samedi 31 mai 2014

England vs Peru - Competition: International Friendly

Match date: 30 May 2014

Venue: Wembley

  England 3-0 Peru (Friendly)

32' Daniel Sturridge 1-0 // 65' Gary Cahill 2-0 // 70' Phil Jagielka 3-0
England national side showed positive signs ahead of their World Cup 2014 preparation as Roy Hodgson's men grabbed a comfortable win over Peru in a friendly fixture on Friday.

Staging the tie at Wembley stadium, Three Lions immediately took hold of things and their positive approach was eventually rewarded when Daniel Sturridge puts them in front on 32 minutes.

After the break, England increased their performance to provide more entertainment for their loyal fans and that effort turned out successful as they added two more goals during that second period.

Chelsea's defender, Gary Cahill snatched his side's second with his effort on 65 minutes, before Phil Jagielka sealed off his side's 3-0 with with his goal five minutes later.

England starting lineup vs Peru 2014 friendly:- Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge
Peru starting XI v England 2014 friendly:- Fernandez, Rodriguez, Callens, Ramos, Advincula, Yotun, Cruzado, Ballon, Ramirez, Deza, Carrillo

Switzerland substitute Josip Drmic atoned for an astonishing miss by scoring a late goal to give the World Cup qualifiers a 1-0 victory over battling Jamaica in a friendly on Friday.

Drmic missed an open goal from two metres but made amends in the 84th minute when he ran on to Blerim Dzemaili's pass, cut inside his marker and fired past goalkeeper Andre Blake.

The Swiss struggled to create chances against physical, well-organised opponents with a performance which does not auger well for next month's World Cup where they face equally rugged Honduras and tricky Ecuador in much more difficult conditions.

They were also frustrated by Blake who made several outstanding saves.

"I'm happy we faced opponents who play like Honduras and a little like Ecuador, we know what awaits us," Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld told reporters. The Swiss must also play France in Group E at the World Cup.

"We were patient although we lacked a little bit of precision and we will work on that. We must be attentive and not open up too much."

Spain's striker Fernando Torres made a strong case for a World Cup place when he capped an impressive performance with a well-taken penalty as their depleted side strolled to a 2-0 friendly win over Bolivia on Friday.

In the world and European champions' penultimate warm-up game before they begin the defence of their title in Brazil next month, Torres made the most of his starting place up front and substitute Andres Iniesta was also on target as Spain ruthlessly dominated a defence-minded Bolivia.

The South Americans, who failed to qualify for the World Cup finals, managed to hold out until halftime before Javi Martinez was bundled over in the penalty area and Torres calmly slotted the spot kick past Romel Quinonez In the 51st minute.

The Chelsea forward has had an indifferent season with his club but looked lively in the centre forward role before being replaced by Cesc Fabregas on the hour.

Chances were scarce for both sides at Sevilla's Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, with Cesar Azpilicueta striking a long-range effort against the post in the 30th minute and Torres forcing a sharp save from Quinonez shortly before the break.

Iniesta showed his class when he surged forward in the 84th minute and curled a low effort in off a post and Sergio Busquets crashed a long-range drive off the frame of the goal moments later as the home side pressed forward in the final stages.

Spain were missing their Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid contingent, who are on holiday following their clash in Saturday's Champions League final and will join up with the rest of the squad on Monday.

Coach Vicente del Bosque is due to announce his final World Cup squad on Saturday and Torres is vying for a place with the likes of Diego Costa, Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Negredo.

Spain and Bolivia were playing each other for only the second time after they met at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, a 3-1 group-phase victory for the Spanish in Chicago.

jeudi 29 mai 2014

Denmark vs Sweden - Competition: International FriendlyMatch date: 28 May 2014 - Kick Off Time: 19:15 GMT
Venue: Parken Stadion


Denmark 1-0 Sweden:

1-0 Agger (Penalty) 90+3'

samedi 24 mai 2014


The opener came five minutes after Real's world record signing Gareth Bale had spurned a great opportunity to put his side ahead when he picked up the ball in midfield after Tiago gave possession away cheaply.

Welshman Bale surged forward, powering his way deep into the Atletico penalty area, but waited too long to shoot and when he did he fired wide of Thibaut Courtois' goal.

That started a surge of Real pressure that finally paid off when Ramos headed the equaliser to force extra time.

The first period of that ended without another goal, but Real finally took control of the game in the last 15 minutes when Bale headed them in front in the 110th minute before Marcelo fired home the third and Ronaldo scored from the spot.

