By DAN KARELL
Juventus’ path to glory now goes through France.
The Italian side were drawn in the UEFA Europa League quarterfinal round on Friday with former French champions Lyon, with the two legs taking place on April 3 and April 10. Amazingly, the two clubs have never played each other in an official European competition
U.S. Men’s National Team striker Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar face a tough road after being drawn against SL Benfica. FC Basel face Valencia, and FC Porto meet Sevilla in the other quarterfinals.
Andrea Pirlo’s superb free kick proved the difference for Juventus on Thursday in a 1-0 (2-1 on aggregate) victory over Fiorentina. Juventus are hoping to make it to the final, where they’ll get to play in their home stadium. Juventus Stadium was selected to host the Europa League final in 2012.
Here are some more stories to kick off your weekend:
ROMA INTERESTED IN ACQUIRING JOVETIC
With AS Roma likely to be in the UEFA Champions League next season, the club are already looking to bolster their attacking options.
The latest report from Gazzetta Dello Sport has AS Roma linked with signing Manchester City forward Stevan Jovetic this summer, who has played as the fourth-string forward this season since moving last summer. Jovetic, a Serbian international, has the same agent as current Roma midfielder and Jovetic’s international teammate Adem Ljajic.
Jovetic wouldn’t be easy to acquire though. According to the report in Gazzetta, he’s earning a €4 million per year salary and was acquired by Man City from Fiorentina last season for around £22-24 million.
CRUZEIRO HELD AT HOME, LANUS TOP DEPORTIVO CALI
Defending Brazilian league champions Cruzeiro suffered a massive collapse at home on Thursday night in Copa Libertadores action.
Holding a two-goal lead in the second half, Cruzeiro allowed two goals in the final 24 minutes of the match, drawing with Defensor Sporting of Uruguay, 2-2. Everton Ribeiro and former Arsenal and Real Madrid man Julio Baptista gave the home team a 2-0 lead, but goals from Felipe Gedoz in the 66th minute and Emilio Zeballos in the third minute of stoppage time finished off the incredible Defensor comeback.
In Argentina, two goals inside the first five minutes helped Lanus top Deportivo Cali, 2-0, in Buenos Aires. Maximiliano Velasquez set up the opener scored by Jorge Pereyra Diaz in the second minute before Velasquez scored himself three minutes later on an absolute blast from outside the box.
Elsewhere in South America, Brazil’s Atletico Paranaense downed Peruvian side Universitario, 3-0, Cerro Porteño of Paraguay topped Chilean club O’Higgins, 2-1, and Chile’s Union Española defeated Argentina club San Lorenzo, 1-0.
Jose Mourinho is expected to appeal his charge of improper conduct from the FA. (REPORT)
Brazil captain of the 1958 World Cup winning side Bellini passed away on Friday at the age of 83. (REPORT)
Reports in Spain state that it’s unlikely for Barcelona to be fined after an investigation into Neymar’s transfer. (REPORT)
Germany will face Argentina in a friendly match on Sep. 3 in Dusseldorf. (REPORT)
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants the club to give Jon Flanagan a new contract. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you think Juventus could progress against Lyon? Think that Jovetic would be a good signing for Roma?
Share your thoughts below.