Live Commentary: Lazio (1)1-1(3) Fenerbahce - as it happened

Fener's Raul Meireles celebrates his goal against Borussia Moenchengladbach on October 4, 2012
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Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary of Fenerbahce's Europa League success against Lazio at an empty Stadio Olimpico.

Fenerbahce travelled to Rome tonight with a 2-0 lead in their Europa League quarter-final tie with Lazio.

The hosts struggled to break down a stubborn Turkish defence early on, with the Olimpico empty following UEFA sanctions imposed on Lazio.

Senad Lulic finally made the breakthrough for Lazio midway through the second half, but a late strike from Caner Erkin ensured Fener qualified for their first ever European semi-final.

Look back at a historic night for Aykut Kocaman's side with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary below.


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7.02pmEvening European football fans! The Europa League marathon continues to gather pace tonight as Lazio and Fenerbahce resume their battle for a semi-final spot. The Turkish giants hold a 2-0 advantage and are just 90 minutes away from reaching the last four of a competition on the continent for the first time.

7.04pmFenerbahce are now firm favourites to progress following their home victory seven days ago. A very tight tie was changed completely early in the second half last Thursday when Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi was sent off for a second bookable offence.

7.06pmLazio were unable to hold on at a man disadvantage and eventually conceded twice in the last 15 minutes. A second Fener goal in stoppage time from Dirk Kuyt may prove decisive and gives the Rome giants a huge mountain to climb tonight. Vladimir Petkovic's side were unbeaten in the competition until last week; what a time to lose their proud Europa League record!

7.08pmThe home side seemingly have all the odds stacked against them, with tonight's tie set be played behind closed doors. UEFA decided the conduct of Lazio fans during their last-32 tie was a step too far and imposed a ban on home supporters at the Olimpico this evening.

7.10pmLazio must also cope without a number of key players tonight as their squad continues to show the strain of competing in three competitions. Onazi and Stefano Mauri are suspended, while Andre Dias, Abdoulay Konko and Sergio Floccari all continue to be sidelined by injury.

7.12pmMonday's fierce Rome derby draw has also left Lazio with a number of walking wounded, leaving Petkovic with a series of big calls to make in his starting XI. Miroslav Klose returned for his first start since January in that match, but he is a huge doubt to stay in the team tonight. Libor Kozak is likely to deputise, while Louis Saha is fresh and waiting in the wings to be involved.

7.14pmFull-back Stefan Radu is also doubtful this evening after coming off with a late injury on Monday. With a number of defensive options sidelined Petkovic may be forced to risk his Romanian defender for tonight's decisive clash.

7.16pmFenerbahce are definitely without a pair of key players tonight as they bid to defend a 2-0 advantage. Top scorer Moussa Sow is unavailable through injury, leaving Webo and Kuyt to lead the line. Emre is ineligible to play in the competition, while Miroslav Stoch was omitted from the 19-man squad that travelled to Italy.

7.18pmDefence will be the priority for Fenerbahce tonight, with their recent record in this competition serving as a good omen towards progression to the last four. Kocaman's side have not conceded in their last four away matches in Europe, so expect them to be disciplined and dogged at the back this evening.


7.20pmLazio have struggled for goals slightly in 2013, primarily due to the prolonged absence of Klose. Czech striker Kozak may be misfiring in Serie A, but his Europa League record is fantastic. Eight goals in the competition sees him leading the scoring charts overall. How Lazio could do with him finding form and reaching double figures in tonight's tie.

7.23pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! We have just received word that Klose does miss out on a place in the starting XI tonight, with Kozak leading the line behind Hernanes, who does play despite a knock. A full look at both teams will follow in just a few moments.