Ronaldo's goal was his 17th of the campaign, an all-time record for the competition, and meant Carlo Ancelotti became only the second man after Bob Paisley of Liverpool to win three European Cups as a coach after the Italian's earlier successes with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007.
Real Madrid 4-1 Atletico Madrid (Full Time

Godin D 36', Ramos 90+3', Bale 110', Marcelo 117', Ronaldo 120µ


jeudi 22 mai 2014

Match date: Saturday, 24 May 2014
Kick Off Time: 19:45 GMT
Venue: Estadio da Luz, Lisbon e Benfica, Portugal
Atletico Madrid stand on the brink of an unlikely double as they prepare to take on city rivals Real in the UEFA Champions League final.

Few would have predicted Atleti's first Liga title since 1996 at the beginning of the season, but Diego Simeone's men made sure of the trophy with a 1-1 draw against eventual runners-up Barcelona at Camp Nou on Saturday.

And the Vicente Calderon outfit have backed that up with equally impressive displays in Europe's elite club competition, beating Chelsea in the semi-finals to reach the Lisbon showpiece, while Real overcame defending champions Bayern Munich.

However, talk in the build-up to this weekend's mouthwatering Madrid derby has been dominated by the fitness and availability of both clubs' star names.

Diego Costa was left in tears after suffering a hamstring strain in the draw at Barca, and has reportedly travelled to Serbia for specialist treatment on the injury - a desperate bid to be in contention for the biggest match of his career.

As the joint-third top goalscorer in the competition, Costa's absence would come as a huge blow to Atleti, especially as the tournament's leading marksman Cristiano Ronaldo has been cleared to play for their opponents.

The Portuguese has been the star of Real's run to the Estadio da Luz showdown, scoring 16 goals in Europe this season, but missed his side's last two games because of a muscle injury sustained in a 1-1 draw at Real Valladolid earlier this month.

Despite the Costa setback, Simeone is confident his players are prepared for the challenge that lies ahead.

"From the strikers right through to the goalkeeper, the team is aware of how we need to play in order to succeed, in order to highlight our strengths and hide our weaknesses - because we do have weaknesses, we just hope not to show them," he is quoted as saying by

"It's a historic rivalry. It's great, both in terms of the matches themselves and the fact that in one city you have such a powerful team as Real Madrid and a battling team such as Atletico Madrid.

"Each team uses the tools it has at its disposal and it's a great rivalry, no matter which team you support."

Real are going in search of a 10th title in top-level European competition - referred to in Spain as La Decima - and Ronaldo knows the pressure is on.

"It is a moment that all Madridistas are dreaming about - the decima," he said. "We are all very excited, so we have to win.

"It will be a special game. I will be playing in my home country."

This will be the first meeting between two teams from the same city in the history of European Cup and Champions League finals, and the duo from the Spanish capital have only met on one previous occasion in continental competition.

Atleti edged the league encounters between the sides this season - winning 1-0 at the Bernabeu before a 2-2 draw on home soil - but Real claimed a 5-0 aggregate win when they met over two legs in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti will be forced to make do without the suspended Xabi Alonso, while Karim Benzema (hamstring) and Pepe (calf) are doubtful.

As well as Costa, Atleti - unbeaten in the tournament so far - have question marks over the fitness of Arda Turan (knee).
Probable Line-Ups:
Madrid (4-3-3): Casillas; Marcelo, Pepe, Ramos, Carvajal; Modric, Illarramendi, Di Maria; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Courois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe Luis; Gabi, Tiago, Arda Turan, Koke; Raul Garcia, Villa.
Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid previous meetings:
Date Competition: Results
02-03-14 Primera División Atlético Madrid 2 – 2 Real Madrid
11-02-14 Copa del Rey Atlético Madrid 0 – 2 Real Madrid
05-02-14 Copa del Rey Real Madrid 3 – 0 Atlético Madrid
28-09-13 Primera División Real Madrid 0 – 1 Atlético Madrid
17-05-13 Copa del Rey Real Madrid 1 – 2E Atlético Madrid

Can You Watch Match Here Link 1 Link 2 Live Score

lundi 19 mai 2014

Champions Juventus became the first team to break the 100-points barrier in Serie A when they beat Cagliari 3-0 in their final league game of the season on Sunday.

Juventus, who won all 19 of their home matches, completed their campaign with 102 points after winning 33, drawing three and losing two of their 38 games.

