December 21, 2014
Valencia complete stunning comeback to beat Basle
Juan Antonio Pizzi's Valencia completed an astonishing comeback against Basle to reach the Europa League semi-finals by overhauling a three-goal deficit helped by a hat-trick from Paco Alcacer to win 5-3 on aggregate after extra time.
It completed a good night for Spain as 10-man Sevilla tormented a fragile Porto side to secure a 4-2 aggregate victory as Juventus and Benfica joined them in the last four after safely negotiating their quarter-final second legs.
Serie A leaders Juve beat Olympique Lyon 3-1 on aggregate after winning 2-1 in Turin with an Andrea Pirlo freekick and a Samuel Umtiti own goal while Benfica's Rodrigo scored twice in a 2-0 home win over AZ Alkmaar to complete a 3-0 overall success.
Basle were 3-0 up heading into the second leg at a highly-charged Mestalla stadium, but came up against a Valencia side with the bit between their teeth.
An Alcacer double and one from Eduardo Vargas levelled the tie at 3-3 to force extra time in which the Swiss had Marcelo Diaz and Gaston Sauro sent off before Alcacer got his treble and Juan Bernat added a fifth to end an extraordinary clash.
Sevilla overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit to rout the Portuguese 4-1 on the night with an Ivan Rakitic penalty and further goals from Vitolo, Carlos Bacca and Kevin Gameiro before Porto's Ricardo Quaresma scored a spectacular late consolation.