7.25pmLAZIO! Marchetti, Ciani, Lulic, Biava, Radu, Ederson, Hernanes, Ledesma, Cana, Candreva, Kozak

7.27pmFENERBAHCE! Demirel, Egemen Korkmaz, Yobo, Ziegler, Gönül, Meireles, Cristian, Sahin, Erkin, Kuyt, Webo

7.29pmThere are a number of surprise inclusions in the Lazio side, with Radu, Ciani and Hernanes shrugging off fitness concerns to make the starting XI. Brazilian playmaker Ederson also comes into the team despite proving ineffective for much of the first leg. Antonio Candreva and Senad Lulic will occupy wide positions, with Kozak serving as a willing lone striker.

7.31pmFenerbahce have brought Caner Erkin into the team for injured striker Sow. The winger made a huge impact in the first leg last week but must be more concerned with a defensive responsibility without possession tonight.

7.33pmExperienced midfielder Mehmet Topal is a surprise omission for Fener, with Kocaman preferring to start Selcuk Sahin alongside Raul Meireles in a central position. Forgotten man Milos Krasic also returns to the bench. Expect him to feature if the Turkish giants are chasing the match at any stage.

7.35pmJust to emphasise how big a task Lazio face tonight, only two clubs have ever bounced back to qualify in the Europa League after a 2-0 defeat in the first leg. Fulham are the most famous example, overturning a 3-1 deficit to knock the Italian giants out three years ago.

7.37pmIf Petkovic's men are to qualify they need Hernanes to find top form. The Brazilian showed flashes of his quality in the Rome derby on Monday, opening the scoring with a terrific drive from range. He then undermined all that good work by a conceding a penalty, which Francesco Totti duly dispatched to equalise. The Brazilian playmaker is under pressure to inspire his side from midfield this evening.

7.40pmLazio will be forced to change their usual gameplan of sitting deep and breaking in numbers this evening, which may lead to an open game if we see an early goal. Fener know that an away goal at any point will effectively end the tie, so expect to see Webo hit with long diagonal balls throughout.

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7.42pmFener arrive in Roma on perhaps their best run of the campaign in all competitions. Kocaman's side have won four of their last five in all competitions and are still within striking distance of Galatasaray on the domestic front.

7.45pmLazio's form has tailed off slightly in the last two months, but a top-six finish coupled with cup success remains an achievable target. The Biancocelesti last went this far in Europe 10 years ago, so there is plenty of incentive for the Rome giants to keep their fine run going with a memorable comeback tonight.

7.47pmFormer Lazio coach Edy Reja has given the current crop his full backing tonight and fully believes they can qualify. He told TMW: "With all due respect for Fenerbahce, I think Lazio have the quality needed to turn this around.

"The Turkish side are not Bayern Munich. It’s a shame it has to be played behind closed doors, as the fans would’ve given Vladimir Petkovic’s lads a real boost.

"With the right mentality, Lazio can do it. I know this squad well and they have the character to achieve this comeback."


7.49pmFener coach Kocaman was cagey in his pre-match press conference, but urged his side not to rest on their laurels and finish the job in Rome.

He said: "The match we played last week has left us in a good position, and we are confident. We scored two goals without conceding and we have the advantage for this last leg.

"We are proud to be here but we don't want to stop now. We’re able to reach the semi-finals and we can make history, but tomorrow we will have many obstacles: Italian teams are very strong and we are away.

"Also Galatasaray showed us yesterday that all is not over after defeat in the first game."


7.51pmLazio boss Petkovic was in typically bullish mood yesterday, insisting that his men fully believe in their ability to overturn a 2-0 deficit.

He said: "We will need courage and patience to impose our style of football and seek a goal as soon as possible. We believe that we can do it.

"I’d say our chances of qualification are less than 50 per cent, but many ties have been overturned in Europe this season and 2-0 is a dangerous result for everyone."


7.54pmOne final set of pre-match quotes to look at from Rome native and Lazio midfielder Antonio Candreva. He has declared that the anger over their controversial defeat in Turkey will help drive them on to success this evening.

