A last-gasp goal from substitute Tommaso Rocchi earned ten-man S.S. Lazio a dramatic 2-1 win against Villarreal CF at the Stadio Olimpico.
Rocchi struck in the second minute of added time, re-establishing a lead Mauro Zárate had given Lazio before Sebastián Eguren levelled in the first half. Matuzalem's sending off in the 68th minute appeared to have further swung things in the visitors' favour but Rocchi had other ideas with a goal that lifts Lazio to second in Group G, three points ahead of Villarreal.
Villarreal had begun with purpose, with five chances in the first ten minutes as Robert Pirès (twice), Nilmar, Eguren and Senna all came close to putting the Spanish Liga's bottom side ahead. Almost inevitably, though, Lazio went down the other end and buried their first chance in the 20th minute. Julio Cruz bought space with a quick turn and fed Zárate, who finished coolly with his left foot from ten metres out.
Momentarily downed, the Yellow Submarine resurfaced as Cani's fizzing 25-metre effort which flew just wide. Then, five minutes before the break, they produced a stunning team goal. Multiple passes saw the ball switch from one wing to the other before Joan Capdevila crossed for an unmarked Eguren to head home from six metres.
The game became more of a tactical affair in the second half with Villarreal's assured passing contrasting with Lazio's swift counters. Paquale Foggia glanced wide on 48 minutes, Nilmar shot straight at Albano Bizzarri on 56 and Zarate hit the post after a solo run before Eguren headed wide on the hour.
The Biancoceleste were reduced to ten after Matuzalem was sent off for a second caution, but they continued to press and were rewarded when Rocchi met Aleksandar Kolarov's centre.
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