English clubs to fight for UEFA Europa League final

               By Fatih Erel</p>    <p>ISTANBUL (AA) - The heavyweights of English football Chelsea and Arsenal will sweat for UEFA Europa League final on Thursday with victory over their opponents in semifinal first leg matches on hand.</p>    <p>Chelsea will take on Germany's Eintracht Frankfurt at home in the second leg of UEFA Europa League semifinals after drawing 1-1 in the first leg match. </p>    <p>In the other semifinal match, Arsenal will face Spain's Valencia in an away match.</p>    <p>Arsenal toppled Valencia 3-1 on Thursday in the first leg, seizing a big advantage ahead of the second leg match.</p>    <p>If Arsenal and Chelsea reached the final, the two English clubs would meet in the final.

Liverpool stun Barcelona to make Champions League final

            By Can Erozden</p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - English football club Liverpool came back from a three-goal deficit to beat Spanish powerhouse Barcelona 4-0 Tuesday and qualified for the UEFA Champions League final.</p>  <p>Liverpool was victorious thanks to a stellar performance at home in Anfield Stadium.</p>  <p>The team’s Belgian striker Divock Origi and Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum scored two goals each against Barcelona.</p>  <p>Barcelona wasted a big advantage as the Spanish giants had toppled Liverpool 3-0 last week in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal at the Nou Camp stadium.</p>  <p>Liverpool has advanced to the final to be held on June 1 in Madrid and are awaiting their opponents.</p>  <p>They will face Dutch club Ajax or England's Tottenham Hotspur at Wanda Metropolitano stadium.</p>  <p>Ajax beat Tottenham 1-0 last week in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals.</p>  <p>The second leg will be played on May 8 in Amsterdam.

Liverpool to face Barca in Champions League

By Fatih Erel

ISTANBUL (AA) – Liverpool will take on Barcelona in the second-leg of UEFA Champions League semifinals on Tuesday after losing 3-0 in the first-leg match.

UEFA on Sunday selected Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir for Liverpool-Barcelona match. The second leg of the semifinal match will be played in Liverpool's Anfield Road Stadium.

Spanish football giants Barcelona toppled English opponents Liverpool 3-0 last Wednesday in the first leg, seizing a big advantage going into next week’s second leg.

In the other semifinal match, the Netherlands' Ajax will face England's Tottenham on Wednesday.

Ajax beat Tottenham 1-0 in an away match in the first-leg.

Galatasaray beat Besiktas to top Turkish league

By Fatih Erel

ISTANBUL (AA) – Istanbul football giants Galatasaray defeated Besiktas 2-0 in a derby match and now lead the Turkish top-tier league.

In an Istanbul derby match at home on Sunday, Galatasaray, the Lions defeated their rival Besiktas, the Black Eagles in the title race to lead the league after 22 weeks and before the last three weeks in the season.

In the first half, the Lions' Henry Onyekuru scored the first goal at 44th minute. The first half ended 1-0.

Galatasaray increased the lead to 2-0 at 54th minute by Fernando and the match ended with this score.

Before the match, Medipol Basaksehir were at top while Galatasaray was at second place and Besiktas at third spot.

Basaksehir drew Demir Grup Sivasspor 0-0 in an away match on Friday in the opening game of Week 31 in Turkey's Spor Toto Super Lig.

Three Istanbul clubs — Basaksehir, Galatasaray, Besiktas — are still standing in Turkish football league title race.

It is one of the closest title races in the Turkish football league, as Galatasaray have 63 points followed by Basaksehir with same points and Besiktas with 59.

Before the match, the teams carried posters to pay tribute to Czech striker of Turkish football club Alanyaspor Josef Sural, 28, who died in a road accident in the Mediterranean province of Antalya on Monday.

Turkey's Cakir to referee Liverpool-Barcelona match

By Fatih Erel

ISTANBUL (AA) – UEFA on Sunday selected Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir for Tuesday's match between Liverpool and Barcelona in the Champions League Semifinal.

The second leg of the semifinal match will be played in Liverpool's Anfield Road Stadium.

Assisting referees for the match will be Bahattin Duran and Tarik Ongun, with Portugal's Artur Soares Dias serving as fourth referee and Germany's Felix Zwayer and Sascha Stegemann doing the video assistant referees duties.

Spanish football giants Barcelona toppled English opponents Liverpool 3-0 last Wednesday in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals, seizing a big advantage going into next week’s second leg.

