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Scoring once not enough – Pioli

Lazio coach Stefano Pioli felt his team deserved more than a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen after their performance on Tuesday.

A 77th-minute goal from Balde Keita helped the Serie A side claim a first-leg advantage in the UEFA Champions League play-off.

But they will take just that one-goal lead to Leverkusen in the second leg and Pioli said Lazio’s display at the Stadio Olimpico warranted more.

“The whole game was difficult and complicated, as Leverkusen press you hard and play the ball quickly. Finally we went back to being a team that can suffer and fight for every ball,” Pioli told Sport Mediaset.

“We knew that we could create chances and we did, but scoring only one was perhaps too little considering the overall performance.”

Keita struck with 13 minutes remaining as he ran at the Leverkusen defence, finding space before a fine finish from inside the area via the post.

Pioli was happy with result, but said there was still work to do for his team.

“We won the first leg, but the tie is still wide open,” he said.

“Clearly it is excellent to keep a clean sheet at home, as Bayer Leverkusen create many opportunities and caused us problems, but we managed to largely keep them quiet.

“We proved that we can play at this level and can fight it out with Bayer in Leverkusen.

“Our opponents beat Atletico Madrid, Benfica and Zenit at home last season, so clearly they are tough, but the lads gave the response we were looking for.”

Wed 19 Aug, 2015
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