10-man Lazio went down to a controversial Pierre Webo penalty and a late Dirk Kuyt strike as they lost 2-0 to Fenerbahce in the Europa League.
There was still no place in the Biancocelesti starting XI for Miroslav Klose, as Libor Kozak lead the line for the capital club. Whilst the Brazilian pair of Hernanes and Ederson were drafted in as the creative hubs of the side. For the home club meanwhile, they gave former Premier League players Joseph Yobo, Kuyt and Raul Meireles a place in the team.
It was Vladimir Petkovic’s men who started the brighter of the two, dominating possession early on and dictating the tempo of the game. Unfortunately, time on the ball didn’t equate to chances at goal, as it was the Super Lig side who had the first real effort of the evening - Moussa Sow raced on to a long ball inside five minutes, but he scuffed his chance wide.
Slowly though, Lazio started to open up the Turkish side’s defence. Hernanes could only header straight at Volkan Demirel, whilst Antonio Candreva posed a continuing threat down the right. But the best opportunities were falling to the hosts. Sow, again, was making a nuisance of himself, and it was the Senegal international’s snapshot that came closest to breaking the deadlock – the left-hand post came to the Aguile’s rescue however.
A speculative Ederson shot late on was all the visitors had to offer after that, as the two teams went into half-time level.
Within two minutes of the restart however, the away team’s task was made even more difficult as Ogenyi Onazi was sent off for a second bookable offence. It galvanized Aykut Kocaman’s side, and not for the first time in the match, they hit the woodwork. This time it was Meireles who threatened Federico Marchetti’s goal, to leave the Biancocelesti with hearts in mouths.
The momentum was certainly with the hosts, but a string of saves from Marchetti ensured that the deadlock was not broken.
Eventually though, the pressure paid, and Fenerbahce took the lead with just 12 minutes remaining. Stefan Radu was adjudged to have handled inside the area, and Webo was there to coolly convert from the spot.
The desolation wasn’t at an end however, as Kuyt fired in from close-range after Marchetti could only parry a shot into the Dutchman’s path.
Fenerbahce 2-0 Lazio
Scorers: Webo 78 pen (F), Kuyt 90+1 (F)
Fenerbahce: Demirel; Gonul, Yobo, Korkmaz, Ziegler; Topal (Erkin 71), Meireles; Kuyt, Cristian (Ucan 78), Sow (Tpouz 86); Webo
Lazio: Marchetti; Ciani, Cana, Radu, Gonzalez; Candreva, Onazi, Hernanes (Mauri 86), Lulic; Ederson (Ledesma 63); Kozak (Klose 72)
Red card: Onazi 47 (L)