Copa Libertadores Review: Gabigol leads Flamengo into semis, Boca earn possible River rematch

By Sports Desk August 28, 2019

Flamengo and Boca Juniors reached the Copa Libertadores semi-finals as Internacional and LDU Quito bowed out on Wednesday.

Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa scored to earn Flamengo a 1-1 draw away to Brazilian rivals Internacional and a 3-1 victory on aggregate.

Flamengo – led by Jorge Jesus and boasting former Atletico Madrid star Filipe Luis – carried a 2-0 lead into the return leg in Porto Alegre.

Internacional gave themselves hope just past the hour-mark when Rodrigo Lindoso glanced a header beyond Flamengo goalkeeper Diego Alves.

Gabigol – tipped to make his loan deal from Serie A giants Inter permanent – extinguished Internacional's chances with five minutes remaining after side-footing into an empty net, having received a simple pass from first-leg hero Bruno Henrique.

Flamengo, who claimed their one and only Libertadores title in 1981, will meet Gremio in the final four as they return to the semis for the first time in 35 years.

Meanwhile, Boca reached the semi-finals for the second successive year following their 0-0 draw at home to Antonio Valencia's LDU Quito midweek.

There were no goals scored in Buenos Aires but Boca still progressed 3-0 on aggregate after their comprehensive victory last week.

Daniele De Rossi came off the bench with 10 minutes remaining as six-time champions and last season's runners-up Boca await holders River Plate or Cerro Porteno in the semis.

Related items

  • Solskjaer expects Sanchez to return to Man Utd and 'prove us all wrong' Solskjaer expects Sanchez to return to Man Utd and 'prove us all wrong'

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed the much-maligned Alexis Sanchez to return to Manchester United at the end of the season after his loan at Inter and "prove us all wrong".

    Sanchez was sent to Inter at the start of the season after a woeful first 18 months at Old Trafford, as he scored just three Premier League goals in 32 matches.

    The Chile international had arrived to much fanfare from Arsenal in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January 2018, but he failed to meet expectations.

    He is yet to make much of an impact at Inter either, making just five Serie A appearances – though injuries have played a part.

    Reports had suggested Inter players were keen on Sanchez staying regardless, but Solskjaer is seemingly expecting the forward to return to Old Trafford at the end of the season, as he appeared resigned to not bringing in any reinforcements this month.

    After being asked about United's hopes of signing reported target Bruno Fernandes, Solskjaer – who was speaking ahead of the EFL Cup semi-final second leg with Manchester City – said: "I haven't got any updates for you on transfers, I think it was a waste [of a question].

    "I gave you the option. I haven't got anything to say now, my mind is on the game.

    "We've got players here that we're working hard to get back as well, and if there is something out there, then the club is pursuing that and it's difficult.

    "I can't remember how many good ones [signings] we've brought in with good deals in January.

    "Henrik [Larsson] was good, Nemanja [Vidic] and Patrice [Evra], I'm talking about it's hard, very hard, the clubs don't want to lose their best players.

    "And then Alexis will come back in the summer and will prove us all wrong."

    One player heavily linked with leaving the club is Marcos Rojo, who had emerged as a target for his former team Estudiantes in Argentina – their sporting director and one-time United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron previously confirming the interest.

    But Solskjaer has no plans to part with the Argentina international.

    "I wouldn't think so," was Solskjaer's response when asked if Rojo could leave this month. "Marcos has been injured and is working to get back and get fit again."

  • PSV allow Bergwijn to travel to England to complete prospective Spurs move PSV allow Bergwijn to travel to England to complete prospective Spurs move

    Steven Bergwijn has been granted permission by PSV to travel to England as a prospective move to Tottenham nears completion.

    The 22-year-old winger has been heavily linked with Spurs and, following reports of the two clubs agreeing a £27million (€32m) fee, PSV have allowed Bergwijn to finalise his departure.

    A club statement, also confirming the impending exit of apparent Cagliari target Gaston Pereiro, read: "Steven Bergwijn and Gaston Pereiro are not training with PSV on Tuesday morning.

    "Bergwijn has received permission from PSV to travel to England with a view to an upcoming transfer. Pereiro stays outside group training pending the completion of a transfer."

    Bergwijn, a Netherlands international, has been a revelation for the Eredivisie side over the past three seasons, scoring 27 league goals and setting up another 29.

    He missed Sunday's 1-1 draw at home to Twente following reports he was refusing to play, but he denied those claims soon after, insisting caretaker boss Ernest Faber had given him permission.

    Nevertheless, his absence seemed to be the beginning of the end given the accompanying media reports of Spurs' interest.

    Bergwijn's arrival could pave the way for Erik Lamela to leave, with speculation suggesting the club are willing to offer him to Milan as part of the deal to sign Krzysztof Piatek from the faltering Serie A giants.

  • Ben Arfa signs short-term deal with Real Valladolid Ben Arfa signs short-term deal with Real Valladolid

    Hatem Ben Arfa finally has a new club after agreeing a short-term deal with LaLiga side Real Valladolid.

    Ben Arfa, 32, had been a free agent since leaving Rennes at the end of last season and has moved to Estadio Jose Zorrilla for the remainder of 2019-20.

    A gifted attacking midfielder, Ben Arfa enjoyed good spells with Nice and Rennes either side of a frustrating period at Paris Saint-Germain from 2016 to 2018.

    In 26 Ligue 1 appearances with Rennes last term, the France international – capped 15 times by his country – scored seven goals and set up another two.

    A fine dribbler and creative force, Ben Arfa will be tasked with helping Valladolid avoid relegation, with Sergio's men 16th in LaLiga, five points clear of the bottom three.

    Providing he proves his fitness, he could make his debut at Real Mallorca on Saturday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.