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Stamford Bridge holds key to Chelsea destiny

Published: Wednesday 28 March 2012, 9.00CET
Chelsea will look for a fifth consecutive UEFA Champions League win at Stamford Bridge when they welcome SL Benfica to London after a positive first-leg result in Portugal.

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Published: Wednesday 28 March 2012, 9.00CET

Stamford Bridge holds key to Chelsea destiny

Chelsea will look for a fifth consecutive UEFA Champions League win at Stamford Bridge when they welcome SL Benfica to London after a positive first-leg result in Portugal.

Chelsea FC step up their pursuit of a sixth UEFA Champions League semi-final appearance in nine years when they welcome SL Benfica to Stamford Bridge.

• The London club's 100% winning record at home in this season's competition will give them reason to believe, though Jorge Jesus's Benfica should not be short on confidence either as they chase their first European Cup semi-final for more than 20 years – indeed they have already held Manchester United FC on English soil this term.

• A draw would not be enough for Benfica this time, however, after Salomon Kalou's goal gave Chelsea a 1-0 first-leg win in Lisbon on 27 March.

Match background
• Chelsea have made Stamford Bridge something of a fortress on UEFA Champions League nights this term. With their 4-1 comeback win against SSC Napoli in the last round, the London club have now recorded four straight victories and scored 14 goals with just one conceded.

• Including last season, Chelsea have suffered just one defeat, against Manchester United in the 2010/11 quarter-finals, in their last nine home fixtures in Europe.

• Benfica, for their part, have showed a stubborn streak on their European travels this season, winning two and drawing three of their six games from the third qualifying round onwards. The only defeat came at FC Zenit St Petersburg in the round of 16 first leg.

• Benfica have already got the better of one Premier League side in this campaign, having earned two draws with Manchester United as they finished top of their group with the English champions down in third place.

• The 2-2 result that Benfica earned at Old Trafford in November was their first draw in England, where their record away to English opposition now reads W3 D1 L9. The Lisbon club also lost two European Champion Clubs' Cup finals on English soil, suffering Wembley defeats by AC Milan in 1963 and United in 1968.

• Benfica have appeared in 15 European Cup quarter-finals, winning eight and losing seven – including all three against English sides. They also featured in the last-eight group stage in 1991/92.

• Benfica reached the final on the last two occasions they survived this hurdle – in 1990 and 1988.

• Two-time winners Benfica may have a greater European pedigree, but Chelsea have enjoyed more success in the UEFA Champions League in recent times – this is their eighth quarter-final appearance in the last 13 seasons, and they have won five of the previous seven.

• Chelsea's history against Portuguese opposition comprises six matches against FC Porto in the past decade, with three wins posted against the Dragons at Stamford Bridge.

• In their only previous knockout tie with a Portuguese club, a goal by Raul Meireles for Porto could not prevent his future side's 3-2 aggregate success in the 2006/07 round of 16.

• Chelsea have won the tie on all seven occasions they have recorded a first-leg away victory in UEFA competition, most recently against FC København in last season's round of 16 (2-0 away, 0-0 home). They have won a first leg away 1-0 twice, against PFC CSKA Sofia in the second round of their victorious 1970/71 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup campaign (1-0 at home) and VfB Stuttgart in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League round of 16 (0-0 at home).

• Benfica have met London opposition twice before in European Cup knockout ties and prevailed both times, against Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 1961/62 semi-finals and Arsenal FC in the 1991/92 second round.

• Worryingly for Benfica, only twice in UEFA Champions League history has a side recovered from losing the first leg at home to win the tie, although both those clubs did lose the first leg 1-0: AFC Ajax against Panathinaikos FC in the 1995/96 semi-finals (3-0 away) and FC Internazionale Milano against FC Bayern München in last season's round of 16 (3-2 away).

• Benfica have lost the first leg at home in UEFA competition on just four occasions, and went on to an aggregate defeat three times. Their sole 1-0 home first-leg defeat, however, preceded a 2-0 away victory at FC Dinamo Bucureşti in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup first round.

• Benfica's last two-legged success against Premier League opposition came against Liverpool in the round of 16 of the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League, when they won 1-0 at home – through a Luisão goal – and 2-0 at Anfield. Overall, they have won three and lost five knockout ties with teams from England.

• Chelsea's shoot-out record in UEFA club competitions is:
5-6 v Manchester United FC, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League final
1-4 v Liverpool FC, 2006/07 UEFA Champions League semi-finals

• Benfica's record is:
4-1 v PAOK FC, 1999/00 UEFA Cup second round
5-6 v PSV Eindhoven, 1987/88 European Cup final
4-1 v FC Torpedo Moskva, 1977/78 European Cup first round
3-5 v FFC Victoria 91, 1970/71 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round

• The winning team will take on the victors of the AC Milan v FC Barcelona quarter-final in the semi-finals.

Team ties
• Interim Chelsea first-team coach Roberto Di Matteo's first European campaign as a player ended with defeat by Portuguese opposition as his S.S. Lazio team went down 2-1 on aggregate to Boavista FC in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup second round.

• Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry were in the England side beaten 6-5 on penalties by Portugal at Benfica's stadium in the UEFA EURO 2004 quarter-finals – this despite all three players converting their spot kicks. Lampard hit a late extra-time equaliser after Rui Costa, now a Benfica director, had put Portugal 2-1 in front.

• The Chelsea trio lost to Portugal in another quarter-final at the 2006 FIFA World Cup – once again on penalties, with Lampard failing from the spot this time.

• Chelsea centre-back Luiz spent four and a half seasons with Benfica, recording 82 appearances and five goals in the Portuguese top flight, before departing for Stamford Bridge in January 2011.

• Ramires spent just one season at Benfica, in 2009/10, after arriving in Lisbon from Cruzeiro EC. He made 26 league outings and scored four goals.

• Nemanja Matić joined Chelsea in summer 2009 but made only three substitute appearances before moving on loan to Dutch club Vitesse prior to his arrival last August in Lisbon. Matić is also a Serbia team-mate of Branislav Ivanović.

• Prior to the first leg, Óscar Cardozo had struck seven times in five appearances against English clubs – including Benfica's goal in the 1-1 home draw with Man United last September. He hit doubles against both Everton FC and Liverpool FC in Lisbon in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League.

• Rodrigo played alongside Gary Cahill when on loan at Bolton Wanderers FC in 2010/11. He made 21 appearances for Bolton – six of them starts – scoring once.

• Chelsea's sizeable Portuguese contingent includes Meireles, an international team-mate of Eduardo and Nélson Oliveira. Like Meireles, José Bosingwa, Paulo Ferreira and Hilário have all played for Benfica's big rivals Porto.

• Benfica's Eduardo and Ruben Amorim faced Chelsea's Kalou and Didier Drogba when Portugal drew 0-0 with Ivory Coast at the 2010 World Cup. Ferreira and Meireles also played for Portugal.

• Axel Witsel had mixed fortunes against English teams in 2008/09. He was in the R. Standard de Liège beaten narrowly by Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round but then scored in a victory over Everton in the UEFA Cup first round.

• Joan Capdevila and Fernando Torres were colleagues in Spain's victorious squads at UEFA EURO 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

• Torres scored twice to help Liverpool beat Benfica 4-1 and overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

• José Mourinho has held the reins of both these clubs. He had a three-month stint as Benfica coach in 2000, then managed Chelsea (2004-07). Chelsea had another Portuguese coach, André Villas-Boas, at the helm for the first seven months of this season.

Last updated: 05/12/13 7.38CET