Ciro Immobile came back to haunt his former club as the Lazio talisman bagged a goal and an assist in a superb 3-1 victory against Borussia Dortmund to ensure the Romans enjoyed a memorable return to the Champions League group stage.
The Italy international fired the hosts in front just five minutes into the Stadio Olimpico clash, before an own goal by Dortmund goalkeeper Marwin Hitz doubled their advantage before the break.
Erling Braut Haaland’s explosive finish reduced the deficit as the visitors applied pressure in the second half, but substitute Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro capped a memorable night for the Biancocelesti by slotting home an Immobile cross,
Lazio haven’t featured in the Champions League group stage since the 2007/08 season, but sit top of Group F after one round, level on points with Club Brugge, who beat Zenit St Petersburg 2-1 in the other fixture.
The hosts raced into the lead after just five minutes when Lucas Leiva won the ball high up the pitch, before Joaquin Correa played in Immobile for a calm dinked finish.
Lazio immediately responded with a golden chance as Correa was sent one-on-one with Hitz only for the keeper to block his shot, but from the resulting corner Luiz Felipe’s glancing header flew into the net. The goal was later given as an own goal for the unfortunate Hitz, as it hit his head on the way in.
The Germans squandered a glorious chance to pull one back after 28 minutes when Thomas Meunier met a Haaland cut-back and only had to hit the target to score in an open goal, but he sliced his finish wide.
Dortmund continued to push after the break as Haaland’s fierce shot was beaten away by Strakosha before Guerreiro fired over from a promising position.
They eventually broke the Roman resistance inside the final 20 minutes, when the Norwegian striker hammered home a powerful finish from a Gio Reyna cross.
But Lazio put the game to bed five minutes later in style. Luis Alberto’s exquisite through ball found Immobile, who crossed to substitute Akpa Akpro for a close-range finish.