In a dramatic Champions League showdown, Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel emerged as the unlikely hero, securing a vital point for his team with a late equalizer against Atletico Madrid. This thrilling match ended in a 1-1 draw, with Provedel’s header deep into stoppage time sending fans into a frenzy.
The defining moment came when Provedel ventured up the pitch for a last-ditch corner, and with just minutes remaining, he connected with a precision cross from Luis Alberto to head the ball into the net. This stunning goal left the Olimpico stadium roaring with excitement.
As the dust settled on this historic encounter, Provedel became the first goalkeeper to score in a Champions League match since Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama achieved the feat 13 years ago for Hapoel Tel Aviv. Only three others have accomplished this remarkable feat in the history of the competition.
“It’s a night I’ll remember all my life,” Provedel shared in an emotional post-match interview. “I’m happy, especially because we managed to level a game we didn’t deserve to lose. It hasn’t sunk in; 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 as motivation and enthusiasm.”
The match had seen its share of excitement earlier, with Atletico Madrid’s Pablo Barrios breaking the deadlock in the 29th minute with a spectacular first-time strike from long range. Unfortunately for Provedel, the ball deflected off defender Daichi Kamada, leaving the goalkeeper wrong-footed.
Lazio had their opportunities too, with midfielder Mattia Zaccagni’s powerful free-kick testing Atletico’s Jan Oblak, who deflected it wide. In the second half, Atletico came close to extending their lead when Alvaro Morata’s shot struck the post.
However, it was Ciro Immobile who nearly leveled the score for Lazio early in the second half. Immobile found himself with a golden opportunity to score but sent the ball directly at Oblak, squandering a prime chance.
In stoppage time, Jan Oblak once again demonstrated his prowess by tipping Danilo Cataldi’s long-range rocket around the post, preventing a late Lazio victory.
Despite the dramatic finish, 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’s return to the Olimpico, where he once played for Lazio during their championship-winning season in 2000, was filled with emotion. Banners in the stadium greeted him with the message, “Lazio and Rome will always be your home. Welcome back!”
“The fans are incredible,” Simeone expressed. “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 4th in the next round, while Atletico Madrid will host Feyenoord on the same day. This Champions League campaign continues to deliver unforgettable moments and intense competition.