Candreva told reporters at his pre-match press conference: “We played very well there, despite certain incidents and the fiery atmosphere. We believe in our chances of qualification and it is up to us to face this match in the best way possible,” said Candreva in his Press conference.

"There is anger and regret over the first leg, because we could’ve been dealing with a much better result right now.

"We are aware of our strength and believe in qualification. I haven’t scored in a long time, so I hope to break that drought tomorrow night."


7.56pmA quick look before we head to Rome at both benches, which include some big players who will hope to have a positive impact late on if needed. Lazio striker Klose in particular will surely feature, despite still struggling for full fitness after a long-term leg injury.

7.58pmLAZIO SUBSTITUTES: Bizzarri, Crecco, Gonzalez, Cataldi, Klose, Floccari, Rozzi

8.00pmFENER SUBSTITUTES:Mert Gunok; Bekir Irtegun, Hasan Ali Kaldirim, Mehmet Topal, Salih Ucan, Mehmet Topuz, Krasic

8.02pmPREDICTION! We are just under five minutes from kickoff at an empty Olimpico, which means it's time for me to stop sitting on the fence and pick a side to reach the last four. Fenerbahce are made of strong stuff as a defensive unit and I think that steel will help them complete a famous victory over two legs. Lazio are definitely capable of scoring, so I'll go for 1-1 on the night!

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8.04pmBoth sides are just making their way out at an eerily quiet Olimpico. Just how big a factor the lack of atmosphere will have on tonight's decider remains to be seen. Lazio are in a changed dark blue strip, with a few hundred visiting Fener fans here to follow their side. Just a reminder that the Turkish giants hold a 2-0 aggregate lead and remain firm favourites to progress.

3 minLazio get the match underway, shooting left to right. An immediate long diagonal towards Candreva is intercepted by Ziegler, who strides forward to win a throw in the opposition half. Radu is next to try a forward pass, with his crossfield effort towards Ederson just falling a few inches short.

5 minFener win the first corner of the match as a short cross from Erkin is cleared behind by Cana. Lazio easily find distance to head away a tame corner kick and counter in numbers. Candreva drives towards the byline before cutting inside and forcing a save from Demirel.

7 minA sloppy backpass from Ciani forces Marchetti to concede a cheap corner kick, a sign that Lazio are showing nerves in the early going. Baroni delivers an inviting cross into the penalty area, which evades the charging run of Webo by just inches. Fener have settled well and look comfortable in the opening stages at the Olimpico.

9 minLazio drive forward in numbers and win the ball high in the final third. Ederson has time and space, but shoots well wide of the far post after electing not to pass inside towards Kozak. Candreva is next to attack, but his dangerous run with pace is stopped by a brilliant sliding tackle from Yobo.

11 minThe visitors win a free kick around 30 yards from goal as Cana is harshly penalised after an aerial tussle with Webo following Yobo's long ball forward. Cristian strikes straight into a strong Lazio wall, who stood firm to block a bullet strike heading towards danger.

13 minHernanes has a powerful strike from range blocked by his own player, with Kozak guiding it wide with an unfortunate deflection. Ederson quickly wins possession and wins a free kick after being brought down by Meireles.

15 minSAVE! With Demirel well off his line Hernanes tries to catch him out with a direct effort on goal. The Fener keeper recovers just in time to stop the ball trickling over his line, and also hangs on under pressure from Kozak for the follow up.

17 minEderson keeps the pressure on Fener by winning a corner kick following a fine late burst out wide. Candreva takes the corner short with a clever flick from Hernanes, but the Brazilian wants to shoot rather than cross from a very tight angle. Ciani wanted the pass inside the penalty are and lets the midfielder no in no uncertain terms that he made a poor decision to strike well wide.

19 minFener give their defence a welcome rest by enjoying a good spell of possession deep in the opposition half. Ziegler and Gonul come forward from full-back and help press Lazio into making successive mistakes in possession, with the home side still not forcing the play with any pace or purpose at this stage.