Since 2010, Cakir has officiated in 44 matches in the UEFA Champions League, including one final and six semifinals.

Football: Week 31 in Turkish league to kick off Friday

By Fatih Erel

ISTANBUL (AA) – Leaders Medipol Basaksehir will face Demir Grup Sivasspor in an away match on Friday in the opening game of the Week 31 in Turkey's Spor Toto Super Lig.

Despite losing 10 points in their last 5 games, Basaksehir remain at top of the league, followed by Galatasaray and Besiktas.

At home, Galatasaray will take on Besiktas in the Istanbul derby Sunday.

Basaksehir has 62 points, followed by Galatasaray with 60 points and Besiktas with 59 points.

Fenerbahce will play against Kasimpasa at home in Istanbul on Saturday. The struggling Yellow Canaries have been suffering the worst season in their history, with only seven wins in 29 outings. Fenerbahce are now at the 14th place with 34 points, 28 points away from the top spot.

Friday:

Demir Grup Sivasspor – Medipol Basaksehir at 1830GMT

Saturday:

MKE Ankaragucu – Caykur Rizespor at 1400GMT

B.B. Erzurumspor – Bursaspor at 1400GMT

Kasimpasa – Fenerbahce at 1700GMT

Sunday:

Akhisarspor – Evkur Yeni Malatyaspor at 1400GMT

Goztepe – Antalyaspor at 1400GMT

Galatasaray – Besiktas at 1700GMT

Monday:

Aytemiz Alanyaspor – Atiker Konyaspor at 1800GMT

Trabzonspor – Istikbal Mobilya Kayserispor at 1800GMT

Barcelona beat Liverpool to eye Champions League final

            By Can Erozden</p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - Spanish football giants Barcelona toppled English opponents Liverpool 3-0 late Wednesday in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals, seizing a big advantage going into next week’s second leg.</p>  <p>Barcelona clinched the home victory as the team’s superstars Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored at the Nou Camp stadium.</p>  <p>Finding Liverpool’s net twice, Messi scored his 600th goal for Barcelona.</p>  <p>The veteran forward is on fire in the Champions League, scoring 12 goals this season.</p>  <p>The second leg will be held in Liverpool's Anfield Stadium on May 7.</p>  <p>The victorious side of this pairing will face Dutch club Ajax or England's Tottenham Hotspur in the 2019 final to be held at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on June 1.</p>  <p>On Tuesday, Ajax beat Tottenham 1-0 in London as the first leg of the Champions League semifinals got underway.

Football: Ajax beat Tottenham in Champions League match

            By Huseyin Burak Demirer

ANKARA (AA) – Dutch club Ajax beat English Tottenham 1-0 Tuesday as the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals got underway.

Midfielder Van de Beek gave Ajax a lead in the 15th minute.

Ajax aimed for a second goal in the second half but the Tottenham goalkeeper blocked it in the 78th minute.

The second-leg match will be played on May 8 in Amsterdam.

  • Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

PROFILE – Josef Sural: Young footballer victim of road accident

             By Beyza Binnur Donmez and Emre Dogan</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - Czech striker of Turkish football club Alanyaspor Josef Sural, 28, died in a road accident in the Mediterranean province of Antalya on Monday.</p>    <p>The accident happened when a minibus carrying players of Alanyaspor was returning home from an away game with Kayserispor in the central Kayseri province.</p>    <p>Sural succumbed to his injuries in a hospital, leaving behind a wife and two children, the youngest of whom was born in February.</p>    <p>The accident also injured six other footballers whom were rushed to a hospital in Antalya.</p>    <p> </p>  <p>- Career

The Czech striker was born on May 30, 1990 in the Czech Republic and his football career started in a national club Zbrojovka Brno in 2008, where he played 37 matches and scored two goals.

Sural played most of his career with Slovan Liberec in the Czech Republic during 2011-2016 seasons and scored 30 goals in 113 games. He also won a league championship with the team.

In 2016-2019, the late footballer scored 20 goals in 67 matches for Sparta Prague — one of the well-established clubs in the Czech Republic.

He also played against Turkish national team in the 2016 European Football Championship, where his team was defeated 2-0 in group stage.

Joining Alanyaspor on Jan. 12, Sural took the field in 11 matches and scored his only goal against Kasimpasa in the 23rd week of Turkish Super League.