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Valencia confound Basel, Evra strike's gold

Published: Friday 11 April 2014, 11.12CET
A sensational comeback for Valencia CF, a goal of a lifetime for Patrice Evra and an exciting change of career for Arjan de Zeeuw; UEFA.com trawls for the big stories.

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Published: Friday 11 April 2014, 11.12CET

Valencia confound Basel, Evra strike's gold

A sensational comeback for Valencia CF, a goal of a lifetime for Patrice Evra and an exciting change of career for Arjan de Zeeuw; UEFA.com trawls for the big stories.

Player: Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)
"You should produce a video of this game and show it to every team that loses a first leg 3-0," said Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp after Marco Reus almost inspired a stunning UEFA Champions League quarter-final recovery against Real Madrid CF on Tuesday. After Roman Weidenfeller decisively parried Ángel Di María's penalty, 24-year-old livewire Reus stole the show, scattering the Merengues' defence time and again. The Germany midfielder pounced on a headed back pass to round Iker Casillas and score his first, then tidied up for the second after the visiting keeper pushed Robert Lewandowski's shot onto the post. It was one goal short of the performance of a lifetime, as he knew only too well. "We could easily have scored the goals to take us through, tonight and last week," said a rueful Reus after the 2-0 second-leg victory which sadly was not enough. "That makes it all the more difficult to swallow that we're out."

Team: Valencia CF
It is just possible that Valencia's players may have had the chance to watch the inspiring footage of that Dortmund match before they took on FC Basel 1893 in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final decider on Thursday night; if they did, it certainly had the right effect. Juan Antonio Pizzi's side had come unstuck in Switzerland last week, losing 3-0, but at Mestalla became the first team to overturn a three-goal first-leg defeat since the competition took on its current guise. Paco Alcácer completed his hat-trick in extra time after Basel had been reduced to nine men, before Juan Bernat made it 5-0 on the night. "The fans were with us from the very first minute," 20-year-old forward Alcácer said afterwards. "They were fantastic and we dedicate this win to them – we're proud to have them on our side. I didn't know what to think after I missed one towards the end of normal time but thankfully I made up for it in extra time."

Goal: Patrice Evra (Manchester United FC)
It was Manchester United's last goal in Europe this season – and quite possibly this year – but they at least left something for the world to remember them by (even if their lead at FC Bayern München was to last barely 73 seconds). "Pat scored a thunderbolt of a goal," United defender Phil Jones told UEFA.com. He really did. With the aggregate scores level at 1-1 in their quarter-final, full-back Evra strode onto a right-wing cross from Antonio Valencia and rocketed a left-footed shot into the net via the underside of the crossbar, leaving Manuel Neuer rooted to the spot. Just his second goal in 97 UEFA club competition matches, but a beauty.

Number: 106
Goalkeeper Emma Byrne became the Republic of Ireland's most-capped women's player when she made her 106th international outing in last Saturday's FIFA Women's World Cup qualifer against Germany in Dublin. It almost turned into a double celebration, with the home side getting to 90 minutes with 2-2 on the scoreboard, only for a cross-cum-shot from Melanie Leupolz to loop over the Arsenal LFC No1 and into the net. "If you had told us beforehand we were going to lose 3-2, we probably would have been happy, but just how the game went, it was heartbreaking," said 34-year-old captain Byrne, now fourth on Ireland's all-time appearance list behind Robbie Keane, Shay Given and Kevin Kilbane.

Quote:
"Not celebrating – to tell Fernando and Demba the changes we had to do because three minutes plus extra time, the way we were playing was too risky."
Chelsea FC manager José Mourinho insists he was not, in fact, giddy with excitement after racing off his bench to 'celebrate' Demba Ba's decisive goal against Paris Saint-Germain in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League quarter-final. Extra kudos to Paris's Zlatan Ibrahimović, meanwhile: the injured striker interrupted his former FC Internazionale Milano coach during a pitchside interview to give Mourinho an affectionate hug.

Derby win: FC Augsburg
"You can't win them all in football," shrugged Josep Guardiola after Bayern's 1-0 loss at mid-table Augsburg last Saturday. Not a big deal for the German and European champions perhaps, but for their modest Bavarian neighbours a first win against Bayern in 52 years was a massive achievement – and one that was only enhanced by Bayern's 3-1 UEFA Champions League defeat of Manchester United on Wednesday. Sascha Mölders sprang the offside trap to score just his second goal of the season, and even if it was not exactly against Bayern's first team, it was a victory all the same. "We can be more than proud of ourselves," beamed left-back Matthias Ostrzolek. "There was a spine-tingling atmosphere from the start." Goalscorer Mölders added: "I am black and blue from all the pats on the back I received." For the record, that result ended Bayern's 53-game unbeaten run in the Bundesliga.

Defending the public: Arjan de Zeeuw
Former Wigan Athletic FC centre-back Arjan de Zeeuw is training to defend the law in Alkmaar in his native Netherlands. The 43-year-old – who also represented Barnsley FC, Coventry City FC and Portsmouth FC during a 13-year spell in England – wants to specialise in forensics, and compared his new career to his former profession, saying: "It's challenging and, like football, it's very much a team effort – you hardly ever solve a crime on your own." De Zeeuw has not completely hung up his boots, though: he represents the Dutch national police side, who have qualified for the USPE European Police Championships in Prague this summer. "I'm lacking a bit of speed and touch, but the competitive edge is still there," he said.

Last updated: 30/04/14 12.35CET

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