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Tottenham stalemate ensures Lazio progress

Thursday 22 November 2012 21.28 CET
Libor Kozák (right) was at the heart of Lazio's attacking play

S.S. Lazio secured themselves a spot in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 with a second 0-0 draw against Tottenham Hotspur FC in Group J.

The home side came closest to breaking the deadlock, with Libor Kozák guilty of missing their best chances, while Spurs had Hugo Lloris to thank for ensuring they now need just a point at home to Panathinaikos FC on matchday six to progress. Indeed, the French goalkeeper made it another testing night for Lazio against English opposition, the Italian side having failed to score against a Premier League team in their last four attempts.

Prior to the match, Paul Gascoigne received a standing ovation from both sets of fans, who revered him during an illustrious career, but the former England international would not have been impressed with the finishing on display. Spurs started brightly and Gareth Bale's early cross met was at the near post by a stretching Gylfi Sigurdsson, but the Icelandic international's shot was deflected over.

Senad Lulić fired Lazio's first effort of the game over the crossbar on 16 minutes. Cristian Ledesma then went even closer two minutes later with a dipping shot which Lloris pushed onto the angle of post and bar. Federico Marchetti was also called into action to tip Bale's whipped cross over, before Kozák passed up a great opportunity for the Biancocelesti after being sent clear by Luis Cavanda.

The match followed a similar pattern after the break and Kozák, often at the heart of Lazio's attacking play, failed to take full advantage of a slip by Steven Caulker on the hour mark, placing his shot into the side netting with Lloris already committed. The France No1 then saved Spurs with a reflex stop five minutes from time to keep out Michaël Ciani's header.

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