Live Commentary: Stuttgart 0-2 Lazio - as it happened

Lazio forward Sergio Floccari celebrates after scoring against Napoli on February 9, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute commentary of Lazio's eye-catching win at Stuttgart in the Europa League.

Lazio travelled to Suttgart for the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on a run of 10 mathces unbeaten in the competition.

Stuttgart had gone four home matches without a win in Europe and fell behind early on when Ederson drove a measured volley into the bottom corner.

The visitors extended their advantage after the break through Ogenyi Onazi, who finished cooly after beating three players with a mazy run.

Look back at an impressive away performance from Vladimir Petkovic's side with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary below.


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5.02pmAfternoon football fans and thanks for joining Sports Mole as the Europa League marathon finally reaches the last 16. Lazio and Stuttgart collide for the first time in Germany tonight, both with genuine hopes of recording a cup double in what promises to be a tie full of attacking intent.

5.05pmLazio have endured a domestic wobble in recent weeks that threatens to derail their chances of securing Champions League qualification. The loss of German striker Miroslav Klose has been damaging for Vladimir Petkovic's side, who have lost four of their last six in all competitions.

5.07pmDespite being thumped 3-0 by domestic rivals AC Milan last weekend that scoreline scarcely tells the story for Lazio, who had Antonio Candreva controversially sent off early on. The Rome giants will hope to use Europe as a catalyst to regroup and save their season, which could still yield two trophies and a top-three finish!

5.09pmIn terms of the Europa League Lazio are one of the few sides still yet to beaten in the competition this season. That run continued in the last round against German opposition, with Borussia Monchengladbach edged out 5-3 on aggregate.

5.12pmStuttgart's European adventure has been a strange but successful one to date. Bruno Labaddia's men have failed to win any of their four home matches since the group stages but have found form on the round to keep their unlikely continental run alive.

5.15pmGenk were just about edged in the last round thanks to a spirited 2- 0 away victory. Stuttgart will know a poor home performance will probably see them exit the competition, with Lazio presenting a daunting challenge at the Olimpico in the second leg.

5.18pmDie Roten coach Labbadia has been quick to play down his side's chances tonight and insist that he must rotate due to the size of his squad. The Reds are through to the final four of the DFB Pokal and are fighting hard to earn a top-half finish in the Bundesliga after an indifferent league campaign.

5.20pmLabbadia has admitted that key strikers Martin Harnik and Vedad Ibisevic may both be left on the bench this evening. He told UEFA.Com: "Our squad is not large enough to compete effectively in all three competitions. Some players might need to be rested.

"We do not think that we have much of a chance. This is a very big game for us, which hopefully will drive us forward. We want to show that we can compete against a very good opponent."


5.23pmDespite their recent slump Lazio coach Petkovic was in a bullish mood at the pre-match press conference, insisting that his side are more than capable of securing a positive result at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. And after drawing 3-3 at Gladbach last month his confidence is hardly surprising.

5.26pmHere are a series of quotes from Petkovic, who was on good form for UEFA.com.

He said: "My team must be aware of its abilities and continue the positive streak in Europe. This game will not be decisive, but it will give us some important answers ahead of the second leg.

"Lazio have proved themselves many times. Even in the 3-0 defeat to Milan, I wasn’t disappointed with the way we played while we had 11 men on the field. We must fight to score a goal and not concede, as this tie is played over 180 minutes.

"I am not worried by our results away from home, but we will become a big club when we are able to perform the same way in any stadium."


5.29pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! The starting XI's for both teams have just been released and there is a surprise in attack for either side. Federico Macheda and Libor Kozak have a chance to impress in attack as both sides look to shake decidedly dodgy domestic form.


5.33pmLAZIO: Marchetti, Pereirinha, Cana, Ciani, Radu, Hernanes, Candreva, Onazi, Ederson, Lulic, Kozak

STUTTGART: Sakai, Tasci, Rüdiger, Boka, Kvist, Gentner, Okazaki, Maxim, Traoré, Macheda


5.35pmTonight actually serves as Macheda's full debut for Stuttgart and a chance for the striker to get his career back on track against his first club. The young forward left Rome to join Manchester United as a teenager but his career has stuttered ever since.

5.37pmMacheda gave a series of interviews in the build-up to this match and admitted that tonight is a very important occasion for him personally. He told Bild: "To be honest, I’m a fan of Lazio. I still watch every game on TV.

