skip to content
Foul by Zdravko Kuzmanovic on Jorge Carlos Martins, free kick awarded. Zdravko Kuzmanovic is sent off.
The ball is swung over by Cristian Molinaro, Rechel Sidnei manages to make a clearance.
Foul by Jacomo Felipe Menezes on Timo Gebhart, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Timo Gebhart.
(Benfica) makes a substitution, with Junior Alan Kardec coming on for Franco Jara.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Cristian Molinaro on Eduardo Salvio. The referee shows Cristian Molinaro a yellow card. Direct free kick taken by Franco Jara.
Short corner worked by Nicolas Gaitan.
Inswinging corner taken by Nicolas Gaitan, Jorge Carlos Martins takes a shot. Save made by Sven Ulreich.
Mathieu Delpierre concedes a free kick for a foul on Franco Jara. Jorge Carlos Martins restarts play with the free kick.
Jacomo Felipe Menezes on for Oscar Cardozo.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Falcao Elson from the right by-line.
Falcao Elson takes a inswinging corner.
Shinji Okazaki takes a shot. Save by Jimenez Roberto.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Timo Gebhart on Alexandre Fabio Coentrao. The referee books Timo Gebhart for unsporting behaviour. Booking for Jorge Carlos Martins for dissent. Nicolas Gaitan crosses the ball in from the free kick.
(VfB Stuttgart) makes a substitution, with Falcao Elson coming on for Tamas Hajnal.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Shinji Okazaki on Franco Jara. Shinji Okazaki shown a yellow card. Free kick scored by Oscar Cardozo from outside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. VfB Stuttgart 0 (1)-(4) 2 Benfica.
Corner taken by Tamas Hajnal, Anderson Luisao manages to make a clearance.
Shinji Okazaki takes a shot. Jimenez Roberto makes a brilliant save.
Jorge Carlos Martins takes a shot. Sven Ulreich makes a comfortable save.
Jorge Carlos Martins comes on in place of Pablo Aimar.
Shinji Okazaki has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
Corner taken by Pablo Aimar from the left by-line played to the near post, Foul by Anderson Luisao on Mathieu Delpierre, free kick awarded. Sven Ulreich takes the direct free kick.
Oscar Cardozo takes a shot. Sven Ulreich makes a fantastic save.
A cross is delivered by Alexandre Fabio Coentrao, save made by Georg Niedermaier.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Victorio Maxi Pereira on Sven Schipplock. Shinji Okazaki takes the direct free kick.
Nicolas Gaitan sends in a cross, save by Sven Ulreich.
Nicolas Gaitan crosses the ball, save made by Sven Ulreich.
Timo Gebhart is brought on as a substitute for Khalid Boulahrouz.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Eduardo Salvio by Georg Niedermaier. The ball is crossed by Pablo Aimar, Shot from close range by Anderson Luisao clears the bar.
Tamas Hajnal takes the outswinging corner, Martin Harnik has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.
Victorio Maxi Pereira challenges Shinji Okazaki unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Tamas Hajnal, save made by Jimenez Roberto.
Foul by Alexandre Fabio Coentrao on Tamas Hajnal, free kick awarded. Tamas Hajnal crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Oscar Cardozo.
Tamas Hajnal takes a short corner.
The ball is crossed by Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Anderson Luisao gets a block in.
Long range shot from Christian Trasch misses to the left of the goal.
The ball is crossed by Cristian Molinaro, clearance made by Anderson Luisao.
Sven Ulreich comes on in place of Marc Ziegler.
Nicolas Gaitan takes a shot. Save by Marc Ziegler.
Franco Jara takes a shot. Save by Marc Ziegler.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Pablo Aimar, Martin Harnik makes a clearance.
Foul by Mathieu Delpierre on Eduardo Salvio, free kick awarded. Mathieu Delpierre is shown a yellow card. Nicolas Gaitan crosses the ball in from the free kick, Khalid Boulahrouz manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Martin Harnik by Rechel Sidnei. Rechel Sidnei goes into the referee's book. Tamas Hajnal takes the direct free kick. Effort on goal by Zdravko Kuzmanovic from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
Georg Niedermaier concedes a free kick for a foul on Franco Jara. Free kick taken by Pablo Aimar.
Nicolas Gaitan delivers the ball.
The ball is swung over by Khalid Boulahrouz, save by Jimenez Roberto.
Pablo Aimar takes the outswinging corner, Georg Niedermaier manages to make a clearance.
Eduardo Salvio takes a shot. Cristian Molinaro gets a block in.
Franco Jara challenges Georg Niedermaier unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Khalid Boulahrouz.
Shinji Okazaki is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Jimenez Roberto.
Eduardo Salvio finds the back of the net with a goal from just outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. VfB Stuttgart 0 (1)-(3) 1 Benfica.
Corner taken by Pablo Aimar, Georg Niedermaier manages to make a clearance.
Marc Ziegler concedes a free kick for a foul on Nicolas Gaitan. Nicolas Gaitan crosses the ball in from the free kick, Zdravko Kuzmanovic manages to make a clearance.
Tamas Hajnal fouled by Santos Airton, the ref awards a free kick. Tamas Hajnal has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Cristian Molinaro by Eduardo Salvio. Direct free kick taken by Mathieu Delpierre.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Pablo Aimar on Tamas Hajnal. Zdravko Kuzmanovic fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
Outswinging corner taken by Tamas Hajnal from the right by-line, clearance by Rechel Sidnei.
