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Lazio's Provedel Makes Champions League History with Dramatic Equalizer

 Lazio's Provedel Makes Champions League History with Dramatic Equalizer

Lazio's Provedel Makes Champions League History
Lazio's Provedel Makes Champions League History(Image-Getty) 

In a thrilling Champions League Group E match on Tuesday, Lazio's goalkeeper, Ivan Provedel, played the hero's role, securing a vital point for his team with a dramatic last-minute equalizer against Atletico Madrid. With only five minutes remaining in stoppage time, Provedel, who had ventured upfield for a desperate corner kick, expertly headed home a cross from Luis Alberto, salvaging a 1-1 draw for Lazio.

The outcome of this historic first-ever Champions League clash between Lazio and Atletico had significant implications, as Feyenoord claimed the top spot in the group with a 2-0 victory over Celtic in a simultaneous match.

Provedel's goal also earned him a place in the history books as the first goalkeeper to score in a Champions League match in 13 years since Nigeria's Vincent Enyeama accomplished this feat for Hapoel Tel Aviv. He became only the fourth goalkeeper ever to achieve this remarkable feat.

Reflecting on this extraordinary moment, Provedel expressed his joy, saying, "It's a night I'll remember all my life. I'm happy, especially because we managed to level a game we didn't deserve to lose. It hasn't sunk in yet; later, I will realize that I scored in the Champions League. Football is sometimes about moments and not just performance. I am sorry that we had to equalize at the last second. I hope the point gives us momentum and motivation."

The match had its fair share of excitement, with Atletico's midfielder Pablo Barrios breaking the deadlock with a deflected long-range strike in the 29th minute. Lazio dominated the early stages of the game but couldn't find a way past Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who made a crucial save from a powerful free-kick by Mattia Zaccagni.

Atletico came close to extending their lead in the second half, with Alvaro Morata hitting the post, while Provedel made several important saves to keep Lazio in the game. Ciro Immobile missed a golden opportunity for an equalizer, and Oblak made a crucial save from Danilo Cataldi's long-range effort in stoppage time.

Despite the late equalizer, Atletico manager Diego Simeone remained positive, stating, "We played a good second half, we had clear goal-scoring chances. We defended organized and with a lot of effort. I am left with a good feeling despite the goal in the last minute."

Simeone, who previously played for Lazio during their last Italian championship win in 2000, had an emotional return to the Olimpico stadium, where banners welcomed him with heartfelt messages. He expressed his deep affection for the fans, saying, "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."

Looking ahead, Lazio will travel to Glasgow to face Celtic on October 4 in the next round, while Atletico will host Feyenoord on the same day.

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