Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi believes his side can still dream of clinching a place in the Europa League knockout stages despite their agonising late defeat to Celtic on Thursday.
The result, sealed by Olivier Ntcham’s 95th-minute winner, left the Aquile third in Group E, seven points behind leaders Celtic and six adrift of second-placed Cluj with two games remaining.
“We still have some hope, the Scots can beat Cluj,” Inzaghi said in the post-match press conference.
“We need to win and see what happens in the final match. We have regret, the group was completely open to us.
“We put a lot of energy into the game. Some of the players weren’t at their best, [Lucas] Leiva and [Felipe] Caicedo weren’t training until yesterday evening. In another game they wouldn’t have played.”
Ciro Immobile put Lazio in front early on before James Forrest equalised later in the first half.
An error from substitute Valon Berisha led to Celtic’s winner, as the midfielder’s slack pass was pounced on by the Scottish champions, but Inzaghi stood up for the Kosovo international.
“Berisha came on with the right attitude and even created a chance at goal,” Inzaghi said.
“He made a mistake with one pass, but the others could’ve fixed his error.”