Martin Harnik takes a shot. Jimenez Roberto makes a save.
Effort from inside the area by Oscar Cardozo misses to the right of the goal.
Alexandre Fabio Coentrao takes a shot. Save made by Marc Ziegler.
Outswinging corner taken by Tamas Hajnal. Sven Schipplock takes a shot. Jimenez Roberto makes a save.
Unfair challenge on Christian Trasch by Pablo Aimar results in a free kick. Christian Trasch takes the direct free kick.
Shinji Okazaki takes a shot. Save made by Jimenez Roberto.
Christian Trasch gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Pablo Aimar. Rechel Sidnei takes the direct free kick.
The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Khalid Boulahrouz.
Long distance shot from Oscar Cardozo misses to the left of the target.
Shinji Okazaki handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Jimenez Roberto.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Georg Niedermaier by Oscar Cardozo. Free kick taken by Marc Ziegler.
Outswinging corner taken by Pablo Aimar, Anderson Luisao takes a shot. Save by Marc Ziegler.
Nicolas Gaitan has an effort at goal from 20 yards. Marc Ziegler makes a save.
Outswinging corner taken by Tamas Hajnal from the right by-line.
Foul by Sven Schipplock on Santos Airton, free kick awarded. Pablo Aimar takes the direct free kick.
Franco Jara gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Shinji Okazaki. Mathieu Delpierre restarts play with the free kick.
Ziegler set to claim gloves
Marc Ziegler will be standing between Benfica and a place in the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday night after Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia confirmed that the former Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper is his new number one.
Labbadia has made the decision to promote the 34-year-old and drop Sven Ulreich to the bench "because we have been conceding too many goals", and he will make his second Stuttgart debut against Benfica.
The much-travelled Ziegler started his career in Stuttgart in 1994 and spent time with Tirol Innsbruck, Austria Vienna, Hannover and Arminia Bielefeld before spending the last three years as number two at Dortmund.
He has been back-up to Ulreich since Jens Lehmann retired last summer and is now ready to take his place in the starting XI.
"He (Ulreich) is not fully to blame, but I need to send out a signal and I hope we get more stability and experience," explained Labbadia.
"The team is not working as it should be and, although it is not all his fault, we have definitely been conceding too many goals and so we have got to change."
Keeping a clean sheet on Thursday is crucial to Stuttgart's hopes of reaching the last 16 as they hope to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg.
"One goal could be enough for us, but we have got to ensure we do not concede," added Labbadia.
"We definitely still have a chance."
In addition to confirming Ziegler's place in his goal, Labbadia also revealed that Martin Harnik will start in the absence of the injured Cacau, who has an adductor injury.
With Pavel Pogrebnyak also out injured, Harnik will spearhead the Stuttgart attack, and their assault on a place in the last 16.
"We have got to build on our first half in Benfica and the whole game against Leverkusen," said the Austrian.
"I believe we can go through and that is our clear aim. We may have the Bundesliga in the back of our minds, but we are focusing on the Europa League now."
Benfica's focus will not be on defending their advantage, according to their coach Jorge Jesus.
"It is important for us that we score a goal," he said. "Therefore, we cannot afford to play defensively."
Javier Saviola added: "We are not a team which defends, we are a team which tries to impose ourselves on a game.
"Scoring a goal will be crucial."
Benfica breeze past Stuttgart
Goals from Eduardo Salvio and Oscar Cardozo guided Benfica into the last 16 of the Europa League after they beat Stuttgart 2-0 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate.
Stuttgart were looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit but it was the Portuguese side who went ahead through Salvio just after half an hour.
Benfica then made certain of their progress when Cardozo struck in the 78th minute.
The hosts' misery was compounded when Zdravko Kuzmanovic was sent off for a professional foul in injury time.
Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia dropped goalkeeper Sven Ulreich in favour of Marc Ziegler as he looked to stabilise the side who are second bottom of the Bundesliga.
And Ziegler was called upon twice in the first seven minutes.
Nicolas Gaitan lobbed a left-footed shot from 20 yards which Ziegler tipped over the bar and, from the resulting corner, he had to be alert to catch Anderson Luisao's header.
Stuttgart forced their way into the game after a quarter of an hour when Shinji Okazaki's right-footed shot called Jimenez Roberto into action.
Sven Schipplock also tested the goalkeeper's reflexes before Benfica responded through Fabio Coentrao and Cardozo in what was proving to be an attacking game.
Stuttgart almost scored in the 22nd minute but Roberto managed to get down and tip Martin Harnik's shot round the post.
Benfica then took the lead when Salvio sent a right-footed shot into the net from 20 yards.
Franco Jara attacked early in the second half for Benfica, his close-range shot blocked by Ziegler, who also saved from Gaitan.
However, the goalkeeper was taken off with an injury to be replaced by Ulreich, who made a fantastic save from Cardozo, tipping over his powerful shot.
Stuttgart had created little of attacking note but Okazaki had a close-range header well tipped over.
However, the tie was all over soon after when Cardozo sent a left-footed 25-yard free-kick into the bottom right-hand corner.
Okazaki kept plugging away, having a shot tipped round the post with Ulreich saving well from Jorge Carlos Martins.
Stuttgart's woe was complete when Kuzmanovic was sent off in the seventh minute of injury time for a foul on Jorge Carlos Martins.
"Who will win the PL title this season - 2013/14?"
© 2004 - 2014 football.co.uk