UEFA Europa League Round-Up: Chelsea, Basel, Benfica and Fenerbahce advance to Semi-Finals

FC Basel Celebrate (Flickr Commons)

FC Basel Celebrate (Flickr Commons)

Chelsea FC, FC Basel 1893, SL Benfica and Fenerbahçe SK advance to the Semifinals as they cruise past their opponents.

The UEFA Europa League Quarterfinals are over! This round had drama in almost every game. Two teams already know what it is to achieve this late stage of the competition, Chelsea FC and SL Benfica. The debutants FC Basel 1893 and Fenerbahçe SK never played a European Semifinal in their history. The road to Amsterdam Arena has begun a long time ago, but now the fog is going away and the final game is closer than ever (15th May).

FC Basel 1893 players celebrate a historic run to the Semifinal

FC Rubin Kazan 3-2 Chelsea FC

(Marcano 51´, Gokdeniz 62´and Natcho 75´pen.; Torres 5´and Moses 55´)

(4-5 agg)

After a 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, the Blues had open road to the Semifinals. Everyone knows how tenacious Rubin Kazan can be at home, showing that they can hold the best teams in Europe (Internazionale. FC Barcelona). The crowd but mainly the cold, plays an important role when Rubin Kazan faces a Champions League or Europa League game. Chelsea FC lost the game, that’s for sure, but the opening goal by Torres (5′) tranquilized the team, maybe too much. Rubin Kazan would have to score 5 goals (ended up 2 short).

According to UEFA.COM, Chelsea FC may be on a historic run. Only three teams have won all three of UEFA’s major club competitions, the Champions League, Europa League and the Super Cup. Chelsea FC could join juventus, AFC Ajax and FC Bayern München if they get to win the trophy.

S.S.Lazio 1-1 Fenerbahçe FK

(Lulic 60´; Erkin 73´)

(agg 1-3)

Despite  the 13 minutes between the 1-0 and the tie, Fenerbahçe  never had the Semis in danger. In that period, Lazio could have tied the game, but  Volkan kept his net safe. The inefficiency is crucial in home and away games,Vladimir Petkovic (Lazio’s coach) can say it. Out of 14 attempts in the game, 11 belonged to the Italians. The only shot on target by the Turkish side was goal. Talk about efficifency.

FC Basel 1893  2-2  Tottenham (Salah 27´and Dragovic 49´; Dempsey 23´and 82´)

(4-4 agg)

Blood, sweat and tears. It was a game full of drama. Basel, against a team without Gareth Bale, did not showed any mercy. The opening by Clint Dempsey was quickly vanished by an equalizer by Salah. With this result the Spurs were out of the competition. The young André Villas-Boas wasn’t pleased when FC Basel 1893 had the comeback by Dragovic. 2-1 and the Spurs were in a very uncomfortable position. Dempsey tied the game to go to overtime (Tottenham with 10 men, Vertonghen saw the red card). The penalty lottery was a disaster to Tottenham as they only managed to score once, 4-1 in the penalty shootout.

Newcastle United FC 1-1 SL Benfica

(Papiss Cissé 71´; Salvio 90´+2)

(agg 2-4)

SL Benfica continues their impressive run of 36th without a loss as they knockout the Magpies. It was a night of tango, with Salvio, Nicolas Gaitán and Enzo Pérez, to lead SL Benfica the second Semifinals in three years. There’s no much story in the first half, Lima could have scored in an amazing heel kick at the beginning. Benfica had the opportunity to end the game at the first half (Gaitán had two big chances). In the second half, Alan Pardew launched Ameobi and Ben Harfa, Newcastle upgraded their firepower. Cissé gave hope to the fans with the opener (after scoring twice in offside) before Salvio’s late goal.

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