NEWS
Thursday April 11 2013
EL: Lazio fail Fenerbahce test

Lazio are out of the Europa League after failing to overturn a 2-0 first leg defeat, as Fenerbahce scored with their only shot on target in this 1-1 draw. Elsewhere, Tottenham lost to Basel on penalties, Benfica eliminated Newcastle and Chelsea pushed past Rubin Kazan. Click here for our Europa League section.

The Biancocelesti had been the only unbeaten side in the tournament before their 2-0 defeat in Istanbul, but Eddy Onazi’s first half red card and two late goals made the difference. Stefano Mauri and Onazi sat out bans, while Miroslav Klose and Alvaro Gonzalez were only fit for the bench. Andre Dias, Abdoulay Konko, Cristian Brocchi, Bruno Pereirinha and cup-tied Louis Saha were unavailable. Fenerbahce left Moussa Sow at home with a fitness problem.

This was played behind closed doors, as Lazio completed their two-match ban for persistent racist abuse from the crowd. Only friends and family of the players, sponsors and 200 Fenerbahce fans were in the Stadio Olimpico.

Antonio Candreva’s snapshot was smothered after just three minutes and Ederson blasted well wide. Hernanes floated a free kick under the bar and goalkeeper Volkan Demirel caught it, but fell backwards and just about stopped the ball crossing the line. The Brazilian again threatened, his cross-shot over from a very tricky angle when he should’ve passed and Ederson’s daisy-cutter whistled well wide.

Fenerbahce went on the counter and Giuseppe Biava charged down the Caner Erkin strike, while a Raul Meireles chest and volley was well over.

A fierce Candreva volley flashed just over the bar from the edge of the box and Hernanes hit his free kick straight at the wall. A Michael Ciani header from a corner was closer to the flag than the goal.

At the end of a well-worked passing move, Ederson’s angled drive was parried by the goalkeeper’s foot at the base of the near post.

Hernanes didn’t get enough power on his low strike to beat Demirel. Just before the break, Volkan Demirel spilled a Hernanes snapshot and Libor Kozak came sliding in, but clattered into the goalkeeper for a yellow card.

Straight after the restart, Volkan Demirel flapped at a Cristian Ledesma cross, then Candreva’s assist was nodded just over by Kozak from six yards.

Joseph Yobo crucially intercepted a low cross at full stretch to stop Ederson getting the tap-in from point-blank range.

Klose replaced defender Biava and Volkan Demirel again spilled a Radu screamer, but Yobo was decisive in charging down Kozak’s follow-up.

Lazio were pouring forward and finally broke through on the hour mark when Candreva whipped in a cross from the right for Senad Lulic’s towering header at the back post.

However, Fenerbahce scored a potentially decisive away goal. Substitute Salih Ucan contributed to the build-up and it was rolled across for the unmarked Caner Erkin, who allowed Ciani to go to ground and blasted an unstoppable strike into the near top corner. That had been their first shot on target of the entire game and left Lazio needing three goals to qualify.

Radu tried to get Lazio back into it, his powerful angled drive skimming the back post, then Sergio Floccari’s glancing header was off target.

Pierre Webo had a great chance, but shinned his volley, then Volkan Demirel flew for a fantastic one-handed save to palm Lorik Cana’s header out from under the bar. Yobo’s defensive header risked an own goal to anticipate Floccari on a long Ledesma pass. With the last kick of the game, Volkan Demirel had his palms stung by a missile of a Candreva free kick.

It was not enough, as Lazio go out of the Europa League after eight wins, four draws and only one defeat including the qualifiers.

Lazio 1-1 Fenerbahce (1-3 agg)

Scorers: Lulic 60 (L), Caner Erkin 73 (F)

Lazio: Marchetti; Ciani, Biava (Klose 56), Cana, Radu; Candreva, Ledesma, Hernanes, Lulic; Ederson (Floccari 73); Kozak (Rozzi 77)

Fenerbahce: Volkan Demirel; Gokhan Gonul, Egemen Korkmaz, Yobo, Ziegler; Selcuk Sahin, Raul Meireles; Kuyt, Cristian (Salih Ucan 73), Caner Erkin (Krasic 87); Webò (Mehmet Topuz 80)

Ref: Kralovec (CZE)

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