Europa LeagueFriday, April 4, 2014
Juve, Basel grab victories
LYON, France — Juventus scored late to beat Lyon 1-0 and take a big stride toward the Europa League semifinals, while Matías Delgado’s double helped FC Basel to a 3-0 win over Valencia in a match played in an empty stadium yesterday.
Portuguese teams Benfica and Porto are also in strong positions after the first legs of the quarterfinals after 1-0 victories over AZ Alkmaar away and Sevilla at home, respectively.
Leonardo Bonucci poked home Juventus’ winner after a goalmouth scramble in the 85th minute at Stade Gerland, keeping the Italian league leaders and competition favourites on course to reach the final in their own stadium on May 14.
An ultimately successful night for Juventus was soured by the sight of Carlos Tevez leaving the pitch in the 55th minute with what appeared to be a groin strain. The Argentina striker missed two of a handful of good chances for Juve to stay without a goal in European competition since April 2009, when he was playing for Manchester United in the Champions League.
Delgado scored twice in a five-minute span late in the first half but was unable to celebrate in front of his team’s supporters because the match was played behind closed doors as a punishment for crowd disorder by Basel fans during the last-16 win over Salzburg.
Valentin Stocker added a third goal in second-half stoppage time for the Swiss side, which is now a heavy favorite to reach the semifinals for the second straight season.