Europa League round-up: Porto, Benfica and Basle grabbed first-leg wins, Juventus remain on course for Turin final



In the Europa League quarter-final first-leg ties played on Thursday night, Porto put shaky form in the Portuguese Liga behind them to take a 1-0 lead over Sevilla, courtesy of an impeccable header from Eliaquim Mangala in the 31st minute.

But Porto will be without defensive midfielder Fernando for the second leg in Spain, after he was sent off for two late yellow-card offences.

In France, Leonardo Bonucci gave Juventus a 1-0 away victory against Lyon as the tournament favourites edged a tight tussle, and they remain on course for a record Turin final.

Bonucci netted in the 85th minute, applying a powerful finish after a scramble for the ball inside the penalty
area.

Elsewhere, Swiss club Basle romped to an emphatic 3-0 victory over Spanish side Valencia in Switzerland, as the former UEFA Cup winners now face an uphill task of overturning the deficit in the second leg at the Mestalla stadium next week.

Basle have never reached a major European final but showed their appetite for getting to a first as two goals from Matias Delgado put them in charge of the tie ahead of the return fixture.

Argentinian midfielder Delgado, in his second spell at the club, was allowed too much space to unleash a fine shot from 20 yards into the bottom left corner for the 34th-minute opener.

Four minutes later Valencia failed to track him as he jabbed home Valentin Stocker’s superb defence-splitting cross from the left.

Stocker added the third in stoppage time, charging from the halfway line and cracking in a powerful strike.

The match at St Jakob-Park was played behind closed doors as a result of the trouble among Basle fans which caused the second leg of their 2-1 aggregate victory over Salzburg in the round of 16 to be suspended for 13
minutes.

Benfica, who beat Tottenham in the previous round and lead the Portuguese league, proved too strong for Dutch outfit AZ as they won 1-0 in Holland to take a grip on their tie.

Eduardo Salvio put Benfica in front after 48 minutes with a smart volleyed finish after goalkeeper Esteban palmed out a shot from Oscar Cardozo.

Swiss side Basle took a huge step towards a second successive Europa League semi-final as Matias Delgado
scored twice and Valentin Stocker netted a third in injury time in a 3-0 quarter-final first-leg win over Valencia.


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5 thoughts on “Europa League round-up: Porto, Benfica and Basle grabbed first-leg wins, Juventus remain on course for Turin final

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