They finished 17 points clear of AS Roma, who slumped to their third successive defeat when they lost 1-0 at Genoa to a late goal scored by Giannis Fetfatzidis.

At the bottom, already relegated Catania bid farewell to Serie A with a 2-1 win over Atalanta thanks to Gonzalo Bergessio's stoppage time penalty.

Juventus, champions for a third successive season, went ahead with a Marco Silvestri own goal in the eighth minute and Fernando Llorente and Claudio Marchisio added further goals before halftime.

Before and during the match, Juventus fans appealed to coach Antonio Conte not to leave the club.

Around 1,000 fans gathered in front of the team's hotel outside Turin before the game, holding banners asking him to stay.

Similar banners, plus a huge drawing of the feisty coach, were held aloft by supporters in the stadium during the match.

According to Italian media, Conte feels he has taken the current team as far as it can go and is reported to have demanded an overhaul of the side to continue. Negotiations are due to take place early next week.

Victor Ibarbo nearly spoiled the party when his drive was turned away by Gianluigi Buffon in the opening minutes.

Juventus went ahead after Andrea Pirlo's free kick hit the underside of the crossbar and ricocheted into the net off Cagliari goalkeeper Silvestri. The goal was originally awarded to Pirlo by Serie A's official website, which later changed it to a Silvestri own goal.

Llorente tapped in the second from close range after Cagliari failed to clear a corner and Marchisio blasted the third after spinning past his marker with superb piece of close control in the penalty area.

Silvestri made a brilliant save to stop a low Kwadwo Asamoah shot just before halftime, before Juventus strolled through the second half.

samedi 17 mai 2014

Arsenal's dramatic Wembley win against Hull City was the most important victory of Arsene Wenger's 18 years in charge, the five-times FA Cup winning manger said on Saturday.

Despite winning eight major trophies including three Premier League titles, during his long reign at the club, the Frenchman ranks their 3-2 FA Cup final win over Hull to end a nine-year trophy drought as their most important success.

An Aaron Ramsey goal in extra time capped an amazing comeback for Arsenal, who found themselves two goals down after eight minutes, and ensured the club's name was etched on the trophy for the 11th time, equalling Manchester United's all-time record.

"It was more important today than all the others," said Wenger, who became the joint most successful manger in the history of the competition alongside former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson.

"Twice we did the double (1998 and 2002), we had already won (a trophy) so we were not under the pressure we were today.

"I've won it now five times, it's not too bad. I'm in good company (with Ferguson)."

Santi Cazorla and Laurent Koscienlny scored either side of the interval to take the game into extra time, where Ramsey struck the winner with 11 minutes left.

Wenger, whose last trophy was their FA Cup final win over Manchester United on penalties in 2005, hailed his side's "special spirit" after falling behind.

"We made a demonstration of how to respond to being 2-0 down, and a demonstration of how not to start a cup final," the Frenchman joked.

"I was shocked. We were a bit hesitant and you wonder if the shock would be too hard, but this team has a special spirit and a special togetherness to respond."

Despite a strong start to the Premier League season and spending more time than any other club at the top of the table, Arsenal's title challenge faded and the team finished fourth.

"To lose today would have been a major setback. To win is a good platform to come back stronger next year," Wenger added.

"The Premier League is very tough. You look at the top four this year and you have no Manchester United, no Everton, no Tottenham Hotspur.

"All these clubs have invested a huge amount of money, and the club that won the league have invested an incredible amount of money so it's difficult to beat them, but we'll try."

The Frenchman's contract at the club expires in the close-season, but he has repeatedly assured both the club and their supporters that he would sign a new deal after the final, regardless of the result.

Wenger, the longest serving manager in the Premier League, was asked again if he would sign a new deal.

"That normally should happen, yes," he responded. "And we're in very normal circumstances now."

"It was never a question of leaving (even if they lost), it was a question of doing the right job for this club."

Extra-time goals from Arjen Robben and Thomas Mueller handed Bayern Munich a 2-0 German Cup final victory over rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday and secured a tenth domestic league and Cup double.

Dutchman Robben, who scored the winner against Dortmund in the Champions League final last season, tapped in at the far post in the 107th minute after the country's top two teams slugged it out in a goalless yet entertaining 90 minutes.

Mueller then raced clear deep in stoppage time to complete the win over their bitter rivals immediately after Marco Reus had missed a chance to equalise.

Victory ended a bad run for Bayern who had won the league title with seven games to spare in Pep Guardiola's first season in charge. They were eliminated in the Champions League semi-final by Real Madrid and lost 3-0 at home in the Bundesliga to Dortmund.

