Benfica will face Sevilla in the 2014 Europa League Final.
The Portuguese champions booked their place in the contest with a gutsy display away to Juventus, and despite finishing the match with nine men following the expulsion of Enzo Perez and injury to Ezequiel Garay they managed to h0ld on for a 0-0 draw.
Their 2-1 aggregate win means they’ll face Sevilla in Turin after the Primera Division outfit eliminated Valencia on away goals.
Following are ratings and analysis for both sets of players.
|Juventus Player Ratings|
Half-Time analysis for Juventus
Buffon: Didn’t have to make a single save in the first half.
Caceres: Marking Lima out of the match.
Bonucci: Has so far won everything in the air on his 27th birthday.
Chiellini: He and Asamoah have looked after Markovic.
Lichtsteiner: His ambitious shot required a straightforward save by Oblak midway through the opening frame.
Vidal: Looking spritely in his return from injury and nearly opened the scoring from a headed opportunity.
Pirlo: Set pieces have been unusually poor, but he’s completed 90% of his passes.
Pogba: Fighting a pitched battle with Maxi Pereira.
Asamoah: Delivered a wonderful cross that set up a Pirlo volley.
Tevez: His own volley sailed just over the crossbar.
Llorente: Only 17 touches so far, but he did contribute an important defensive header.
Full-Time analysis for Juventus
Buffon: Charged off his line to prevent Rodrigo connecting with Markovic’s pass.
Caceres: Won all of his aerial battles.
Bonucci: Completed 90% of his passes out of the defense.
Chiellini: Involved in a pair of late fouls that helped Benfica kill the clock.
Lichtsteiner: Missed a wide-open net and a chance to send his side through to the final.
Vidal: Was among his side’s more dangerous attackers but couldn’t play the full 90 minutes on his return from injury.
Pirlo: His stoppage-time free kick sailed right into the wall.
Pogba: He set up Osvaldo to score, but as the ball went into the back of the net he was called for offside.
Asamoah: Made four tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
Tevez: Took a shot from in close that flew straight into the waiting arms of Oblak.
Llorente: Took two shots but didn’t trouble Oblak.
Giovinco: Just eight touches of the ball in 17 minutes
Marchisio: Completed 91% of his passes after coming on in the 73rd minute.
Osvaldo: Had the ball in the back of the net, but Pogba was offside upon passing it to him.
|Benfica Player Ratings|
Half-Time analysis for Benfica
Oblak: Made a spectacular save to deny Pirlo.
M.Pereira: Handling Pogba well enough, but Asamoah has been another story.
Garay: With every match he plays his transfer value continues to sky-rocket.
Luisao: Made an exceptional goal-line clearance to deny Vidal.
Siqueira: Has been over-run by Lichtsteiner and Vidal.
Markovic: Only 19 touches in the first half.
Perez: Distribution has been excellent, but he also committed a pair of fouls.
Amorim: He’s doing his best to contain Vidal.
Gaitan: Benfica will want to see more from him on the dribble after the restart.
Rodrigo: Made an active start to the match and is dropping deep to involve himself in the buildup.
Lima: Only 15 touches through 45 minutes.
Full-Time analysis for Benfica
Oblak: Made a heroic, late save on Caceres to maintain Benfica’s advantage.
M.Pereira: Distribution wasn’t great but he coped well with the threat of Asamoah.
Garay: Was a colossus in central defense before being carried off with a facial injury.
Luisao: Didn’t put a foot wrong and made a pair of important tackles.
Siqueira: Much of what Juventus mustered came down the right, where he saw a lot of Lichtsteiner
Markovic: Came to life after the restart but was sent off after being substituted for a skirmish with Vucinic, who didn’t feature in the match.
Perez: Sent off for a pair of bookable offenses and will miss the final.
Amorim: Benfica required his physicality on this night.
Gaitan: Would have preferred to have been on the front-foot more often.
Rodrigo: A quiet second half ended when he was withdrawn following Perez’ ejection.
Lima: Played the full 90 minutes and managed to do absolutely nothing.
Almeida: Assumed defensive duties when Perez was sent off.
Salvio: He put in an efficient 13 minutes despite playing with a broken arm.
Sulejmani: Just eight touches in a brief cameo.