Europa League Results: Analysis for Juventus vs. Lyon and All the Matches
The UEFA Europa League is down to four teams following Thursday night's second-leg quarter-final action.
With the stakes raised, the action didn't disappoint. Valencia overcame a big deficit, while Sevilla stunned Porto with an impressive first-half salvo. Meanwhile, Benfica and Juventus kept up their quest for silverware with wins at home.
The semi-final draw is set for Friday, per UEFA.com. The first legs are scheduled for April 24 with the second legs to follow on May 1.
Statistics via WhoScored.com.
Juventus 2-1 Lyon (Aggregate 3-1)
Andrea Pirlo scored from a free kick as Juventus advanced to the semi-finals with a 2-1 victory at home to Lyon.
The Italian champions won the first leg 1-0 at Lyon and advanced 3-1 on aggregate.
After the match, Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini said the Bianconeri are targeting a home date in the final, which is set for May 14 at Juventus Stadium.
"The only thing that interests me is being back here on 14 May," Chiellini told Juventus.com. "Playing the final in front of our home crowd is a chance that might not come around again in the history of the club, and we must seize it."
Carlos Tevez had an early chance for Juve, sending a warning to Lyon with a shot that sailed just over the bar in the third minute. Two minutes later, Pirlo gave Juve the lead, whipping a free kick over the wall and in at the near post.
I try to vary the free kicks. In the first leg I was unlucky, as the wall jumped except for one player whose foot got in the way. This time I decided to go over the wall. The most enjoyable is always over the wall. It’s a classic and I’ve been doing those since I was a kid.
Lyon had a penalty appeal in the 13th minute when Leonardo Bonucci blocked a cross inside the box with his hand, but the referee waved play on. The visitors equalised in the 18th minute through Jimmy Briand, who headed in following a short corner.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon kept Juventus level in the 29th minute, punching away Maxime Gonalons' powerful shot from distance.
After the break, Juventus thought they had taken the lead in the 61st minute after Tevez headed in Pirlo's cross. But Tevez was ruled offside and the score remained level—though only for a few moments.
Juve made it 2-1 in the 68th minute, catching Lyon on the counter following a corner. Claudio Marchisio was briefly credited with the goal after his long shot took a deflection on its way to the net, but Lyon's Samuel Umtiti was later charged with the own goal.
On Target: 2-4
Benfica 2-0 AZ Alkmaar (Aggregate 3-0)
Rodrigo and Eduardo Salvio combined for both goals as Benfica advanced to the semi-finals with a 2-0 win at home to AZ Alkmaar.
Benfica, who made the semi-finals last season as well, won the first leg 1-0 and claimed a 3-0 aggregate victory over two legs.
The hosts lost Silvio to an early injury, the defender being substituted for Andre Almeida in just the fourth minute.
AZ, in search of a goal to level the tie, went behind on the night after a swift Benfica attack late in the first half. Eduardo Salvio broke down the right and crossed the back post for an unmarked Rodrigo, who swept into the net with his first touch to put Benfica up 2-0 on aggregate.
Rodrigo doubled Benfica's lead in the 72nd minute, finishing off AZ in the process. Again Salvio was the provider, crossing from deep on the right for Rodrigo to volley in at the back post.
On Target: 6-2
Sevilla 4-1 Porto (Aggregate 4-2)
Sevilla stunned Porto with three first-half goals on the way to a 4-1 victory on the night, advancing to the semi-finals by a 4-2 aggregate scoreline.
The first leg finished 1-0 to Porto in Portugal, but Luis Castro's side were without the suspended Fernando and Jackson Martinez for the return leg.
It might not have mattered, though, as Sevilla were irresistible on home soil. The hosts went ahead in just the fifth minute through Ivan Rakitic's penalty after Carlos Bacca drew a foul in the box. Vitolo then doubled the lead in the 26th minute, slipping between Eliaquim Mangala and Diego Reyes before finishing past Fabiano at the far post.
Bacca made it 3-0 three minutes later, bringing the ball down in a crowded box before finishing with a low shot.
Sevilla had a bit of bad news early in the half when Coke Andujar was sent off in the 54th minute. It made little difference, though, as Sevilla finished Porto off via Kevin Gameiro's close-range goal 11 minutes from time.
Ricardo Quaresma scored a consolation goal for the visitors in stoppage time.
On Target: 7-4
Valencia 5-0 Basel (a.e.t., Aggregate 5-3)
Paco Alcacer scored a hat-trick as Valencia overturned a big deficit, winning 5-0 after extra time to advance to the semi-finals at Basel's expense.
Basel won the first leg 3-0 at home, but Valencia scored twice in the first half and leveled the tie midway through the second. After the visitors had two players sent off to start extra time, Alacer sent Valencia through, completing his hat-trick seven minutes before penalties.
Alcacer scored the first in the 38th minute, chesting down a pass in the box before sweeping in past Yann Sommer. Eduardo Vargas made it 2-0 on the night four minutes later, heading in at the top corner to pull Valencia within one goal on aggregate.
After the break, Alcacer leveled the tie on aggregate in the 70th minute, bagging Valencia's third of the night with a shot into the top corner.
In extra time, Basel were reduced to nine men after having two players sent off. Marcelo Diaz went first, seeing red in the 101st minute, before Gaston Sauro received his marching orders four minutes later for two bookings in as many minutes.
Valencia took advantage, scoring the decisive fourth goal in the 113th minute through Alcacer. Juan Bernat then made it 5-0 five minutes later as the hosts completed a memorable European comeback.
On Target: 10-0
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