Saturday's final was marked by a controversial goalline incident with Mats Hummels' header in the 64th minute cleared on the line by Bayern defender Dante with television replays showing the entire ball may have well crossed the line.

German football bosses earlier in the year voted against the introduction of goalline technology but the latest incident is set to renew the debate.


FC Barcelona – Atletico Madrid 17.05.2014

FC Barcelona – Atletico Madrid – Spanish Primera has reached its end and the final round will resolve all the remaining dilemmas. The biggest one is who will be the new champion and that will be resolved exactly by this match at the Camp Nou. In the previous two rounds the favourites played poorly and haven’t won, so Real Madrid is out of the race and Barcelona and Atletico will decide about the champion in a head-to-head match. The mathematic is clear and Barcelona needs only a victory, while for Atletico a draw would be just fine. The host has drawn two times in a row, while Atletico lost once and drew once. The two teams have played five times this season and four times the result was a tie, while Atletico won once, which was enough to eliminate Barcelona from the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Begins: 17.05.2014 – 18:00 CET

FC Barcelona

Barcelona, overall looking, has a bad season but a great opportunity showed at the end to finally win a trophy, more precisely, to defend the title of Spain’s champion. They themselves didn’t expect that and almost had given up after they were eliminated early from the Champions League and after they lost the final of the King’s Cup. They lost in that period a match against Granada and had a lot of trouble against Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal. Somehow, they won these matches but then only drew with Getafe and there could have been an end of hope. However, it was not over because the other two competitors for the title have also played badly, so Barcelona could afford a draw in the last round with Elche.
Now are in a situation that puts them in the role of a favourite, because they need to win at home. Atletico obviously doesn’t suit them as an opponent and they couldn’t win it this season, scoring only two goals in five matches. Valdes, Neymar, Pique and Jordi Alba will not play this match, who for some time haven’t been standard starters, so there will be no big changes in the starting lineup.
Probable lineups FC Barcelona: Pinto – Dani Alves, Mascherano, Bartra, Adriano – Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta – A. Sanchez, Messi, Pedro

Atletico Madrid

Atletico will start this decisive match with a certain advantage, because it has three points more and even a modest draw suits them in full. It should also have a psychological advantage, because the Catalans haven’t defeated them this season while Atletico won their two head-to-head matches played in the Champions League. However, in minds of Atletico’s players is certainly the match of the last round against Malaga in which they were the hosts and could have been solve all dilemmas if they won.
Playing under a huge pressure they have received a goal, so they chased the advantage that the guests had and they managed to equalise, while in the last moments they had a great chance to win. Surely, they even now think about that situation which could inhibit them in crucial moment of this match. Their best player Diego Costa didn’t play in that match, which was felt very much, and stopper Godin paused because of yellow cards. Both should be ready for this match, which means that the strongest team will fight this decisive battle.
Probable lineups Atletico Madrid: Courtois – Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe – Tiago, Gabi – Koke, Arda Turan – Villa, Diego Costa
Can You Watch Match Live Here Link 1 Link 2 live score

jeudi 15 mai 2014

 Basel continued their dominance of Swiss football by winning their fifth successive league title with a 3-1 win away to Aarau on Thursday.

An 8,000 crowd packed into Aarau's tiny ground and the game ended in chaos when Basel fans staged a pitch invasion after the final whistle.

Television pictures showed Basel fans, many of them hooded, clashing with riot police and throwing objects at the home fans, although the situation was quickly brought under control.

The win gave Basel an unassailable four-point lead over Grasshoppers, who beat Luzern 4-1, with one match each to play.

Basel qualified directly for next year's Champions League group stage while Grasshoppers, who have made sure of second place, will go into the third qualifying round.

Congolese defender Igor Nganga gave Aarau a sixth-minute lead when he turned the ball in from close range, but Ivorian Serey Die equalised in the 28th minute with a low 25-metre shot which went through a crowded penalty area and caught goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall unsighted.

Argentine midfielder Matias Delgado gave the visitors the lead five minutes later, curling in a 25-metre free kick, and Valentin Stocker sealed the win with 11 minutes to play.

Basel have won a total of 17 league titles, still 10 short of Grasshoppers' record of 27.

Sevilla beat Benfica 4-2 on penalties after a goalless draw to win the Europa League final on Wednesday, extending the Portuguese side's extraordinary run of defeats in European finals.

