The Lazio fans could see it coming before it happened.

There was a feeling of inevitability when Christopher Jullien rose unchallenged to thud a header into the back of the net and secure a late win for Celtic.

After all, Lazio had been here before. It was the third time this season they had surrendered the lead to lose a game 2-1.

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But beyond that it continued a trend of being left to rue missed opportunities, leaving a bitter taste after what many regarded as an undeserved result.

There was more wasteful finishing, not to mention some extraordinary goalkeeping from Fraser Forster.

It was a game that not only solidified doubts that already existed about this Lazio team, but it left their Europa League campaign hanging in the balance and their entire season at a crossroads.

Simone Inzaghi described it as his side’s best performance of the season and while nobody was really buying that at the time, his comments now appear to have more weight after a week in which the club’s hopes and dreams have been restored.

The Roman side responded to their difficult night in Glasgow by winning three Serie A games in a row in the space of a week. It was a run of results, and performances, that has completely changed the narrative around this team.

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Wasteful? They scored eight goals in their three wins over Fiorentina, Torino and AC Milan. 

Defensively fragile? They conceded just twice in that time and have the second meanest defence in Serie A, not to mention the joint-best goal difference.

Unreliable on their travels? They found late winners to beat Fiorentina and Milan away from home.

Mentally weak? They ended a 30-year wait to beat Milan at San Siro in the league. They let leads slip at both Fiorentina and Milan, but this time scored late on to win those games, rather than collapsing.

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In addition to returning fire against some of the criticisms they’ve regularly faced, Lazio have been able to rely on two extraordinary players hitting rich veins of form.

Ciro Immobile scored his 100th goal for the club against Milan and he leads the Serie A scoring charts with 13 strikes in 11 games this season.

Luis Alberto’s display at San Siro, topped off by a no-look pass to set up Joaquin Correa’s winner, was a masterclass in midfield majesty.

The Spaniard has more assists than any other player in Italy’s top flight with seven, but that only tells part of the story of what his creative spark adds to this team.

Lazio’s golden week marked the first time in over a year – since September 2018 – that they have won three league games in a row.

It wasn’t exactly against bottom-feeders either, as Milan, Torino and Fiorentina all have European aspirations of their own this season.

The nine points they accrued from those games has lifted Inzaghi’s side into fourth place and revived their Champions League hopes, but now their attention is set on rescuing a Europa League campaign that is yet to cough into first gear.

Inzaghi and his players learned some tough lessons at Parkhead, and came away knowing that this Celtic team will not go down without a fight. 

A certain level of confidence was taken from the fact that Lazio managed to put in a commendable performance with a heavily rotated team, and one which lacked their two greatest weapons in Immobile and Alberto.

Inzaghi now wants “the same effort, but a different result.”

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He warned that Celtic are “used to big European games” and urged his players to “turn these small episodes in our favour”. 

But this time he has other problems to consider, with the biggest questions hanging over who will start in attack.

Immobile is likely to, despite not being fully fit, but Correa and Felipe Caicedo are both carrying injuries, meaning Alberto or Sergej Milinkovic-Savic could be pushed further up the pitch to support a lone striker. 

With bodies dropping by the wayside as the fixtures pile up, Lazio hope that momentum can carry them through. And perhaps a bit more luck this time.