Europa League: Libor Kozak scores hat-trick in Lazio romp
Last Updated: 14/03/13 10:39pm
Libor Kozak: The Czech striker bagged a hat-trick in Lazio win
Libor Kozak scored twice in the opening 10 minutes and completed a hat-trick late on as Lazio turned on the style behind closed doors to reach the Europa League quarter-finals.
Armed with a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Germany, Lazio made an ideal start and left Stuttgart's hopes in tatters before they even had a chance to settle.
Tamas Hajnal pulled one back for Stuttgart just after the hour mark, but they needed five. Kozak's third killed off the hopes of even the most optimistic Swabian.
The banks of empty seats at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome told the story of Lazio's campaign off the field of play.
UEFA last month ordered the Italians to lock out supporters from their next two home matches in Europe after crowd trouble during their last-32 match against Borussia Monchengladbach.
The Serie A club had been charged over the setting-off of fireworks, racist behaviour and insufficient organisation following the second leg in Rome.
Those responsible, and those unfortunate by association to be denied the chance to see their team, missed a treat in the early stages.
Stuttgart threatened to move ahead in the fourth minute when Federico Marchetti had to tip a 25-yard blast from Raphael Holzhauser behind for a corner.
But within 90 seconds Stuttgart were trailing, after Stefan Radu drilled a low cross from near the left corner flag that Kozak barged through to meet and blast first time beyond Sven Ulreich.
One crushing blow to Stuttgart's slim hopes was followed by effectively the fatal strike two minutes later as Hernanes fed a superb cross-field ball into the feet of Kozak who, from a position to the right of goal, lashed a 15-yard shot in off the underside of the crossbar.
Holzhauser and Shinji Okazaki peppered shots at the Lazio goal but the most notable action in the remainder of the first half saw home goalkeeper Marchetti substituted after a particularly uncomfortable collision with Stuttgart forward Vedad Ibisevic. Albano Bizzarri took his place.
Hajnal scored for Stuttgart in the 62nd minute, a low left-footed drive to the bottom right corner from 15 yards, and the German club's players optimistically raced to retrieve the ball from the back of the net.
Bizzarri saved twice from Christian Gentner, but they were playing out the formalities of an impressive two-leg success, capped by Kozak's third in the 87th minute, a header from Ogenyi Onazi's cross.
Europa League Group A
Europa League Group B
Europa League Group C
Europa League Group D
|1||Red Bull Salzburg||6||16|
|4||FC Astra Giurgiu||6||4|
Europa League Group E
Europa League Group F
Europa League Group G
Europa League Group H
Europa League Group I
|2||BSC Young Boys Bern||6||12|
|4||SK Slovan Bratislava||6||0|
Europa League Group J
|3||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||7|
Europa League Group K
Europa League Group L
Europa League round of 16
Tim Sherwood believes other teams will be afraid to play Tottenham, after their display against Benfica in Lisbon.
Sevilla recovered from a 2-0 first-leg deficit to beat Real Betis in the Europa League following a penalty shoot-out.
Basel overcame the sending-off of Marek Suchy to beat Red Bull Salzburg 2-1 and reach the Europa League quarter-finals.
- Porto reach quarter-finals
- Spurs on my side - Sherwood
- Europa League round-up
- Juventus edge past Fiorentina
- Valencia reach quarter-finals
- Lyon limp into quarter-finals
- Europa exit for Tottenham
- Salvio ready for Spurs test
- Sherwood: I'm going nowhere
- Sherwood: Boss lacks class
- Tall order for Spurs in Lisbon
- UEFA opens Inter 'abuse' case
- Gallas wants racism reaction
- Spurs want tough UEFA stance
- Bernstein slams Spurs abuse
- UEFA waits on Inter decision
- Pardew: Europa glory possible
- Benitez: Torres back on track
- Cech content with 'big win'
- Stramaccioni proud of Inter
- AVB: UEFA will act on chants
- Fenerbahce sneak past Plzen
- Benfica ease past Bordeaux
- Cisse stuns Anzhi to win it
- Torres seals Chelsea comeback
- Chants mar Tottenham triumph