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Stuttgart's harsh lesson for Young Boys

VfB Stuttgart 3-0 BSC Young Boys
Christian Gross's charges held all the aces in attack and prevailed with strikes from Cacau, Christian Gentner and Serdar Tasci.

Cacau masterminded Stuttgart's winning start to the UEFA Europa League group stage
Cacau masterminded Stuttgart's winning start to the UEFA Europa League group stage ©Getty Images

VfB Stuttgart got the better of BSC Young Boys on Matchday 1 as their superior fire power dispatched last season's Swiss Super League runners-up.

Stuttgart coach Christian Gross often had the beating of Young Boys when in charge of domestic rivals FC Basel 1893, and his winning touch did not desert him in UEFA Europa League Group H. His team scored first through Cacau's penalty midway through the opening period before doubling their advantage close to the hour when Christian Gentner struck in style. Serdar Tasci capped the night's work by poking home a stoppage-time corner.

Cacau, the German club's captain and creator-in-chief, took on the mantle of goalscorer to convert a 23rd-minute spot kick awarded after Alain Nef fouled Pavel Pogrebnyak. If the penalty went too close to goalkeeper Marco Wölfli for comfort, Cacau deserved his luck: his clever play had sent Pogrebnyak through in the first place.

Xavier Hochstrasser's long-range attempt and Moreno Costanzo's free-kick that narrowly eluded team-mate Ammar Jemal at the back post were reminders of the threat posed by Vladimir Petković's visitors, refugees from the UEFA Champions League play-offs.

However, Pogrebnyak should have made it two after racing on to Cacau's flick, and Stuttgart's triumph was sealed on 59 minutes. After YB forward Henri Bienvenu was denied a strike on goal by limpet-like defending from Stuttgart's Arthur Boka, the Bundesliga side broke immediately. Cacau angled a pass towards the left of the penalty area which invited Gentner to take a touch and smash into the roof of the net.

Mauro Camoranesi brushed a post, Daniel Didavi rifled a shot across the face of Wölfli's goal and Martin Harnik's attempt whistled wide. For Young Boys, Nef's speculative strike elicited a flying stop from Sven Ulreich. But Stuttgart remained the more incisive outfit and, for all Wölfli's best efforts, Tasci applied the coup de grace.