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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Lazio put one foot in quarterfinals with German blitz

Updated: Apr 1

Europa League, Round of 16

Thursday, March 7, 2013

VfB Arena, Stuttgart

VFB Stuttgart Lazio 0-2

Lazio show authority and composure despite a weakened team and with a goal per half, set themselves in good stead for the return match

Official SS Lazio photo

A crowd of about 30,000 turned up at the VfB Arena and about 1,000 were from Rome.

Lazio put out a line-up missing many of their top players but the 'reserves' had done well in Europe so far.

The first big chance of the match fell to the Germans. In the 16th minute a superb header by Japanese forward Shinji Okazaki was saved equally well by Federico Marchetti.

Lazio reacted and with their first dangerous attack they took the lead. In the 21st minute Ederson, taking advantage of some indecisive defending, scored with a low left footed strike. The locals were in disarray and there was no response by 'Die Roten' to the setback.

On the half hour mark Lorik Cana almost made it two with a header going just wide from a corner. It was followed in the 41st by another header this time by Ederson but the ball hit the ground before bouncing over the bar.

Towards the end of the first half 'Die Schwaben' finally showed some signs of life and pushed forward more. They almost equalised, again with the lively Okazaki who shot wide from close range. His attacking partner Federico Macheda on the other hand had been very subdued. Half time score Stuttgart 0 Lazio 1.

Just before the interval German manager Bruno Labbadia had tried to remedy Stuttgart's lack of danger by replacing Alexandru Maxim with Tamas Hajnal and just after the break put on Martin Harnik for William Kvist. It was, however, Lazio who scored again.

In the 56th minute, Nigerian Eddy Onazi picked up the ball in midfield and like a bullet went straight towards goal gliding past several opponents on his way. He reached the area and with only the keeper to beat chipped him with a delicate touch. A brilliant solo effort, Stuttgart 0 Lazio 2.

In the 64th minute, Vladimir Petkovic replaced the more offensive, and tiring, midfielder Ederson with the more defensive Cristian Ledesma.

Stuttgart from now on piled men forward but were rarely dangerous. There were several scrambles in Lazio's area and Okazaki went close with a shot that went wide.

With twenty minutes to go Petkovic put more fresh legs on, quantity for quality, he replaced Hernanes with Alvaro Gonzalez. It was Lazio, though, that in the end had more chances to score again with Antonio Candreva and Senad Lulic on the counter foot.

Stuttgart got more and more desperate and with lucidity and energy fading, were no longer able to threaten Marchetti. Final score Stuttgart 0 Lazio 2.

An excellent away win for Lazio who played with confidence and character, never really risking much at the back. Stuttgart proved to be no world beaters but were still a Bundesliga team. Things were looking good for the return match in Rome in a week's time.

Who played for Stuttgart

Ulreich, Sakai, Tasci, Rüdiger, Boka, Kvist (55' Harnik), Gentner, Maxim (41' Hajnal), Okazaki, Traorė, Macheda (93' Holzhauser)

Substitutes: Ziegler, Felipe Lopes, Molinaro, Hoogland

Manager: Labbadia

Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Bizzarri, Dias, Biava, Lombardi

Manager: Petkovic

Referee: Tudor (Romania)

Goals: 21' Ederson 56' Onazi



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