MX23RW : Monday, January 21 04:11:15

Result: Keita Balde Diao grabs winner for Lazio against Bayer Leverkusen

Lazio secure a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in their Champions League playoff first leg at the Stadio Olimpico, thanks to Keita Balde Diao's second-half strike.

Keita Balde Diao's late strike has given Lazio a gutsy 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in their Champions League playoff first leg at the Stadio Olimpico.

Stefan Kiessling (R) of Bayer Leverkusen competes for the ball with Miroslav Klose (C) and Dusan Basta of SS Lazio during the UEFA Champions League qualifying round play off first leg match between SS Lazio and Bayer Leverkusen at Olimpico Stadium on Augu© Getty Images

The visitors started the game more comfortably as Karim Bellarabi proved a handful down the right flank, but the Biancocelesti countered through a number of chances from Senad Lulic.

Both sides were fairly even in terms of possession and attacking endeavour in the early stages, though Stefan Kiessling came close for Leverkusen with a stinging 20-yard drive just after the quarter-hour mark.

Bellarabi was next to threaten for the visitors 23 minutes in when he marauded in from the left and beat his markers before taking an extra touch and unleashing a shot that flew just high of the target.

There was a burst of action just before the half-hour mark when Lars Bender unleashed a thunderous effort from the edge of the box which cannoned against the left post, before Miroslav Klose struck the woodwork a minute later.

Lazio's forward from Senegal Balde Diao Keita celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League playoff football match between Lazio and Bayer Leverkusen, at Olympic stadium in Rome on August 18, 2015© Getty Images

Both sides went in level at the break as few chances came by either team's way, with the next concrete effort not coming until the hour mark when Hakan Calhanoglu's free kick was acrobatically saved by Etrit Berisha.

Admir Mehmedi was next to threaten in the 64th minute when he let rip with an effort from the edge of the box, but the ball flew just a few inches wide of the right post.

From then on both teams stepped up a gear in terms of attacking endeavour as Kiessling had a goal ruled out for offside and Keita forced a smart save from Bernd Leno midway through the second half.

It wouldn't be long before the deadlock was broken, and it went the way of Lazio, as their young Spanish striker struck the winner courtesy of a hazing solo run finished off with a strike off the post and into the net.

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Stefan Kiessling (R) of Bayer Leverkusen competes for the ball with Miroslav Klose (C) and Dusan Basta of SS Lazio during the UEFA Champions League qualifying round play off first leg match between SS Lazio and Bayer Leverkusen at Olimpico Stadium on Augu
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Juventus19172038112753
2Napoli20152339182147
3Inter Milan20124431141740
4Roma2096537261133
5Lazio209562923632
6Atalanta BCAtalanta2094744271731
7AC Milan198742620631
8Sampdoria208663526930
9Parma208481823-528
10Fiorentina206952821727
11Torino206952622427
12SassuoloSassuolo206863032-226
13CagliariCagliari204971927-821
14Genoa195592535-1020
15Udinese2046101624-818
16SPALSPAL2046101628-1218
17Empoli2045112439-1517
18Bologna2028101630-1414
19FrosinoneFrosinone2017121242-3010
20AC Chievo VeronaChievo1918101435-218

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