• First blood ... Lazio players celebrate the first goal (Getty)
Lazio put one foot in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League with a confident display to beat Stuttgart 2-0 on its own turf.
By
PA Sport

Source:
PA Sport
8 Mar 2013 - 7:06 AM  UPDATED 8 Mar 2013 - 8:07 AM

Stuttgart knew it needed a result at home to have much hope, given
the Italians' imposing home form, but barely created a clear opening in
slumping to defeat.

Goals in either half from Honorato Ederson and Ogenyi Onazi sealed
the win for Lazio, which will now take a commanding advantage back to the
Stadio Olimipico where it is unbeaten in 10 European outings.

Lazio was slow to start, with Stuttgart enjoying early chances for
Ibrahima Traore and Shinji Okazaki, the latter forcing a fine save from
Federico Marchetti with a great header.

But Lazio scored with its first clear attack, with Ederson pouncing
after William Kvist and Arthur Boka missed chances to clear the ball,
turning his man and lashing a left-footed shot into the net.

Antonio Rudiger then blazed over for Stuttgart before Lorik Cana failed to keep a header down at the other end.

But Lazio was growing in confidence and created further chances only
to see Anderson Hernanes and Ederson again miss the target.

Stuttgart briefly threatened before the break but Okazaki could not get his header on target.

Senad Lulic ought to have doubled Lazio's lead five minutes into the
second half when he was handed a great chance, but he turned his shot
wide after being picked out close to goal by Hernanes' free-kick
following a foul on Antonio Candreva.

As it was, the second goal would come in the 56th minute, with Onazi
doing pretty much all the work himself, the youngster picking up the
ball in his own half and running clear to beat Sven Ulreich in the
Stuttgart goal.

Okazaki wasted another chance for Stuttgart before Lazio put the
pressure back on, Candreva missing the target before Tamas Hajnal's
drilled free-kick struck the wall.

Libor Kozak was unlucky not to add a third when Ulreich made a fine
save to keep out his shot before Hajnal missed the chance to halve the
deficit by sending a late effort over the crossbar.