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Lima puts Benfica on top against Juventus

Published: Thursday 24 April 2014, 23.14CET
SL Benfica 2-1 Juventus
Substitute Lima's vicious late strike regained the initiative for the Eagles after Carlos Tévez cancelled out Ezequiel Garay's early header.
by Pedro Gonçalves
from Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica

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Published: Thursday 24 April 2014, 23.14CET

Lima puts Benfica on top against Juventus

SL Benfica 2-1 Juventus
Substitute Lima's vicious late strike regained the initiative for the Eagles after Carlos Tévez cancelled out Ezequiel Garay's early header.

Lima regained the initiative for SL Benfica with a fearsome strike in the 84th minute after Juventus had dominated much of the sides' UEFA Europa League semi-final opener.

Trailing to Ezequiel Garay's header after just two minutes, the Italian champions slowly worked their way back into contention, and were rewarded midway through the second half when Carlos Tévez scored his first goal in UEFA competition in over five years. However, Lima provided the sting in the tail, leaving Jorge Jesus's side knowing that a clean sheet in Turin will put them in the final for a second season in succession.

The Eagles seized the initiative from the off and were soon in front, Miralem Sulejmani's corner from the left picking out Garay, whose downward header brushed Gianluigi Buffon's fingertips on the way into the net. Serbia playmaker Sulejmani then shot wide after a ball from compatriot Lazar Marković, with Benfica's tactic of using Rodrigo and Enzo Pérez to neutralise the threat of Andrea Pirlo initially very successful.

Antonio Conte's men slowly found their feet, though, the energetic Tévez forcing Benfica's midfield to drop deeper, though Luisão and Garay did well to prevent the Argentinian, Mirko Vučinić and Paul Pogba from getting a sight of goal.

The pressure only intensified after the interval. Artur had to be alert to his former AS Roma team-mate Vučinić after Pirlo floated a dangerous ball into the box, and made a fine diving save from Pogba after Claudio Marchisio had compelled him to come off his line. Eventually, Benfica buckled. Kwadwo Asamoah got free on the left and cut the ball back for Tévez, who surged through the Benfica defence and rolled a tidy shot past Artur.

Somewhat surprisingly given the run of play, Benfica responded, Lima's bullet shot from the edge of the box capping a swift sally up the right. Marković then put a shot wide from a decent position, before Artur sprang to his side's defence once more, blocking a powerful Marchisio shot in added time.

Last updated: 01/05/14 23.21CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000473/match=2012677/postmatch/report/index.html#lima+lifts+benfica

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