Substitute Kevin Gameiro fired home the winning penalty as Sevilla, twice winners of the old UEFA Cup, lifted the trophy for the third time and left Benfica to reflect on their eight successive loss in a European final.

Benfica had the better of the 90 minutes but the confidence seemed to drain out of them in extra-time.

Sevilla won the toss, took the penalties in front of their own fans and Benfica's Oscar Cardozo and Rodrigo had successive penalties saved by Beto to hand the Spanish side the trophy.

There was little excitement in an often scrappy and foul-littered first half until the very end when Benfica fullback Maxi Pereira just failed to lob the ball over goalkeeper Beto who blocked another effort by Rodrigo in the following attack.

Benfica should have gone ahead in the 48th minute when Lima had a shot blocked off the line by Nicolas Pareja after being cleverly set up by Pereira and Rodrigo's follow-up was also blocked.

At the other end, Luisao saved Benfica with a perfectly timed tackle on Jose Antonio Reyes.

Pereira then set up another chance for Lima when he got in behind the Sevilla defence and this time the Brazilian forward completely missed his kick.

Lima nearly grabbed a late winner with a dipping long-range effort which Beto just managed to turn over the crossbar. Then Ezequiel Garay headed over at the far post from a floated cross.

Benfica failed to carry the momentum into extra-time and Sevilla nearly went ahead when Ivan Rakitic sent Carlos Bacca clear down the right but the Colombian fired his just over the bar.

Gameiro fired into the side-netting in the second half of extra-time after another break down the right.

By that time, fatigue had crept in, the pace had slowed and the game was littered with mistakes.
 Aalborg BK thumped FC Copenhagen 4-2 in the Danish cup final to complete the domestic double at the Parken Stadium on Thursday and round off a scintillating season by leaving their rivals from the capital empty-handed.

The victory ended a run of seven cup final defeats for Aalborg since their last victory in 1970 and made them the fifth team alongside FC Copenhagen, Brondby, AGF and Vejle to complete the double in Denmark.

Aalborg fell behind to an Andreas Cornelius strike after 18 minutes but two headed goals from Rasmus Thelander in the five minutes before halftime put them in the driving seat.

Copenhagen effectively handed Aalborg the league title on Sunday with a late winner against title-chasing Midtjylland to put their opponents out of contention.

However, the Copenhagen defence seemed to be in generous mood on Thursday, conceding second-half goals to Jakob Nielsen and Soeren Frederiksen to go 4-1 behind.

Rurik Gislason pulled a goal back for Copenhagen in the last minute but it was too little and too late to stop Aalborg from crowning their season with a thrilling cup victory.

"I'm so proud," Aalborg midfielder Rasmus Wurtz told Denmark's TV3. "These are boys who have become men today. I can't understand it yet, it's so huge."

lundi 12 mai 2014

Atletico Madrid and Barcelona will play a La Liga title decider at the Nou Camp stadium next weekend after leaders Atletico drew 1-1 at home to Malaga and second-placed Barca were held to a 0-0 stalemate at Elche on Sunday.

On a day of nerve-jangling tension, when Atletico came desperately close to a late goal that would have clinched the championship, Real Madrid dropped out of the title race when they suffered a surprise 2-0 loss at Celta Vigo that left them five points behind their city rivals with one game remaining.

Atletico are top on 89 points from 37 matches, with Barca on 86 and Real, who were missing key players through injury at Celta including top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, on 84.

If Barca beat Atletico next Sunday they will be champions as they would have a better head-to-head record after the title rivals drew 0-0 at the Calderon in Madrid in January.

A draw would be enough for Atletico to secure their first domestic league title since 1996, when current coach Diego Simeone was in the team, and become the first team other than Spain's wealthy big two to win La Liga since Valencia in 2004.

Samuel Sanchez gave Malaga a shock lead 25 minutes from time at Atletico's packed Calderon stadium, where the fans have been enjoying the club's best season in years.

Jose Sosa levelled for the home side, who play Real in the Champions League final on May 24, in the 74th minute and Adrian came close to a winner in stoppage time but was denied by a brilliant save from Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero.

At Elche's Martinez Valero arena in Alicante, Barca created plenty of chances but as so often this season they failed to take them.

Their bid for a fifth La Liga title in six seasons remains alive, however, despite consecutive draws as Atletico again failed to take advantage of Barca's stumble.

