Wins for Benfica, Sevilla

  • Last Updated: April 24 2014, 22:38 BST

A review of Thursday night's Europa League semi-final action, with wins for Benfica and Sevilla.

Rodrigo Lima celebrates his winner for Benfica
Rodrigo Lima celebrates his winner for Benfica

Benfica substitute Lima struck late to give the newly-crowned Portuguese champions a 2-1 win over Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday.

In the first leg of the semi-final tie in Lisbon, Ezequiel Garay put the hosts ahead in the third minute only for Juventus striker Carlos Tevez to end his long European goal drought in the 73rd minute.

Lima then ensured that Benfica will take an advantage for the return leg in Italy next week by scoring six minutes from time.

Benfica, last season's runners-up in the competition, had the better start and were rewarded early on when Garay's powerful, downward header from Miralem Sulejmani's corner went into the back of the net.

Juve levelled in the 73rd minute when Kwadwo Asamoah's cross found Tevez in the box and the Argentinian striker got past two defenders before hitting a powerful 12-yard shot past Artur.

The goal was Tevez's first European strike since April 2009.

Just when Juve looked to be in control, Benfica went ahead. Enzo Perez spotted an unmarked Lima at the edge of the area and the forward fired a right-footed shot past Buffon.

In the other tie, Sevilla will take a solid lead to the Mestalla next week after toppling Primera Division rivals Valencia 2-0.

Two goals in three first-half minutes, from Stephane Mbia and Carlos Bacca, settled matters at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, and gave Unai Emery the upper hand against his former team.

Sevilla, UEFA Cup winners in 2006 and 2007, headed into the game as favourites on league form, having won seven of their last eight matches in La Liga, but had yet to beat Los Che this term.

The opener arrived on 32 minutes when Ivan Rakitic's free-kick from the left was met by Mbia, who lashed into the top-right corner from close range.

And the home fans had hardly finished celebrating when Bacca doubled their advantage, latching onto Machin Vitolo's pass and despatching a low shot past Vicente Guaita.

The Valencia goalkeeper pulled off a fantastic save shortly before half-time to keep his side only two goals down at the interval, beating away a Fazio header from another Rakitic set-piece.

Juan Antonio Pizzi's side should have halved the deficit in the 66th minute when Carrico's poor clearance fell for Eduardo Vargas just inside the box, but his curling attempt drifted inches wide with Beto beaten.


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