"But I’m a professional, I’m wearing the Stuttgart jersey tomorrow and I will give everything."


5.40pmLazio's decision to include Kozak is also an interesting one. The Czech striker has been lethal in the Europa League this season but is yet to score in Serie A. Sergio Floccari has struggled to lead the line in recent weeks and is dropped in favour of their top scorer in this competition.

5.42pmLorik Cana has also been given a rare start in central midfield. The former Sunderland man will add steel and hope to allow Hernanes a free role to roam in an advanced position. The Brazilian playmaker has been disappointing in recent weeks and needs to find form quickly to keep Lazio's season going in the right direction.

5.45pmBrazilian playmaker Ederson is also included from the start and is always a threat with his long-range shooting. Lazio definitely need an additional creative spark after struggling for goals since Klose was ruled out for the season through injury.

5.48pmAs predicted Harnik and Ibisevic are both left out tonight and will both be a huge miss. The Reds will look to impressive Japanese playmaker Shinji Okazaki for inspiration in the hope of breaking down a physcial Lazio backline.

5.51pmI am slightly surprised to see Bruno Pereirinha start at full-back for the visitors this evening. The Portuguese defender struggled badly against Milan last weekend and was brought off at the break. Stuttgart will look to isolate him and get joy down their left and secure a positive result.

5.55pmPREDICTION! We are around five minutes from kickoff at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, which just gives me time to make a prediciton. Stuttgart have struggled at home in the Europa League and I think both sides will score this evening. Lazio drew 3-3 on their last visit to Germany, a repeat performance would be perfect for neutrals. I'm gonna sit right on the fence and predict a 1-1 draw in Germany tonight to leave the tie wide open!

5.58pmRest assured that we will keep you posted on a big night of action across Europe this evening. Newcastle United are currenly goalless with Aznhi at half-time in the other tie of note currently underway.

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2 minLazio get us underway in Germany, wearing a changed dark blue strip. The visitors are straight on the attack but Pereirinha's heavy touch means Stuttgatt get the chance to regroup and stop the full-back sending in a dangerous cross.

4 minThe home fans have created a superb atmosphere at the Mercedes-Benz Arena for tonight's match as Okazaki strays just offside from a long ball.

6 minTraore shows pace out wide and drives at the Lazio defence but is eventually stopped in his tracks by Ciani. Lazio are playing a familair 3-4-1-2 formation that always looks difficult to break down.

8 minA low shot from range by Ederson nearly falls into the path of Kozak, who is inches away from meeting the ball at full stretch. Candreva quickly whips in a precise cross soon after as Lazio make an encouraging start.

10 minSHOT! Stuttgart have their first sight of goal through Traore, who lashes well over from 20 yards after being picked out by Gentner. Both sides are looking to get the ball forward quickly in the opening stages.

12 minEderson makes a run deep into the penalty area and controls quickly, but is eventually stopped from striking at goal by a last-ditch tackle from Tasci. The former Lyon midfielder looks in the mood to create problems for Stuttgart in this match.

14 minStuttgart are giving away possession far too easily so far and gift Antonio Candreva the chance to drive into the final third with purpose. Petkovic will definitely be the happier manager with these early exchanges.

16 minMaxim briefly theatens for the home side after finding space in a central area, but his attempted pass to Macheda is deflected wide for the game's first corner kick.

18 minSAVE! Marchetti had to be at full stretch to keep the game goalless with a superb save. Okazaki met a pinpoint cross to send his diving header towards the top corner but the in-form keeper dived high to turn the ball round his far post. Stuttgart look threatening in wide areas and are growing in confidence after a shaky start.

20 minGOAL! Stuttgart 0-1 Lazio (Ederson)

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22 minEderson has looked lively tonight and has just opened the scoring with a super instinctive finish. The Brazilian found some space just inside the penalty area and unleashed a measured low volley which flew past Ulreich at this near post. Lazio have the breakthrough and a crucial away goal!

24 minLazio are quickly back on the front foot as Candreva finds room down the right-hand side. He wins a corner and picks out Ciani, but the defender's header is well wide. Stuttgart need to recover quickly and cannot afford to concede a second away goal before the break.

26 minStuttgart win a pair of corners as they look to respond quickly but can only produce a routine save for Marchetti from Rudiger's header. There are definitely more goals in this game, which has been surprisingly open for a first-leg tie.

