Juventus kept its dreams of a domestic and European double alive with a 2-1 Europa League victory over Olympique Lyonnais on Thursday.
After a 1-0 victory in the quarterfinal first leg in France last week, the Turin giants secured a 3-1 aggregate victory to progress to the last four of a European competition for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign.
Inspirational midfielder Andrea Pirlo struck the opening goal after four minutes with an exquisite free kick from just outside the penalty area, but the visitors leveled when Jimmy Briand placed a header beyond Gianluigi Buffon 14 minutes later.
The Italian champions were not to be denied, though, and sealed victory on the night thanks to a long-range Claudio Marchisio strike that took a wicked deflection off Samuel Umtiti and gave goalkeeper Anthony Lopes no chance.
The victory extends Juve's unbeaten home record to over a calendar year, with its last defeat at the Juventus Stadium against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last April.
Leading scorer Carlos Tevez, who has been nursing a thigh injury but was passed fit, missed a third-minute effort as Antonio Conte's side wasted no time in stamping its authority on the game.
Just a minute later Corentin Tolisso ended a typical bustling run from the Argentina striker with a foul on the edge of the penalty area. The midfielder was punished when Pirlo fired a trademark free kick into the back of the net.
Juve's lead only lasted quarter of an hour, though, as Briand leveled with a close-range header.
From a quickly taken corner Arnold Mvuemba lifted a high ball to the back post, where Briand shrugged off a challenge from Marchisio and placed his header out of Buffon's reach.
A lackluster start to the second half saw the hosts control possession without threatening the Lyon goal.
Mvuemba tested Buffon with a free kick in the 67th minute, but Lyon otherwise struggled to fashion goalscoring opportunities in the second half and a minute later, the French side fell further behind in the tie.
The Lyon defense gave Marchisio far too much room 25 yards from goal, and he made them pay by unleashing a strike towards goal. Lopes looked to have it covered until the ball struck Umtiti and flew in the opposite direction and into the net.
Substitute Sebastian Giovinco wasted an opportunity to extend the hosts' lead further, but that never looked like being costly.
Conte's men now progress to the semifinals and continue to dream of reaching the final, which will be held in their own stadium next month.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Andrea Pirlo
- Gianluigi Buffon
- Jimmy Briand
- Claudio Marchisio
- Europa League