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Juventus 2 - 1 Lyon

Friday April 11 2014

Andrea Pirlo’s free kick and a deflected Claudio Marchisio strike beat Lyon 2-1 and sent Juventus to the Europa League semi-final.

The Bianconeri had won the first leg 1-0 in France with a late Leonardo Bonucci goal, so had the upper hand in this Europa League quarter-final. Arturo Vidal returned from suspension, so Paul Pogba was rested with Andrea Barzagli sidelined. Lyon missed Mouhamadou Dabo, Milan Bisevac, Gueida Fofana, Clement Grenier, Miguel Lopes and ex-Milan midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.

Within the opening three minutes Carlos Tevez, who hasn’t scored in Europe since 2009, unleashed a snapshot that skimmed the crossbar.

Tevez went on a mazy run and was tripped for a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area. It was perfect Andrea Pirlo territory and he did not disappoint, curling it over the wall into the near top corner. Another of Pirlo’s set plays had sent Juve through to the quarter-finals against Fiorentina. This was his sixth goal of the season in all competition, all of them direct free kicks.

Alexandre Lacazette had penalty appeals when his shot was charged down by Bonucci’s hand, but the referee waved play on as it was very close range.

Lyon equalised and got a precious away goal, as from a corner a wayward Arnold Mvuemba cross came to Jimmy Briand, whose header bounced on the wet turf and rebounded off the inside of the far post.

The French side were fired up by that equaliser and tested Gigi Buffon with a Maxime Gonalons strike from the edge of the box. Lyon continued to have the better of the play for the rest of the first half, as that fiery Juve start dissipated. Tevez also protested, as he tried to run between two defenders and appeared to trip over Bakary Kone’s leg.

There was a well-worked move on the stroke of half-time, but Tevez fell too easily in the box when he tried to turn on a Marchisio pass.

After the restart a Vucinic cross for Tevez was intercepted by Bakary Kone, then Kwadwo Asamoah’s cross just needed to be tapped in, but Samuel Umtiti proved decisive to stop it coming through to Tevez.

Moments later, Asamoah’s shot was smothered by Anthony Lopes, who then came out to grab the ball as Vidal chested down a Marchisio pass over the top.

Tevez thought he had finally broken his European goal drought with a sensational glancing header from a corner, but the offside flag was raised.

Tevez gave the ball away in midfield to spark a Lyon counter and from that move Buffon had to punch away a Mvuemba free kick.

However, from the Lyon corner it was Juve’s turn to counter and they made it count, as Marchisio’s strike took a decisive deflection off Umtiti’s thigh to leave his goalkeeper stranded. This was ‘Principino’s first Europa League goal.

Another Tevez effort was charged down in the box and Buffon was right behind a strike from substitute Bafetimbi Gomis. Sebastian Giovinco went on a rapid counter from a Lyon corner and was barged into the advertising boards by Umtiti, who was booked for his trouble. The Atomic Ant tried to get on the end of an over-hit Marchisio assist, but could only balloon over the bar.

The Bianconeri become the first Italian side to reach a European semi-final since Fiorentina in 2007-08.


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