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S.S. Lazio midfielder Ederson thanked his coach Vladimir Petković for giving him the opportunity to shine on the European stage once again after he netted his second goal in three UEFA Europa League starts in a 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart.
The result put the Serie A side firmly on course for the quarter-finals, but Stuttgart goalkeeper Sven Ulreich insisted the tie is far from over. He underlined that "anything can happen" next Thursday as he and Christian Gentner tried to put on a brave face in spite of a defeat which Lazio's Hernanes felt could have been even more handsome.
Ederson, Lazio midfielder
The coach put his faith in me and my team-mates helped me too. We played really well and we're delighted to come here and get such a result. We've taken a huge step towards qualifying and we now need to carry on like this in the second leg.
I'm always available for selection and I really want to help the side, like we all do.
We're in this competition, which is a beautiful competition, and then we have the league and we don't want to give up on that either; then there's the cup too. We want to fight on all fronts and we hope that our injured players return soon so that we can maintain this challenge on all fronts.
Hernanes, Lazio midfielder
It was a great performance and we had a few chances to finish things off and make it 3-0, but we didn't take them. When we have this kind of spirit, then we can beat anybody. The season's long with many games to play and we had some important players out and that does have an impact. In the end, though, we have such a strong squad that I don't think anybody is irreplaceable. Ederson scored a great goal and I'm pleased for him because he's been out for a long time. [Ogenyi] Onazi's got great potential and he played a fantastic game.
Christian Gentner, Stuttgart midfielder
We weren't effective enough. Lazio played the way you've got to play in Europe; they were clever and I think it probably looked from the outside like they won the game quite comfortably without really putting too much into it, and that is what we were lacking. We were not clever enough when we had the chance to score, and then we conceded two.
We had our moments in attack, but we didn't manage to get to grips with it and I don't think we managed to get it into our heads that this was the first leg of a European tie and we had to keep things tight. Instead, we invited our opponents to score once or twice, and they punished us for it. We had players with enough quality to score, but we just weren't effective enough, despite having the chances.
Sven Ulreich, Stuttgart goalkeeper
We played a decent game and had good chances too. Sadly, we didn't reward our efforts with goals; otherwise, I think the game would have had a different outcome. We did create some good chances and that has got to give us hope. If we can just eradicate our errors, then it's going to be easier for us to get results in future.
We've got to try to get an early goal in Rome, which would be important. Everything's possible in football and we still have a chance to go through.
It was a tough match, but while there's life, there's hope. I'm quite confident that we can turn it around there.
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