Europa League: Lion roars in Lisbon, Atlético strong
Sporting CP turned the game around and take a 2-1 lead to Bilbao - the best of a number of bad options. Atlético take a two-goal lead to Valencia, having won 4-2 with two goals from Falcao. Next week the Champions and Europa Leagues semi-finals have their second legs.
Europa League Semi-Finals First Leg: Thu 19 April Atl Madrid 4 Valencia 2 Falcao 18, 78 Jonas 45+3 Miranda 49 R. Costa 90+4 Adrián López 54 Atlético took charge early on, but Valencia also kept Courteois busy in the home team's goalmouth. Falcao broke the deadlock with a header after a corner on 18' after which Valencia came increasingly into the game, culminating in Jonas' equaliser in stoppage time, also from a corner and also a header. Another headed goal came on 49' for the home team through Miranda from a perfect Diego cross.
3-1 five minutes later, Adrián López roared through the Valencia defence and beat Diego Alves in the Valencia goal with a deft touch. Valencia was by no means down and out and came back with several good attacking moves, but the home side went 4-1 up when Falcao scored his second on 78', beating two defenders and scoring with a breathtaking shot from 30 metres out. Again, Valencia pulled one back from a corner, Ricardo Costa converting on 90+4'. Sporting 2 Athletic Bilbao 1 Insúa 76 Aurtenetxe 54 Capel 80 The first half belonged to Sporting, but without goals... It was the visitors who broke the deadlock nine minutes into the second half with a powerful volley from Bilbao's Jon Aurtenetxe. Shaken, the lion's pride hurt at home, Sporting Clube de Portugal then exploded into action.
Argentine player Emiliano Insúa (header) and Spaniard Diego Capel (spectacular long-range drive) turned the game around and enable Sporting to take a lead to Bilbao, albeit a most slender one.
Second Leg: Thu 26 Apr 2012
Athletic Bilbao v Sporting 20:05
Valencia v. Atlético Madrid 20.05
Champions League Semi-Finals
The second semi-final of the Champions League 2012 produced a win for Chelsea FC, which provided team manager Di Matteo with the perfect match he had asked for. Didier Drogba got the only goal of the game in the dying seconds of the first half. Barcelona, for once, failed to score.
Barça came out of the tunnel looking for the equaliser. First Adriano, then Sánchez, then Puyol...Pedro hit the post into added time but Chelsea survived and go to Spain one goal ahead. Tue 17 Apr 2012 - Champions League Semi-Final Bayern Munich 2 Real Madrid 1 17 Ribéry 53 Ozil 90 Mário Gomez Second Leg: Wed 25 Apr 2012 Real Madrid v Bayern Munich Bayern Munich beat Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final in Germany. Bayern scored in the first half through Ribéry; Ozil equalised for Mourinho's team in the second half and in the closing minutes, Gomez scored Bayern's second. But is one goal enough to take th the cauldron of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium? The final of the Champions League will be at Bayern's Stadium. But will Bayern be playing? Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey Pravda.Ru .