico hoodoo was set to continue. No away wins at Lazio since 2005. No points in the last three seasons.
Quagliarella gets the opener. Lazio start knocking on the door and level the scores with 12 minutes left to play. Lazio batter the door but you dig in and keep them out.
Then, right at the death, a red card, a free kick, a “handball” in the wall and, after an interminable VAR review, a penalty for Lazio. Witchcraft. Immobile scores. The cruellest of late blows.
But then. Then…
In added time of added time (the 98th minute, to be precise), a sorcerer by the name of Saponara defies the laws of physics and somehow, inexplicably, flicks the ball beyond Strakosha. Pure wizardry.
Lazio 2-2 Sampdoria (HT 0-1)
Scorers: Quagliarella 21, Acerbi 78, Immobile 90+6 (pen), Saponara 90+9.
Lazio (3-5-2): Strakosha; Wallace (L. Alberto 76), Acerbi, Radu; Patric, Parolo, Badelj (Correa 52), Milinkovic, Lulic; Caicedo (Cataldi 53), Immobile.
Subs not used: Guerrieri, Proto, L. Felipe, Lukaku, Durmisi, Bastos, Caceres, Murgia.
Coach: S. Inzaghi.
Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Audero; Bereszynski, Andersen, Colley Murru; Praet (Jankto 70), Ekdal, Linetty; Ramírez (Saponara 82); Quagliarella, Caprari (Kownacki 66).
Subs not used: Rafael, Belec, Vieira, Sala, Tavares, Ferrari, Tonelli, Defrel, Rolando.
Referee: Massa (Imperia).
Assistants: Valeriani (Ravenna) & Di Vuolo (Castellammare di Stabia).
Fourth official: Illuzzi (Molfetta).
VAR: Pairetto (Nichelino).
VAR assistant: Manganelli (Valdarno).
Booked: Caicedo 6, Bereszynski 40, Immobile 45, Audero 57, Wallace 69, Linetty 90, Andersen 90+2.
Sent off: Bereszynski 87 (second yellow).
Added time: 2+9 minutes.
Pitch: less than perfect condition.