Football: Juve oust Lyon to keep Europa dream alive
Friday, April 11, 2014
TURIN - Juventus remained on track for the Europa League final at their home stadium after a 2-1 win over Lyon in their quarter-final second leg in Turin on Thursday.
Juve welcomed the French side brimming with confidence after snatching a late 1-0 win in Lyon last week.
And despite Jimmy Briand pulling the visitors level after a sublime free kick from Andrea Pirlo had opened the hosts' account on three minutes, a deflected drive from Claudio Marchisio put the tie beyond reach on 68 minutes.
Juve become the first Italian side to qualify for the Europa League's last four since Fiorentina in 2008. But despite brief glimpses of promise from Remi Garde's side, Lyon never looked likely to cause an upset.
Juventus started brightly and after three minutes Carlos Tevez's drive from 30 metres had Anthony Lopes at full stretch as the ball sailed just over.
The early pressing paid off when Juve won a free kick on the edge of the area and Lopes was rooted to the spot as Pirlo stepped up curl the ball into the Lyon net.
Lyon's first incursion did not come until just before the quarter hour. The visitors' claims for a handball were waved away after Steed Malbranque's cross hit the arm of Leonardo Bonucci, and although Corentin Tolisso strode to the byline his inviting cross found no takers.
Lyon's leveller did not have the panache of Pirlo's opener but gave Juve's defence a wake-up call when Briand saw his header squirm inside Gianluigi Buffon's far post after a high ball had been lofted towards the back post.
Buffon had to react quickly just before the half hour to block a deflected piledriver by Maxime Gonalons.
But the French side showed little for the remainder of the half and were quickly under pressure after the restart.
Montenegrin striker Mirko Vucinic, given a rare start in place of Fernando Llorente, did well to dispossess Samuel Umtiti to break clear only to deliver a tame cross which failed to reach the unmarked Tevez.
Kwadwo Asamoah's searching ball across the face of goal then deflected off Vucinic but sailed just past Tevez, who was again in space.
Lopes then had to react quickly as Arturo Vidal threatened as a long cross came in for the Chilean.
Llorente replaced a tired-looking Vucinic on the hour and moments later Tevez rose to head a cross past Lopes only to see his effort ruled out for offside.
Lyon threatened briefly, Buffon producing a great save to parry Arnold Mvuemba's well-struck free kick.
Juve launched a counter moments later that caught the visitors flat-footed and when the ball found Marchisio the midfielder's drive from outside the area was rewarded after it deflected off Umtiti's back to wrong-foot Lopes in the Lyon goal.
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