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Lazio earn first-leg lead against Salzburg

Two goals in two second-half minutes helped Lazio beat Salzburg 4-2 and take control of their Europa League quarter-final.

But the two away goals scored by the Austrians kept them in the tie ahead of the second leg next Thursday at the Red Bull Arena.

Senad Lulic gave Lazio an eighth-minute lead with a composed finish past Salzburg keeper Alexander Walke after being teed up by Dusan Basta.

Basta undid his good work in the 29th minute by conceding a penalty for his challenge on Munas Dabbur. Valon Berisha converted coolly to give Salzburg their first equaliser.

Lazio missed the chance to regain the lead before the interval when Sergej Milinkovic’s header from close range lacked direction.

The home side did not have to wait long for their second goal of the night, which came four minutes into the second half.

Basta, whose busy night continued, provided a quality assist for Marco Parolo to restore Lazio’s lead.

Salzburg drew level for the second time in the 71st minute when Takumi Minamino, just introduced as a substitute, made space for his shot before firing past Thomas Strakosha in the Lazio goal.

Lazio replied, though, with two goals in the next five minutes to ensure they took a two-goal advantage with them to Austria for the second leg.

Felipe Anderson kept his head to round the keeper with 16 minutes remaining and restore the Italians’ advantage.

And in their next attack two minutes later, Ciro Immobile got in on the scoring after controlling a pass from the impressive Lucas Leiva to find the back of the net.

Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi praised his players for the way they handled Salzburg twice getting back on level terms.

“My boys were good at managing the nervousness that had arisen after suffering that penalty,” Inzaghi said in quotes on the club’s website.

“We played in front of a great audience and celebrate the victory with the fans was a must.

“After the penalty suffered, we were good to stay in the game and then take the lead of two goals.

“The team behaved well, we had several players coming back from injuries, but they showed great heart.”

Salzburg manager Marco Rose felt his side could have done more to keep the score level going into next week’s second leg in Austria.

“I think we could have done better,” he is quoted on the club’s website.

“We conceded too many easy goals. The two goals keep us in it to some extent.

“It was a hot-blooded match. My team offered a high intensity again and made a fight of it.”

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