VfB Stuttgart slumped to an immensely frustrating 2-0 defeat away at Norwegian side Molde FK on Matchday 2 in the UEFA Europa League.

Despite dominating the game and creating a host of chances, Bruno Labbadia's team were twice hit on the counter-attack in the second half, and now have just one point to show from their opening two games.

Encouraging start


Stuttgart began well and barely six minutes had been played when Ibrahima Traore diverted Christian Gentner's cross onto the post. Yet their defensive vulnerabilities never looked far away, as Pape Diouf and Magnus Eikrem both missed the target when well placed for Molde.

It was an even contest in midfield, but just past the half-hour mark Stuttgart spurned two golden chances to take the lead. First Martin Harnik sloppily shot wide when played in by Tamas Hajnal, before Hajnal himself then blazed over the bar, to the obvious frustration of coach Labbadia.

No way past


To their credit, the Swabians continued to create opportunities after the break. Less than a minute into the second period, Vedad Ibisevic's strike was deflected wide after Harnik had stolen possession in the Molde half. The latter then forced another smart stop from home stopper Espen Pettersen shortly afterwards.

Labbadia's side were well on top, but their profligacy must have been a worry for him and it duly came back to bite his side just shy of the hour mark, when substitute Jo Inge Berget headed in to give Molde an unlikely lead.

Molde ride the storm


The home side now had something to cling on to and looked content to do nothing else other than grind out the victory. As they retreated into their own half, Stuttgart sent on Cacau for some extra presence up front. Try as they might, however, the Bundesliga outfit failed to further trouble Pettersen, whose goal was guarded by an organised and resolute defence.

Committing as many men forward as they were, Stuttgart inevitably left holes at the back, and they were brutally punished at the end of normal time, as Daniel Chima swept home a second for Molde on the counter-attack and cap a miserable evening for VfB.

Line-ups:

Molde:
Pettersen - Linnes, Steenslid, Forren, Simonsen - Hestad, Hussain (Gatt, 81'), Eikrem - Stamneströ (Moström, 46'), Chima, Diouf (Berget, 30')

Stuttgart:
Ulreich - Rüdiger (Boka, 82'), Tasci, Niedermeier, Molinaro - Kuzmanovic, Hajnal (Holzhauser, 67'), Gentner, Harnik, Traore (Cacau, 67') - Ibisevic

Goals: 1-0 (Berger 58'), 2-0 (Chima 88')