Forget Bale, this Lazio striker was the star of last night

Europa League Final

Plenty of people will be purring about Gareth Bale this morning but it’s a Lazio forward who deserves the most praise today.

Remember the name Libor Kozak because you could be hearing a lot more of it if the 23-year-old Czech produces more of the heroics he showed against Borussia Monchengladbach last night.

Kozak was part of the Lazio side that secured a 3-3 draw away in Germany last night and his performance deserves special attention for more than one reason.

Firstly he bagged a brace which is impressive for any young striker in a heated European game but it’s the context of his second goal which is the reason he deserves praise.

Andre Dias was sent off with 20 minutes of the match remaining which meant Lazio were at a disadvantage and Kozak was forced to lead the front line in the closing stages of the match.

Needless to say the German side made good on their numerical advantage with two goals within the space of four minutes inside the last ten.

However, Kozak bagged the equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game which salvaged a third away goal for his team ahead of the second leg.

Plenty of older, higher profile and more experienced strikers would have let their heads drop long before the final seconds of the match.

It’s a goal which will get him plenty of headline space in the Italian press this morning and his performance could attract the interest of several top European sides.

This is a young man who has to compete in a side with Mauro Zarate and Miroslav Klose just to get a starting place.

He now has a strike rate of greater than one goal per game in European football this season which is better than either of those players.

If any savvy managers are waking up this morning and reviewing the action then they could do a lot worse than sending a scout out to go and watch this lad play.

He seems to have all of the characteristics that would make him perfect for a Premier League side; pace, energy, skill and that never say die attitude, which on this occasion literally made the difference.

What do you make of him?

image: © nicksarebi

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