Advantage Benfica and Sevilla in Europa League semis

Away goal could prove crucial for Juventus but Valencia have it all to do next week


Benfica narrowly defeated Juventus and Sevilla established a two-goal lead over Valencia as Thursday night’s Europa League semi-finals both went with home advantage.

Newly-crowned Portuguese champions Benfica were 2-1 winners over their Serie A counterparts Juve after substitute Lima struck an 84th-minute winner at Estadio da Luz.

In the first leg of the semi-final tie in Lisbon, Ezequiel Garay put the hosts ahead in the third minute only for Juventus striker Carlos Tevez to level in the 73rd minute, the Argentinian’s first European goal since April 2009.

Lima then ensured that Benfica will take an advantage for the return leg in Italy next week by converting Enzo Perez’s pass six minutes from time.

Sevilla, meanwhile, will take a stronger advantage to the Mestalla next week after toppling Primera Division rivals Valencia 2-0.

Two goals in three first-half minutes from Stephane Mbia and Carlos Bacca, settled matters at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, and gave Unai Emery the upper hand against his former team.

Sevilla, Uefa Cup winners in 2006 and 2007, headed into the game as favourites on league form, having won seven of their last eight matches in the Primera Division, but had yet to beat Los Che this term.

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