Matchday 1 of the UEFA Champions League is over, and as the dust settles, it is likely that we have already got one of the moments of the season. To the shock and surprise of many, Lazio equalized against Atletico Madrid in the dying minutes of the game, but it was not the goal that surprised fans, but rather the goalscorer. Of all the players on the pitch, it was a leaping header from Lazio Goalkeeper Ivan Provedel that came to the rescue of the Le Aquile.
The moment of wonder came in the dying moments of the second half, with just seconds to go. The home side were staring down the barrel of defeat when up stepped Lazio keeper Ivan Provedel. Lazio were relentlessly going at the Atletico defense when Nahuel Molina headed out a lobbed ball into the box, giving the visitors a final chance through a corner. Danilo Cataldi’s corner was headed clear at the near post, but as the ball rolled to Luis Alberto standing at the edge of the box, Lazio #94 flew into the danger area and with a sublime header saved the game at the death for the home side.
His flashing header flew past Jan Oblak and into the back of the net, making the home side erupt in cheers. It was absolute pandemonium at the Stadio Olimpico Tour as Provedal was stormed by teammates and staff. The goal marked the final kick of the game, and it was only fitting that the #94 scored a goal in the 94th minute of the game.
Atletico Madrid came to Stadio Olimpico with the 3 points in mind, and they were cruising to the finish line when Provedel did the unexpected. Lazio were on the back of a 3-1 loss to Juventus, while the visitors were also looking for redemption after a 3-0 loss to Valencia. Atletico took the lead from a long-range strike from Pablo Barrias, thanks to a huge deflection from a Lazio defender, completely taking out Provedel.
After going down in the 29th minute, Lazio struggled to create chances, testing Jan Oblak only from a few long range shots from Luis Alberto. Lazio got their clearest chance through an Oblak error, when the Slovenian keeper made a misplaced pass to a Lazio player. Ciro Immobile received the ball at point black, but when the entire stadium thought that he had scored, Oblak redeemed himself through a spectacular save.
Provedel kept Lazio in the game, when he made an absolute world-class save, flying into the firing area, and making a very important save with his face. His block on Samuel Lino gave Lazio a fighting chance, which he himself secured at the end of the game. Provedel’s heroics have gone viral on social media with Netizens lauding the 29-year-old for his courage and anticipation with his header.
Gerard Crispin is an editor at FirstSportz. He has been a part of the site since 2020. Crispin, has published over 3500 articles in Combat Sports, across multiple websites.
Never-ending love for brawn and lifting heavy weights drove Gerard Crispin towards developing an interest in combat sports. Besides this, he closely follows a number of sports, viz. Football, MMA, Cricket and Tennis. He is a Gooner for life.
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