Lazio ends 13 years of waiting for Champions League football as they seal a return to Europe’s elite club league after defeating Cagliari in Serie A … while Ciro Immobile also leads Cristiano Ronaldo in the league’s golden shoe race
- Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile scored the winner with his 31st this season
- Sergej Milinkovic-Savic hit Lazio level after Joao Pedro’s free kick
- Lazio still has a mathematical opportunity to review Serie A leader Juventus
Lazio claimed a place in the Champions League, ending an absence of 13 years in the league, when they came from behind to beat Cagliari 2-1 in Serie A on Thursday after five games without a win.
Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile scored the winner with his 31st goal of the season, as Lazio, fourth with 72 points, took last Italian place in the European elite club competition next season.
The strike saw the 30-year-old Italian international take the lead over Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Serie A golden boot, with the Juventus star stuck at 30 after failing to find the net in the 2-1 defeat of his side against Udinese.
Lazio ended their 13-year absence from the Champions League after defeating Cagliari
Ciro Immobile won the winner when Lazio confirmed their return to the European elite league
With three games to play, Lazio still has a mathematical chance to review Juventus leaders, who have 80 points.
“I am happy, it is good to celebrate that we have achieved an important goal for us, for which we have achieved three games in advance,” said Immobile.
“We are proud despite the difficulties we experienced after a lockdown. This is something Lazio has not achieved for years. ‘
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic hit the host level after Cagliari’s Joao Pedro scored a free kick
Cagliari striker Joao Pedro scored early with a stunning free kick, but it was disallowed because the referee indicated it was indirect.
Lazio was kept at bay by Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno and was caught when Giovanni Simeone put the Sardinians ahead with a deflected shot at the end of the first half.
However, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic hit Lazio level two minutes after the break and, after hitting the post with a shot on the turn, Immobile clung to Luis Alberto’s ball to slip the winner past Cragno on the hour.
The victory means that the Rome side still has a chance to review Serie A leaders Juventus