Ahead of the UEFA Europa League semi-final first legs on 25 April, UEFA.com casts its eye over the competition's six previous last-four ties as well as the route taken by Chelsea FC, FC Basel 1893, Fenerbahçe SK and SL Benfica to reach this stage.
• All four semi-finalists began their 2012/13 European campaigns in the UEFA Champions League – Basel in the second qualifying round, Fenerbahçe in the third qualifying round and holders Chelsea and Benfica in the group stage.
• Chelsea are the only one of the four teams making their UEFA Europa League debut this season. The other three were all involved in the inaugural competition in 2009/10 and again in 2010/11.
• Benfica are the sole member of the quartet to have contested the UEFA Europa League semi-finals before, losing to SC Braga in 2010/11. Their first-leg encounter against Fenerbahçe will be their 21st match in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase – a tournament record.
• All four sides have unbeaten records to protect in the semi-finals. Benfica have yet to lose home and away in their six matches this term, Fenerbahçe are undefeated in their six away games (one shy of the competition record), and neither Basel nor Chelsea have been beaten at home (in six and three matches respectively).
• The 12 previous semi-final fixtures have yielded ten home victories, one draw and one away success. Just one club out of six, Hamburger SV, failed to win the home first leg, drawing 0-0 with Fulham FC in 2009/10.
• The six preceding semi-final ties show no advantage in playing at home first or second, with aggregate victories being shared three apiece – one each per season. However, the three teams that secured their qualification away from home – Club Atlético de Madrid in 2009/10, FC Porto in 2010/11 and Atlético again in 2011/12 – all went on to win the final.
• Thirty-six goals have been scored in the 12 semi-final matches, at an average of three a game. Twelve have come in the first half, 22 in the second and two in extra time.
• No fewer than five of the six sides that have progressed to the showpiece fell behind at one stage or another in their semi-final, the only exception being Atlético against Valencia CF in 2011/12.
• The only tie to have stretched beyond the regular 180 minutes is the Liverpool FC-Atlético meeting of 2009/10, which the Spanish outfit won on the away goals rule.
• Two semi-final ties have been decided on away goals, the other being the all-Portuguese affair between Braga and Benfica in 2010/11.
• Both of the ties won on away goals ended 2-2; that is the only aggregate score to have been achieved twice – the others being 2-1, 7-4, 4-3 and 5-2.
• Seven of the 36 semi-final goals have been registered by one player – Falcao, who hit five for Porto against Villarreal CF in 2010/11 and two for Atlético versus Valencia in 2011/12.
• There have been three other multiple goalscorers in the semi-finals, each of them netting once at home, once away – Diego Forlán for Atlético in 2009/10, Cani for Villarreal in 2010/11 and Adrián López for Atlético in 2011/12. As with Falcao, all are native Spanish speakers. Cani was the only one of the quartet to open the scoring in both legs but also the only one whose goals were in vain.
• Just two penalties have been scored in the semi-finals – both in the same 2010/11 tie, with Falcao registering for Porto and Giuseppe Rossi for Villarreal.
• No team have ever struck more than five goals in a UEFA Europa League match, either in the group stage or in the knockout phase.
• Rafael Benítez, of Chelsea, stands alone among the four coaches in having won a major European trophy, leading Valencia to the 2004 UEFA Cup and Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League a year later.
• Two players participating in this season's semi-finals have scored at this juncture of the competition before – Chelsea's Yossi Benayoun for Liverpool in 2009/10 and Benfica's Óscar Cardozo for the Lisbon club in 2010/11.
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