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21 minMeireles gets away without a caution, despite definitely catching a Lazio player late with a mistimes lunge. The Portuguese midfielder eventually works a chance to shoot from distance, but his effort has too much power and drifts aimlessly wide of the target.

24 minCiani just stops Webo from chasing a long ball in-behind with a brilliant late flick to interpect. More sloppy play from Lazio sees them quickly give up possession as Fener launch another counter, which eventually sees Erkin overhit a cross towards the far post.

26 minSCORE UPDATE! A quick word on a goal in one of tonight's other Europa League ties, with Clint Dempsey putting Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 up on aggregate against FC Basel.

28 minSHOT! Back at the Olimpico Lazio are definitely lacking a killer pass in the final third, with Kozak cutting an isolated figure in attack. Lulic nearly breaks that trend with a chipped pass inside that finds Candreva, but his forceful left-foot volley flies well over the crossbar.

30 minLulic comes inside and beats two players, but Cristian is well placed to stop the winger's run with an important challenge just outside the penalty area. Fener clears towards Webo, who continues his entertaining battle with Ciani by winning a free kick after going down under minimal contact from the central defender.

32 minYELLOW CARD! Ziegler gets a silly yellow card after falling on the ball to stop Ledesma taking a quick throw-in. Fener have kept their discipline so far but they could do without cheap cautions, which may come back to haunt them as the night progresses.

34 minYELLOW CARD! Cristian quickly follows Ziegler into the book after bringing down Ederson from behind. More importantly Lazio now have a free kick just over 20 yards from goal, which Hernanes shoots straight into the wall with a poor effort.

36 minHernanes tries his luck again two minutes later, curling a strike well wide of the far post from 25 yards. Lazio's playmaker is clearly desperate to make the difference tonight but has so far failed to provide a moment of genuine quality.

38 minCandreva shows a real lack of impatience to fire wide from at least 35 yards. Lazio need to pick their passes more carefully, with Fenerbahce quite happy to defend deep and let the home side shoot from distance judging from that effort.

41 minLulic and Candreva combine to win a corner kick out wide as they switch positions. Candreva elects to take and sends a curling cross towards the near post, but Webo is well placed to clear with a powerful header. Lazio quickly recycle possession and create their best chance of the match so far as Ederson forces Demirel into a smart stop from close range.


43 minThe home side are finally showing more impetus in the final third, with Hernanes next to show quick feet to create space near the penalty area. His final touch is disappointing however, with a tame low strike falling central into the grateful clutches of Demirel.

45 minYELLOW CARD! Kozak has just received a caution after chasing a spill from Demirel inside the six-yard box. The Czech striker caught the keeper once he had caught the ball and he will receive a one-match suspension in European competition as a result. Replays suggest the booking was harsh and show the forward made minimal contact with his late challenge.

45 min+2Kozak has to be careful as his next involvement could have seen him sent off. The striker attempted to meet a cross from Lulic but this time caught Yobo late with a frustrated lunge. Luckily for the forward he is not punished on this occasion.

8.55pmHALF-TIME Lazio (0)0-0(2) Fenerbahce

8.57pmLazio coach Petkovic is furious that only two minutes were added at the end of a scrappy first half and tells the referee exactly how he feels as both sides leave the field. Fenerbahce have stayed organised and made few errors to keep their two-goal advantage, with a place in the last four now just 45 minutes away.

8.59pmDespite probing for much of the first 45 minutes Lazio are yet to create a genuine clear-cut opportunity at goal. Ederson has been their most creative attacking threat, with Hernanes and Candreva wasteful in the final third so far tonight.

9.01pmWith no dent in their two-goal deficit surely it is only a matter of time before Petkovic brings on Klose for the home side. The German veteran is not 100% after recently returning from a leg injury, but could still provide some much-needed attacking impetus to save Lazio's fading Europa League hopes.

