Juventus in Europa box seat, Liverpool crash 1-0 at Lille

Juventus in Europa box seat, Liverpool crash 1-0 at Lille

Juventus’ David Trezeguet celebrates after scoring a third goal against Fulham during their Europa League last-16 first leg match at the Olympic stadium in Turin on Thursday. Juventus won 3-1. Alessandro Garofalo / REUTERS

PARIS – Juventus assumed command of their Europa League last-16 tie against Fulham with a 3-1 first-leg win on Thursday, after beleaguered English giants Liverpool were beaten at Lille.

Juve took an early lead in Turin when center-back Nicola Legrottaglie headed home from a ninth-minute corner before rightback Jonathan Zebina extended their advantage with a thunderous 25-yard effort.

Lille followed compatriots Lyon’s example, after Claude Puel’s side stunned Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday, by consigning Liverpool to a 1-0 defeat at the Stadium Lille-Metropole.

Liverpool, a disappointing sixth in the Premier League after losing 1-0 to Wigan on Monday, were short of fluency on an uneven playing surface and sank to defeat when Eden Hazard’s 84th-minute freekick drifted straight in from wide on the left-hand flank.

Benitez’s Lille counterpart, Rudi Garcia, said his team still had work to do.

“Everyone thought we were out when the draw was made. Now, although nothing has been decided, it’s a good result for us,” he said.

“We have to score over there. The first leg should give us confidence and show us that we’re capable of competing with such a big team.”

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