28 minTraore shows pace and clever footwork for the second time tonight to beat his marker and deliver a curling cross. Stuttgart have numbers forward but an important header from Hernanes on the cover helps Lazio avert danger.

30 minMaxim beats three defenders with a wonderful piece of skill in midfield but chooses to take on another defender instead of picking out Macheda. Lazio rob possesion and launch a counter, which unleashes Kozak to send a deflected drive wide for a corner.

32 minCHANCE! Lorik Cana should have just put Lazio two goals ahead with a powerful header. The midfielder rose unchalleged and had time to place his effort, but could only head wide from eight yards. What a chance for the visitors to build on their bright start!

34 minMaxim has two chances to send in a dangerous cross with successive set pieces, but both times aims his cross past a packed penalty area. Stuttgart need better delivery from those positions or Macheda will continue to cut a frustrated figure in attack!

36 minSCORE UPDATE! A quick piece of goal news from another Europa League tie tonight. Rucescu has put Steaua Bucharest 1-0 up at home to Chelsea from the penalty spot. Further proof that in the competition it is wise to expect the unpredictable.

39 minYELLOW CARD! Hernanes has just become the first player to be booked tonight for a late challenge on Maxim. Both players were airborne early to meet the ball but the Brazilian's outstretched arm left Maxim with a bloody nose. A justified early caution for the playmaker, who does have a cynical edge in his game that was evident on that occasion.

42 minTraore robs Candreva and launches a Stuttgart counter, but once again their final ball is a huge disappointment. Lazio waste no time in breaking and Ederson came within inches of getting his second header after beating two defenders to aim a low header just wide.

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44 minCHANCE! Another opportunity comes quickly, but this time it is the home side's best opening by some distance. Okazaki beat his marker and Macheda to meet a diagonal ball but with the goal at his mercy failed to find the target with a header from six yards. The home side should have equalised there without question!

45 min+1STUTTGART SUBSTITUTION: Maxim has not been cleared fit to return after that challenge with Hernanes, forcing Stuttgart to make a change before the break. Creative midfielder Hajnal has taken his place in first-half stoppage time.

45 min+2YELLOW CARD! Ciani is booked just before the break after tussling with Tasci in the penalty area before a late free kick for the home side. Stuttgart get the chance to re-take but a poor cross goes straight into the grateful arms of Marchettin under absolutely no pressure.

6.50pmHALF-TIME: Stuttgart 0-1 Lazio

6.53pmQuite how an entertaining first half has only managaed to produce just a single goal is baffling, but Lazio have the edge. Ederson made the breakthrough after 21 minutes after meeting a loose ball with a measured volley. Both sides have had more than one opportunity to score in the first 45 minutes, with Stuttgart guilty of some wasteful finishing.

6.56pmAll the pre-match talk focused around Federico Macheda's chance to shine against his first club, but the striker has been on the periphery so far. Okazaki has been bright for the home side and forced a strong save from Marchetti early on.

6.59pmPetkovic promised that his side would attack tonight and Lazio's pressing style has led to an extremely open encounter so far. Stuttgart have struggled to contain Candreva on the right, while Ederson has threatened to add to his opener throughout.

7.02pmStuttgart lost Maxim just before the interval to injury but have shown enough to keep the home fans in good spirits. Traore and Okazaki look strong going forward, while Gentner is trying to drive the midfield forward. What the German side desperately need is quality delivery in the final third, which was definitely lacking in the first half.

7.05pmExpect Harnik to be introduced in the second half if Stuttgart are unable to find an equaliser. Lazio also have willing runner Sergio Floccari in reserve, so expect chances at both ends in the closing stages.

47 minStuttgart get the second half underway and quickly win a free kick in the final third thanks to Macheda. Hajnal fires into the penalty area but Marchetti is well placed to punch away and gets good distance on the clearance.


49 minYELLOW CARD! Tasci becomes the first Stuttgart player to be booked, for a late tackle on Kozak. The skipper can have no complaints after lunging in from behind on the striker.

52 minBoka quickly concedes another free kick for a clumsy challenge on Candreva. Hernanes takes his time to line up the set piece but his cross is easily cleared by the home side.

54 minBoth sides are struggling to pass in the final third, but Stuttgart are just about edging possession without causing Marchetti any major problems. Lazio look content to launch long diagonal balls and hold their advantage at this stage, which is in stark contrast to an open first half.

