Thursday, May 1, 2014 10:15 pm
Portuguese champions Benfica and Spanish Primera Liga outfit Sevilla have qualified for this season’s Europa League final after recording narrow aggregate successes over Juventus and Valencia respectively.
In Turin, where the final will be played, Juventus played host to Benfica looking to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit but were unable to find a way past the visitors who finished the game with nine men but managed to come away with a goalless draw.
The match at the Olympic Stadium witnessed Benfica’s Perez get sent off midway through the second half, then Juventus defender Girogio Chiellini not get booked by referee Mark Clattenburg after two challenges in the last 10 minutes of the match.
Chiellini’s tackles led to a touchline brawl between both sides leading to the referee sending off Benfica’s Markovic; who had just been substituted, and Juventus forward Mirko Vucinic; who was an unused substitute.
Benfica would then play out the eight minutes of stoppage time with nine men after defender Ezequiel Garay was stretchered off after coming off worse from a Paul Pogba tackle, but Jorge Jesus’ men held on to reach a second successive Europa League final.
Benfica will face Sevilla for the trophy, though for a few minutes it looked like Valencia would be in the final.
With Sevilla leading the tie 2-0 from the first leg, Valencia went into half time 2-0 up on the night thanks to a Sofiane Feghouli goal and a Beto own goal.
Jeremy Mathieu’s goal midway through the second half seemed to have completed the job for Valencia onla for Sevilla to score four minutes into stoppage time through Camerounian midfielder Stephane Mbia’s header and steal passage to the final courtesy of the away goals rule.
The Europa League final will be held on May 14 at the Olympic Stadium in Turin.