Sporting Clube de Portugal made it two wins from as many UEFA Europe League outings with a 2-1 victory over S.S. Lazio, despite playing almost half the game with ten men.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel set the home side on their way midway through the first half and though Miroslav Klose equalised five minutes before the interval, Emiliano Insúa restored Sporting's lead with a fine strike on half-time. The Argentinian left-back undid his good work when he received his marching orders five minutes after the interval, but despite mounting Lazio pressure Domingos Paciência's men held on.
Much of the early action came at the other end as Sporting started brightly, and Insúa and Stijn Schaars both tested Federico Marchetti from distance before Van Wolfswinkel fashioned an audacious finish. Diego Capel's inswinging cross did not immediately look dangerous but, escaping his marker, the Dutch striker bamboozled Marchetti with a cheeky near-post flick of his trailing leg.
The goalkeeper was equal to efforts from Schaars and Anderson Polga, and with half-time approaching the Italian side surprisingly drew level as Klose turned in Hernandes's free-kick with a lunging dive at the far post. Celebrations had barely died down when Insúa hit back, however, lashing low to Marchetti's right after the ball bounced invitingly on the edge of the box.
His over-elaborate celebrations earned a booking, and with the second period still in its infancy he received another after tangling with Álvaro González. It changed the complexion of the match in an instant, as Lazio's desperate defending gave way to increasingly desperate attacks. They ought to have earned reward, with Abdoulay Konko and Tommaso Rocchi particularly guilty of misses, as Sporting held on and opened up a four-point lead atop Group D.
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.