Real's faint hopes of pipping Atletico and Barca to the title were extinguished when a Charles double either side of halftime condemned them to a defeat that ended their chances of a Champions League, La Liga and King's Cup treble.

mardi 6 mai 2014

The Juventus fans were in a mood to party and their team lived up to expectations as they celebrated winning a third successive Serie A title with a 1-0 victory over Atalanta on Monday.

A second-half Simone Padoin strike enabled the champions to enjoy the moment in front of their supporters by maintaining their 100 per cent home record.

Antonio Conte's side, handed their 30th championship thanks to AS Roma's 4-1 defeat at relegation-threatened Catania on Sunday, are on 96 points, 11 ahead of Roma and only a point away from equalling the all-time record set by Inter Milan in 2007.

Padion's powerful 72nd-minute strike which careered in off the post following a nifty flick from Paul Pogba secured Juve's 18th straight home league win and they only have to beat Cagliari to finish the season unbeaten at the Juventus Stadium.

Coach Conte made eight changes to the side which failed to overturn a 2-1 deficit in their Europa League semi-final with Benfica and they were rarely troubled by an Atalanta team who stayed in 11th on 47 points and now have no chance of European football.

Stefan Colantuono's side are eight points behind sixth-placed Torino with two games remaining after losing four of their last five matches, falling away dramatically after winning six in a row in March.

They are are also six behind Lazio and Hellas Verona, who are still in the Europa league hunt after playing out an entertaining 3-3 draw featuring a red card for each side as Verona fought back from 2-1 to lead 3-2 through goals from Iturbe and Romulo.

However, Lazio captain Stefano Mauri scored a soft-looking stoppage-time penalty given for a foul on Miroslav Klose by Michelangelo Albertazzi, who was sent off, to snatch his side a dramatic and controversial late point.

lundi 5 mai 2014

 Juventus won a third consecutive Serie A title without playing on Sunday when AS Roma, the only team who could catch them, capitulated to a 4-1 defeat at lowly Catania.

Roma, who had bravely kept their challenge going by winning their last nine games, inexplicably produced one of their worst performances of the season against the Sicilian strugglers.

Mariano Izco stunned Roma by scoring twice in a six-minute spell in the first half and, although Francesco Totti pulled one back, it was only a lull in the storm.

Gonzalo Bergessio extended Catania's lead in the 56th minute and Pablo Barrientos fired a fourth to leave Roma's title hopes in tatters.

The defeat left Roma eight points behind Juventus, who host Atalanta on Monday (1900 GMT) with only two games left to play.

Juventus have won a record 30 Serie A titles, including three in successive seasons since Antonio Conte took over as coach in 2011.

"The Scudetto is always special, especially a third in a row as that had never happened to us before," Conte told reporters earlier on Sunday. "Even legendary coaches were unable to get three consecutive titles."

vendredi 2 mai 2014

 Benfica kept alive their dream of a first European trophy in 52 years after a goalless draw with Juventus in Turin on Thursday helped the newly-crowned Portuguese champions win their Europa League semi-final 2-1 on aggregate.

Jorge Jesus's side will return to Turin on May 14 to take on Sevilla in the final after restricting the Serie A leaders to a handful of chances, despite having to play for 23 minutes of the second leg clash with 10 men after Enzo Perez was sent off.

They will be hoping to win their first continental title since 1962's European Cup triumph, since when they have lost seven European finals, including last season's Europa League final to Chelsea.

Juventus failed to take advantage of their territorial superiority in the first half or the extra man after the sending-off and their exit is a blow for Italian football, whose teams have struggled on the continent in recent years.

Benfica came roaring out of the blocks looking for the goal that would have left their hosts with a mountain to climb, with Rodrigo's stinging close-range strike well blocked by defender Stephan Lichtsteiner in the opening minute.

Juve slowly gained control as the first half wore on and Vidal was unlucky not to give his side the lead seconds before the break when he met Kwadwo Asamoah's fizzing cross with a header that was cleared off the line by Luisao.

The away side gave Juve a scare two minutes after the break when Rodrigo ballooned the ball over the bar from close range and with the goal at his mercy.

Perez was sent off after receiving a second booking for a silly foul on Arturo Vidal and his dismissal encouraged Juve to push forward in search of the goal that would have sent them into the final.

The home fans were celebrating with nine minutes remaining when Osvaldo tapped home Paul Pogba's headed knockdown, but their joy was short-lived, with officials correctly ruling Frenchman Pogba offside.

The bad-tempered match ended with Juventus substitute Mirko Vucinic and Benfica's Lazar Markovic, who had been taken off with minutes remaining, both receiving red cards for an off-pitch altercation.
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