Salzburg captain Alexander Walke described their triumph over Lazio as a ‘small miracle’ after they scored three times in five minutes to beat the Italians 6-5 on aggregate and reach the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday.
All hope looked lost when Ciro Immobile’s clinical finish put Lazio 1-0 ahead on the night and 5-2 in front on aggregate 10 minutes into the second half and the visitors still looked comfortable with 19 minutes remaining and the score at 1-1.
Salzburg coach Marco Rose said he was proud of his players and now wanted Premier League Arsenal in the semi-finals.
“It was a great footballing night, for me and for the guys, I’m really proud of the team because we believed in it and we worked that success together,” he said.
Lainer, whose back post header completed an extraordinary recovery, said it had been a sensational night.
“It’s unbelievable, unbelievable, winning 4-1 against such a team,” he said. “I think that just describes the whole season, that we never give up, that we always stay positive.”
Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said his side had suffered a “blackout” after being in control.
“In Europe nobody gives you anything, and Salzburg have deserved the qualification,” he said.
“We had the qualification in our hands. The difference is that they made five shots on goal and scored four goals, we had the same shots on goal but (scored) only one goal.”
Lazio must pick themselves up quickly for a derby against local rivals Roma at the weekend as they try to qualify for next year’s Champions League with a top-four finish in Serie A.
“On Sunday we have a great chance to get up and start again,” Inzaghi said, with Lazio and Roma locked on 60 points in third and fourth respectively, one point ahead of Inter Milan.