9.03pmIt is very much a case of job well done for Fenerbahce so far, with the visitors showing exactly why they are yet to concede away from home in the Europa League this season. Yobo and Korkmaz look strong and compact in central defence, while Webo has proved a willing runner in attack.

9.05pmSCORE UPDATE! A quick word on tonight's two other Europa League ties taking place, which both include English clubs. Tottenham Hotspur must score to progress in the second half, after Salah edged FC Basel ahead on away goals. Newcastle United are deadlocked at home to Benfica, with the Magpies still trailing 3-1 on aggregate.

9.07pmWhile we wait for both sides to return at the Olimpico, it must be said that the empty stadium may well be having an adverse effect on Lazio. The home side look in need of a lift, perhaps a sign of fatigue after a long season competing in three competitions. Petkovic needs to find some words of wisdom to push his team on to find an early goal after the break.

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46 minFener get the second half underway, with Lazio resisting the temptation to make any changes at half-time. The visitors quickly concede possession as a chest down from Webo aimed towards Cristian is intercepted by Radu.

48 minVolkan Demirel is quickly involved again as he comes for a Ledesma cross and completely misses with a misguided punch. Luckily for the Fener keeper Kozak fails to react and lets the ball fly wide of the far post and out of play. Lazio need to test the inconsistent keeper early in the second half and look to force a mistake.

50 minMISS! Kozak has just missed a header from close range, what a chance spurned for Lazio! Candreva set up the chance with the best cross of the night by some distance. His curling delivery found the forward unmarked at the far post, but his header had too much power and drifted beyond the near post. A real opportunity wasted for the home side!

52 minSCORE UPDATE! News of a goal from Switzerland in the Europa Leagu, with FC Basel striking to take control of their tie against Tottenham Hotspur. They now lead 2-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate, which means Spurs must score to force extra time.

54 minBack in Rome Lazio are pressing high up the pitch, but Fener look relatively comfortable and win a free kick after Lulic clips Gonul with a late challenge. The visitors use the set piece to clear high upfield, but Candreva is on hand to regain possession and drive at Ziegler down the wing. His cross is whipped towards the near post but Korkmaz is on hand to find distance with a clearance.

57 minSUBSTITUTION: Petkovic has made a very positive and necessary change. Klose has been introduced at the expense of Biava, which means Lazio have swapped a central defender for a striker!

59 minKorkmaz needs some medical attention after a tussle with Klose, the German forward's first involvement in the match. The defender landed awkwardly on his right knee, but after a brief period is back on his feet.

61 minGOAL! Lazio (1)1-0(2) Fenerbahce (Lulic)

63 minLazio are right back in the tie after making a spell of prolonged pressure count. Candreva made space on the wing before picking out Lulic at the far post with a precise cross. He made no mistake to send home a forceful header and reduce the deficit on aggregate to a single goal. Very much game on now at the Olimpico!

65 minYELLOW CARD! Straight from the restart Erkin is booked for a late tackle on Candreva. That was very cynical from the midfielder, who will now miss Fener's next European match through suspension.

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67 minYELLOW CARD! Lulic is almost immediately the next player to be cautioned following a frantic goalmouth scramble in the Fener penalty area. The winger attempts to shoot but instead kicks Yobo after his important late touch cleared the danger. The referee is definitely attempting to keep a lid on this match by issuing cautions quickly.

69 minLazio are piling on the pressure as they win a corner from a headed clearance by Korkmaz. A short delivery from Hernanes lets Fener off the hook as his deflected cross drifts through to Demirel.

71 minFener enjoy a rare spell of possession in the Lazio half, with Kuyt, Cristian and Webo exchanging near passes in the final third. Erkin eventually gives the ball away to Ciani and the home side duly break clear. Candreva quickly tries to find Ederson with a long diagonal, but his attempts to control produce a clear handball and the chance to attack is gone.

