Europa League - Group E
Lazio1Celtic2

Lazio 1-2 Celtic: Neil Lennon's side reach Europa League last 32

Olivier Ntcham's 95th-minute goal put Celtic into the last 32 with two games to spare
Olivier Ntcham's 95th-minute goal put Celtic into the last 32 with two games to spare

Olivier Ntcham's dramatic stoppage-time strike earned Celtic a stunning win over Lazio and a place in the Europa League last 32 with two games to spare.

Serie A's top scorer Ciro Immobile had given Lazio the lead with an unopposed back-post volley, but James Forrest lashed in his 11th goal of the season just before the break to level.

Neil Lennon's side had to defend stoutly after the break and looked like they would earn a point until Ntcham ran on to an Odsonne Edouard pass to secure Celtic's first win in Italy.

It is the second time in two weeks that the Scottish Premiership side have stunned Lazio with a late winner, Christopher Jullien's header earning victory in Glasgow two weeks ago.

It also means that their games with Rennes at Celtic Park and against Cluj in Romania will now only decide whether they win the group or not.

Famous victory for Roman lions to savour

When you haven't ever beaten an Italian side in their own country, the last thing you want to do is give them a helping hand. The concession of a goal inside seven minutes to the predatory instincts of Immobile rendered a tricky task more akin to mission impossible.

Several key Celtic players looked ill at ease in a 3-5-2 formation in which Forrest and Jonny Hayes were deployed as wing-backs and struggled to adapt, not helped by the players in front of them constantly giving the ball away. The Irishman in particular looked like a fish out of water as Lazio pinpointed a perceived weakness in their opponents.

Keeping the deficit at just a single goal for half an hour was a minor triumph as pressure from the impressive Immobile almost led to an own goal when Jullien headed narrowly past Fraser Forster's left-hand post. There were other moments when a frantic Celtic back line had to do some last-ditch defending to keep the marauding hosts out.

Slowly but surely, the visitors found their feet. Twice Mohamed Elyounoussi made threatening advances but failed to find a final product.

And just before the break, a moment of magic that would have graced any arena. The pass from Elyounoussi to Forrest, in behind the Lazio defence. A rocket of a shot into the top right-hand corner of Thomas Strakosha's net. Wild celebrations from nearly 10,000 visiting fans who hadn't had anything to get excited about prior to that.

Table

Parity celebrated five minutes before the break, and only preserved by a wonderful save by Forster from a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic header, and then an even better goal-line clearance by Jullien to deny Felipe Caicedo as Lazio tried to hit back straight away. In a frantic minute or two, Marco Parolo then headed over when he could, and probably should, have scored.

A half of two halves, if you will, and a blessed relief for Lennon to get his men in for half-time still on level terms with a very dangerous-looking opponent.

That said, had Edouard taken an early second-half chance, this game could have been completely turned on his head. A dodgy clearance by Strakosha gifted Celtic the ball and when Edouard was played in, the Albanian goalkeeper made amends with a strong save from the French striker's shot.

More Celtic pressure drew a mistake from Lucas Leiva, which allowed Forrest to break clear. But with Hayes and Edouard screaming for a pass, the Scotland forward fancied a second goal but his effort was blocked by a defender, much to Edouard's fury.

The dynamic of the match had changed completely; the meek start made by Celtic a distant memory, fading as quickly as the smoke from the pyrotechnics which were on show before a ball was kicked. Uefa has punished Celtic for that before and seem almost certain to do so again.

The fireworks on the field were coming from the yellow-shirted visitors. Some fabulous build-up play involving Christie, McGregor and Forrest left Edouard with the ball inside the Lazio box. However, he couldn't control it and a most presentable chance was gone in an instant.

It was almost instantly regretted too, as Forster once again kept out a Milinkovic-Savic header with an impressive point-blank save. All of a sudden, Lazio seemed to regain their belief. Substitute Luis Alberto nearly scored straight from a corner; the ball ballooned back off Forster's near post as Celtic breathed a sizeable sigh of relief.

James Forrest's superb European form

And then came what felt like 'the' chance. Elyounoussi's pass to Edouard was inch-perfect, inviting the Frenchman to race into the left-hand side of the penalty area. His curling shot slipped agonisingly wide. Would there be a better opportunity all night?

Edouard tried to make amends with a free-kick moments later but again was narrowly off target, this time over the crossbar. This was a half full of passion, pride and no little skill from Celtic. A pulsating contest which ebbed first one way and then another with both defences having plenty of work to do to subdue some smart attacking play from both sets of forwards.

No more so than when a great, late chance presented itself for Lazio's Luis Alberto, only for the powerful left hand of Forster to keep Celtic level.

And then the moment of history. Another Lazio mistake gifted Edouard the ball, and he played in fellow Frenchman Ntcham, whose delicious chip took Celtic through and sent their jubilant fans away into the Roman night delirious.

The first time Celtic have ever won on Italian soil, and only the second time ever they've beaten an Italian side away from home. The other time was that famous night in Lisbon in 1967. These Roman lions in Celtic shirt may not be remembered as long, but they'll savour a famous, famous victory. And rightly so.

Man of the match - Fraser Forster

Immobile and Milinkovic-Savic were standouts for Lazio. Forrest had a good game and scored an excellent goal for Celtic.

But for providing several top-class saves at vital moments - a bit like he did in the last meeting against the Italians at Celtic Park - the award goes to Forster. Celtic deserved to take something from this game and the Englishman was the man who helped deliver it with a wonderful late save, and several more earlier in the match.

