28.11.2023 21:40 h

Immobile fires Lazio past Celtic and to brink of Champions League knockouts

Ciro Immobile shot Lazio to the verge of qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League with a late brace in Tuesday's 2-0 win over eliminated Celtic.

Italy forward Immobile struck twice in the final 10 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to move Lazio top of Group E, two points ahead of Atletico Madrid who are at third-placed Feyenoord later on Tuesday.

Lazio will be through to the next round if Feyenoord lose to their Spanish opposition as the Dutch outfit are four points behind the new group leaders.

Immobile's double, which took his all-competitions tally for the season to seven, was a rare high point for Lazio who are 11h in Serie A.

"When a team goes through a difficult period, your personal situation should take second place," assured Immobile.

"When I was on the bench, I just tried to see how I could help my team. We now need to find in the league the enthusiasm that we show in the Champions League."

Defeat in the Italian capital confirmed Celtic's exit from Europe's top club competition.

Brendan Rodgers' side will finish bottom of Group E following the defeat which left the Scottish champions with a single point from their five group matches.

Veteran striker Immobile broke the deadlock of a tense match in the 82nd minute when Gustav Isaksen's shot was deflected right into his path with only befuddled goalkeeper Joe Hart to beat.

And the 33-year-old made sure of the points three minutes later, taking down Isaksen's pass and shrugging off the Celtic defence before rolling home a neat finish.

Any hope of a Celtic comeback was finished once referee Halil Umut Meler denied their appeal for a stoppage-time penalty following a review of the pitch-side monitor.