Another incredible night of football in the Europa League, with both Spanish sides overturning first leg deficits to make it through to the semi-finals. Valencia had an almost impossible job to do after a 3-0 defeat in Basel, but Paco Alcácer and Vargas scored twice shortly before half time, and Alcácer added a third with twenty minutes to go to take the tie in to extra time. The Swiss side had two men sent off in the next quarter of an hour, and Alcácer completed his hat-trick before Bernat made it 5-0 near the end. Sevilla started their second leg match against Porto a goal behind, but they netted three times in the first half, Rakitic converting an early penalty and Vitolo and Bacca scoring two more in a three minute period around the half hour mark. Coke got himself sent off soon after the restart, but Gameiro added a fourth before an injury time Quaresma strike made it 4-1 in the end. (10.04.14)
An incredible night of football in the Mestalla stadium, Valencia becoming the first side to overturn a 3-0 first leg deficit in the Europa League after thrashing Basel 5-0 in the return match, a win which takes them through to the semi-finals. If anything the Swiss side had the better of the first half hour, but with seven minutes to go to the break Paco Alcácer controlled a long pass from Joao Pereira on his chest before turning a shot in to the net. Five minutes later Sommer did well to keep out Vargas, but from the resulting Fede corner the Chilean striker headed the ball wide of the visiting keeper for his side’s second. After the restart Sommer made top class saves from Vargas and Alcácer, but with twenty minutes to go Vargas played a long pass across the edge of the box for Alcácer to volley home the goal the Ches needed to level the tie. Sommer again made great stops as the game went in to extra time, but Marcelo Díaz got himself sent off for a kick at Jonas, and just four minutes later Basel were left with nine men when Sauro picked up two bookings in a minute. There was a bit of scare when Serey Die’s shot deflected just wide, but with six minutes to go Alcácer got on the end of cross from substitute Piatti to complete his hat-trick, and four minutes later Bernat ran through on a quick counterattack to wrap up an epic come-back.
Sevilla are through to the semi-finals of the Europa League after beating Porto 4-2 on aggregate! The Andalusians started the match a goal behind from the first leg, but they netted three times in the first half hour, Rakitic opening the scoring from the penalty spot in the fifth minute after Danilo tripped Bacca in the area. Vitolo and Reyes went close as Unai Emery’s team totally dominated the opening minutes, and Vitolo and Bacca scored two more in quick succession, the first after picking up Bacca’s headed pass before clipping a shot past Fabiano, and the second with a low shot following another prolonged attack. Up to that point the Portuguese side had hardly managed a look-in, but shortly before half time Héctor Herrera saw his shot deflected over the bar, and a couple of minutes after the restart Beto did well to push a dangerous Quaresma free kick on to the crossbar. Soon afterwards Sevilla were left with ten men when Coke picked up a second booking, and Beto had to save from Herrera before Quaresma fired another shot just wide. With ten minutes to go however Gameiro made it four after Fabiano could only push a Vitolo cross in to his path, and although Quaresma fired home an impressive consolation goal in injury time, the game ended soon afterwards. A long, hard struggle for Sevilla, who only qualified for the early rounds of the competition due to the ineligibility of Málaga and Rayo Vallecano, but right now they are on track to win the title for a third time.