56 minSTUTTGART SUBSTITUTION: Labbadia makes an early attacking change and decides to bring on Martin Harnik. The Austrian striker replaces Kvist as the home side opt to switch to a formation featuring two strikers.

58 minGOAL! Stuttgart 0-2 Lazio (Onazi)

60 minOnazi has just put Lazio two goals to the good with a stunning solo run on the counter. The young Nigerian showed quick feet to beat Gentner and poked past Ulreich with a composed finish. What a goal from the midfielder and Stuttgart have it all to do now!

63 minSHOT! The home side look stunned and nearly fall futher behind as Hernanes fires just wide with a free kick from 25 yards. Tonight's match has been a harsh lesson for Stuttgart that lapses in concentration can be ruthlessly punished in European football.

65 minCHANCE! Okazaki meets a lofted pass from Traore but can only turn a soft volley wide from eight yards. The Japanese playmaker has had enough chances to register tonight but continues to lack a clinical edge when it counts.

67 minLAZIO SUBSTITUTION: Petkovic decides to bring on fresh legs in midfield, swapping the first goalscorer Ederson for the experienced Ledesma.

70 minLazio put together at least 10 passes to take the sting out of any Stuttgart response by controlling possession. The home side may have two strikers on the pitch but their effectiveness is limited without quality delivery from wide areas.

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72 minFor the first time since the break Stuttgart manage to press the visitors deep, but Harnik's attempted flick to Macheda is intercepted by a last-ditch challenge from Cana.

74 minLAZIO SUBSTITUTION: Another conservative change from Petkovic, and why not with a two-goal lead? Alvaro Gonzalez comes on for Hernanes and will provide stamina and an eye for a tackle in central midfield.

77 minCHANCE! Candreva comes close to effectively ending the tie after strong approach play from Kozak. The midfielder had time at the far post but went for power over placement and drove well over the crossbar.

79 minBoka wins a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area after a drawing a foul following a neat exchange with Macheda. If anything this set piece might be too close, but Stuttgart desperately need to take this chance to test Marchetti!

81 minSHOT! Lazio are let off the hook as Hajnal sends a tame effort straight into the wall. The ball bounces back to the substitute, but with a second strike he does little better and scuffs a low shot straight to Marchetti. That just about sums up a frustrating night for the home side.

83 minMacheda comes off second best after losing out to Ciani in an eye-watering challenge. The striker has struggled all night to breach a stern Lazio defence. This is the impressive rearguard which helped the Roma giants climb into Serie A title contention before Christmas.

85 minSAVE! Marchetti proves his qualities once more with a low save from close range. Stuttgart skipper Tasci was up from the back but could not generate enough power on his header to beat the keeper from six yards.

87 minLAZIO SUBSTITUTION: The visitors make their final change, bringing on Sergio Floccari to replace Libor Kozak. The Czech striker was a tireless runner all night and deserves a few minutes rest in the closing stages.

89 minDOUBLE YELLOW CARD! Harnik and Cana share heated words and a shove as things get heated in the closing stages. Both players are cautioned, which is bad news for Lazio as they now be without the midfielder for the second leg as he collects a one-match ban.

90 min+1SHOT! Lulic has been quiet all night but finally has an impact, threading a neat through-ball to Floccari on the counter. The striker's shot from a tight angle needs a forceful save from Ulreich to keep the deficit at 2-0. Stuttgart look dead on their feet in stoppage time.

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90 min+3Stuttgart have four minutes of stoppage time to find a late response as Harnik and Traore surge forward. Yet again Boka's final ball is way below the required standard and gives Ciani the chance to hammer clear.

7.53pmFULL-TIME: Stuttgart 0-2 Lazio

7.55pmLazio see out the final few minutes comfortably to take a commanding lead back to the Olimpico. Stuttgart have failed to win at home in the Europa League for the fifth successive match and qualification for the last eight now looks a tall order.

7.57pmThe Rome giants look a strong bet in this competition and have still now beaten in the Europa League this season, a run that now stretches to 11 matches.

7.59pmThat just about does it for our coverage from Stuttgart. Thanks for joining us and be sure to get your next Europa League fix with Sports Mole's live text commentary of Inter Milan's trip to Tottenham Hotspur, which can be found by clicking here. Good evening!

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