ROME-- A first-half goal by Ciro Immobile handed Lazio a 1-0 home win over Feyenoord in the Champions League on Tuesday, keeping the Italians' knockout stage hopes alive as Maurizio Sarri's side moved up to second in Group E.
Lazio, who lost 3-1 in the reverse fixture last month, are second on seven points from four games, one point behind leaders Atletico Madrid who hammered Celtic 6-0 in the other group fixture. A mostly uneventful first half sprung to life in stoppage time when captain Immobile put the hosts ahead after he rounded visiting goalkeeper Justin Bijlow and struck low from a tight angle towards the far post. It was the 33-year-old's 200th goal for the Italian side having returned in the centre of the attack after coach Sarri made five changes to his starting lineup from the side that lost 1-0 to Bologna in the league on Friday. Feyenoord striker Santiago Gimenez had the chance to equalise in the 67th minute following a free kick, but his header went inches wide. The Mexican, who scored twice in the win over Lazio in Rotterdam, also had a good chance before halftime but home goalkeeper Ivan Provedel denied his close-range shot with the tips of his fingers. Provedel then secured the win for Lazio in stoppage time when he kept out Ayase Ueda's towering header. "We played a match in which we were at our best, even in moments of suffering," Sarri told Sky Sport. "(But) Against them we had to suffer, they are a goal machine and tonight we kept them dry. "Let's hope we didn't pay a heavy price because we came away with some injuries. (Mattia) Zaccagni and Luis Alberto? There's a bit of concern." Midfielder Zaccagni was replaced by Pedro shortly after the hour mark while Luis Alberto received medical treatment on the pitch just before fulltime after Lazio had used all their changes. Feyenoord lost defender Bart Nieuwkoop through injury in the 20th minute. The Dutch champions, who came into the game top of the standings, dropped to third on six points. European champions in 1970, Feyenoord are in the group stage for the first time since 2017-18. However, they have never reached the knockout stage since the competition became the Champions League in 1992.