Villa beats Liverpool to secure FA Cup final against Arsenal
20 April 2015, 09:39
London There will be a first in world soccer's oldest competition next month — an FA Cup final contested by two American-owned clubs.
Randy Lerner's Aston Villa beat Liverpool on Sunday to book a return trip to Wembley for the showpiece match against Stan Kroenke's Arsenal.
For Liverpool, whose principal owner is Boston-based John Henry, the semifinal loss was another low point in a season that will end trophyless. The final Champions League qualification spot appears increasingly unobtainable, with Manchester City consolidating fourth place with a victory over West Ham on Sunday.
Here's a look at the action from Europe's main leagues on Sunday:
There will be no perfect ending at Wembley for Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. Villa's 2-1 victory means the Los Angeles-bound midfielder won't have a chance to end his Liverpool career with a trophy on his 35th birthday in the May 30 FA Cup final.
Philippe Coutinho put Liverpool ahead 30 minutes into the semifinal. But in-form striker Christian Benteke leveled for Villa six minutes later after a cutback from captain Fabian Delph.
Villa took the lead at the start of the second half when Delph started and finished a swift move that involved smart passes from Benteke and the impressive Jack Grealish.
In the Premier League, defending champion Man City ended a two-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory over West Ham.
West Ham's James Collins accidentally lobbed his own goalkeeper, Adrian, after an attempted interception went wrong. The second goal was slicker with Sergio Aguero exchanging passes with Jesus Navas before netting his 20th league goal of the season.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane joined Aguero at the top of the league scoring leaderboard by completing a 3-1 victory for his sixth-placed team at Newcastle. The 21-year-old Kane is the first Tottenham player since Gary Lineker in 1992 to reach 30 goals in all competitions in one season.
Roma failed to make the most of Lazio's defeat as it was held 1-1 at home by relegation-threatened Atalanta in Serie A.
Roma only moved level on points with second-placed city rival Lazio, while Inter Milan drew 0-0 against AC Milan in a heated derby match.
Francesco Totti gave Roma the lead from the spot in the third minute, but Atalanta leveled with a penalty of its own and Roma couldn't convert its pressure into genuine scoring opportunities.
Napoli gave itself hope of sneaking into the final Champions League place by cruising to a 3-0 win at Cagliari later to close the gap to Roma to five points.
The two Milan teams remained mired in mid-table after an entertaining match which saw three goals disallowed and a strong penalty claim by Inter denied.
Franco di Santo's late penalty earned Werder Bremen a 1-0 victory that left Hamburger SV last in the Bundesliga and spoiled the start of Bruno Labaddia's second reign as Hamburg coach.
Labbadia is the fourth coach of the season at Hamburg, which is four points from safety after its fifth consecutive loss.
Kevin de Bruyne's equalizer gave Wolfsburg a 1-1 draw against Schalke in the late game.
Lyon reclaimed top spot on goal difference from Paris Saint-Germain after a 2-2 draw with Saint-Etienne, although it has played a game more than the defending champion.
Lyon took an early lead through Clinton N'Jie's, but couldn't hold on after defender Lindsay Rose received a straight red card for handling in the penalty area in the 28th minute. Max Gradel leveled from the penalty spot for Saint Etienne and Romain Hamouma put the visitors in front before halftime, but Christophe Jallet headed Lyon level after the break.
Diego Mainz scored for both his Granada team and Sevilla in a 1-1 draw that helped neither team.
Mainz's first-half header put Granada in front, but after the break the defender inadvertently deflected Jose Antonio Reyes' cross into his own net.
Granada was left in second-to-last place, three points from safety with six games left. Sevilla missed a chance to pull level with fourth-place Valencia, which it trails by two points in their fight for the last Champions League berth.
Also, Villarreal was held to a 0-0 draw by last-place Cordoba, Celta Vigo won 1-0 at Eibar and Rayo Vallecano beat Almeria 2-0.