73 minCandreva is consistently running with pace and purpose down the right wing, with the visitors unable to contain his driving bursts. His latest foray forward finds Hernanes, who switches for Lulic to cross from deep. His looping ball is meant for Ederson, but Korkmaz does well to head clear under pressure.

75 minSCORE UPDATE! Newcastle United have just ensured that every Europa League tie will have a dramatic conclusion. Papiss Cisse's goal means they now trail 3-2 on aggregate and need one more strike to progress.

77 minGOAL! Lazio (1)1-1(3) Fenerbahce (Erkin)

79 minJust as Lazio bring on another striker in Sergio Floccari the visitors have stuck a vital blow on the counter. A well-worked move featuring Kuyt and Webo found Caner Erkin at the far post, and he made no mistake with an emphatic finish into the top corner. What a moment for Fenerbahce, with Lazio now needing two late goals just to force extra-time.

81 minWithin a minute Lazio flash two efforts just wide of the target. First Radu's drive from range has just too much power, before Floccari sends a header past the far post from close range. The home side had to take one of those chances to stay alive as the clock starts to work against them.

83 minSUBSTITUTIONS: There are a pair of changes to report in the last five minutes. Lazio have swapped Kozak for youngster Rozzi in attack, while Fener brought on Salih Ucan for Cristian just after their vital breakthrough.

85 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Yet another change to report for the visitors, with Webo given a well-earned rest in attack. The tiring forward is replaced by Mehmet Topuz to provide fresh legs on the counter for the final few minutes.

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87 minSAVE! A superb save from Demirel keeps Lazio at bay in the closing stages. Cana got strong contact behind a header at the far back post, but the Fener keeper was well placed to tip his effort just over the crossbar.

89 minThe home side continue to seek a late reply, with Yobo nearly turning into his own net after deflecting a long ball from Hernanes just wide of the near post to stop Floccari making contact. Fener continue to run down the clock by swapping the goalscorer Erkin for Krasic, who makes his first competitive appearance since January.

90 min+1Ciani sums up the home side's frustrating night by lashing a wasteful shot well wide of the target from at least 30 yards. Just when Lazio had finally built momentum they conceded a sloppy goal, which effectively sealed their fate.

90 min+3Candreva picks out a brilliant cross towards the near post, which somehow fails to meet the clever run of Klose. Ledesma is on hand to pick up the loose ball just outside the penalty after, but his half-volley ends up flying well wide of the far post.

90 min+5Deep into stoppage time Klose wins a free kick around 25 yards from goal with some clever work on the ball. After taking his time Candreva smashes the ball at goal, but a strong punch from Demirel clears danger for the final time.

10.00pmFULL-TIME Lazio (1)1-1(3) Fenerbahce

10.02pmThe referee brings an end to a hard-fought tie and Fenerbahce have progressed to the first European semi-final in their history. That Erkin goal late on at the Olimpico proved to be crucial, with Aykut Kocaman's side progressing 3-1 on aggregate.

10.04pmFener join Chelsea and Benfica in confirming their place in tomorrow's semi-final draw, with Tottenham Hotspur and FC Basel needing extra-time to decide their tie after a late Clint Dempsey goal. You can follow that tie to its conclusion with Sports Mole's live text commentary by clicking here.

10.06pmChelsea eased past Rubin Kazan despite losing 3-2 in Moscow earlier today. You can read a full report of that match by clicking here.

10.08pmNewcastle United were unable to keep English interest in the competition at three sides as they were narrowly edged out by Benfica 4-2 on aggregate. Again a complete look at tonight's events at St James' Park can be found by following this link.


10.10pmThat just about does it for our coverage from Rome. Thanks for joining Sports Mole on a historic night for Fenerbahce and be sure to stick with us for Europa League coverage throughout the night. Good evening!

Fenerbahce's Pierre Webo in action for Cameroon on August 12, 2009
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