Fraser Forster celebrates
Fraser Forster made a magnificent save from Lazio's Danilo Cataldi in added time at Celtic Park two weeks ago to ensure his side held on for a 2-1 win. He was inspired again in Rome

Match stats

  • Celtic have recorded three consecutive victories in the Uefa Cup/Europa League for the first time since November 2002, when they won six in a row on their way to the Uefa Cup final
  • Forrest netted his fourth goal in his past six appearances in all competitions for Celtic, after scoring only twice in nine games for the club beforehand
  • Lazio have only won one of their past eight games in the Europa League (W1 D0 L7), failing to keep a clean sheet on each occasion
  • Celtic won away from home against Italian opposition in European competition for the first time, with this being their 13th attempt at doing so
  • Within the top five European leagues, only Robert Lewandowski (21) has scored more goals across all competitions than Lazio's Immobile (15) this season.

Line-ups

Lazio

  • 1Strakosha
  • 3Ramos Marchi
  • 93VavroSubstituted forBerishaat 82'minutes
  • 33Acerbi
  • 29Lazzari
  • 16Parolo
  • 6LeivaSubstituted forRomero Alconchelat 58'minutes
  • 21Milinkovic-Savic
  • 22Rodríguez MenéndezSubstituted forLulicat 58'minutes
  • 20CaicedoBooked at 42mins
  • 17Immobile

Substitutes

  • 4Gabarrón Gil
  • 7Berisha
  • 10Romero Alconchel
  • 15Jacinto Quissanga
  • 19Lulic
  • 23Guerrieri
  • 34Adekanye

Celtic

  • 67Forster
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forBauerat 89'minutes
  • 33ElhamedSubstituted forBittonat 83'minutes
  • 2Jullien
  • 35Ajer
  • 15Hayes
  • 17ChristieSubstituted forNtchamat 77'minutes
  • 8BrownBooked at 51mins
  • 42McGregor
  • 22Edouard
  • 27Elyounoussi

Substitutes

  • 1Gordon
  • 3Taylor
  • 6Bitton
  • 11Sinclair
  • 13Bauer
  • 16Morgan
  • 21Ntcham
Referee:
Tobias Stieler
Attendance:
26,155

Match Stats

Home TeamLazioAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home15
Away12
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away5
Fouls
Home9
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Lazio 1, Celtic 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Lazio 1, Celtic 2.

Goal!

Goal! Lazio 1, Celtic 2. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Odsonne Edouard.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Luiz Felipe.

Attempt blocked. Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Fraser Forster.

Attempt missed. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Senad Lulic with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Moritz Bauer replaces James Forrest.

Attempt missed. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Luis Alberto (Lazio) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Attempt blocked. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonny Hayes.

Attempt saved. Felipe Caicedo (Lazio) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Valon Berisha.

Attempt saved. Valon Berisha (Lazio) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Attempt saved. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Francesco Acerbi (Lazio).

Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Nir Bitton replaces Hatem Elhamed.

Substitution

Substitution, Lazio. Valon Berisha replaces Denis Vavro.

Attempt missed. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Foul by Luiz Felipe (Lazio).

Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Olivier Ntcham replaces Ryan Christie.

Attempt missed. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mohamed Elyounoussi with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Manuel Lazzari (Lazio) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Corner, Lazio. Conceded by Kristoffer Ajer.

Attempt blocked. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ciro Immobile.

Felipe Caicedo (Lazio) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Christopher Jullien (Celtic).

Corner, Lazio. Conceded by Hatem Elhamed.

Attempt saved. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Francesco Acerbi.

Attempt blocked. Ciro Immobile (Lazio) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Attempt missed. Felipe Caicedo (Lazio) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic with a headed pass.

Foul by Senad Lulic (Lazio).

Ryan Christie (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Lazio. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic tries a through ball, but Ciro Immobile is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Lazio. Luis Alberto replaces Lucas Leiva.

Substitution

Substitution, Lazio. Senad Lulic replaces Jony.

Denis Vavro (Lazio) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Odsonne Edouard (Celtic).

Attempt missed. Christopher Jullien (Celtic) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ryan Christie with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Manuel Lazzari.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 7th November 2019

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sevilla44001221012
2Apoel Nicosia411278-14
3FK Qarabag411278-14
4F91 Dudelange4103715-83

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Copenhagen41304316
2Dynamo Kiev41303216
3Malmö FF41213305
4Lugano402213-22

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Basel4310103710
2Getafe42024406
3FK Krasnodar420268-26
4Trabzonspor401338-51

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sporting43017439
2LASK42116337
3PSV Eindhoven42118717
4Rosenborg400418-70

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic431073410
2CFR Cluj43014319
3Lazio410357-23
4Rennes401325-31

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal4310113810
2Standard Liege420257-26
3Frankfurt420246-26
4Vitória Guimarães401337-41

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Young Boys42116427
2Rangers42115327
3Feyenoord411234-14
4FC Porto411236-34

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Espanyol4310101910
2Ludogorets42028806
3Ferencvárosi TC412124-25
4CSKA Moscow401318-71

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1KAA Gent42209638
2Wolfsburg41217705
3Saint-Étienne403167-13
4Oleksandria403157-23

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Istanbul Basaksehir42115507
2B Mgladbach412147-35
3Roma41217435
4RZ Pellets WAC41125504

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sporting Braga431084410
2Wolves43014229
3Slovan Bratislava41127704
4Besiktas4004410-60

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man Utd431050510
2AZ Alkmaar4220132118
3Partizan Belgrade411247-34
4FC Astana4004114-130
View full Europa League tables

Top Stories