Mario Gómez struck twice in four minutes late in the second half to earn VfB Stuttgart their first Group C points at the expense of FK Partizan.
Gómez fired the Bundesliga outfit in front on 77 minutes with a left-footed finish from just outside the area, and he quickly doubled the lead three minutes later to take his tally in this season's UEFA Cup to five goals. If Stuttgart's victory made amends for their 2-0 loss at Sevilla FC on Matchday 1, FK Partizan have it all to do after suffering their second reverse following a 2-1 defeat by UC Sampdoria two weeks ago.
The hosts started positively, with Partizan defender Srdjan Knežević being forced to clear Christian Träsch's cross-cum-shot from beneath his own crossbar. The Serbian team were grateful for another goalline intervention when Elson Falcão's free-kick was headed to safety with keeper Mladen Božović beaten. Yet the visitors settled and began to look dangerous on the counterattack, fashioning two good chances. First Miloš Bogunović drove over Jens Lehmann's crossbar, then Zoran Tošić threatened with a shot from a tight angle.
Even the interval failed to take the sting out of Partizan's attacking menace, and a Ricardo Osorio error almost proved costly for the German side. Almani Moreira intercepted Osorio's pass and fed the ball to Lamine Diarra, yet Lehmann proved equal to the forward's effort. Stuttgart responded with Elson's free-kick which warmed the hands of Božović just before the hour. Set-pieces had created early openings for Gómez, and though the No33 failed to capitalise then, he made no mistake when taking advantage of a poor Knežević clearance to rifle in. The 23-year-old soon put the result beyond doubt, receiving a pass from substitute Cacau and beating Božović again.