The UEFA Europa League semi-final first legs threw up their share of intricacies, with a first ever away win and a new record for appearances in the competition. SL Benfica and FC Basel 1893 both trail but history suggests that could be no bad thing.
• Benfica set a UEFA Europa League record with their 21st appearance in the knockout phase of the competition. They had previously been tied on 20 with two-time trophy winners Club Atlético de Madrid.
• Two unbeaten runs ended in the semi-final first legs as Benfica lost for the first time in their seven UEFA Europa League matches this term and Basel were defeated at home for the first time this campaign – also at the seventh attempt.
• Chelsea FC became the first team to win the opening leg of a UEFA Europa League semi-final away from home after David Luiz's added-time clincher in Basle. The previous three years of the competition yielded five home victories and one draw.
• Eduardo Salvio's appearance for Benfica at Fenerbahçe was his 32nd in the UEFA Europa League – a tournament record. He has featured 20 times for Atlético and 12 for Benfica.
• Benfica, the only one of this season's semi-finalists to have reached the UEFA Europa League last four before, also lost their away leg 1-0 in 2010/11 to domestic rivals SC Braga. Having edged the first game in Lisbon 2-1, they were eliminated on the away goals rule.
Second leg portents …
• First-leg losers Basel and Benfica can take heart from the fact five of the past six UEFA Europa League finalists trailed at some point in their semi-final ties.
• Benfica have never lost in 13 home matches over three UEFA Europa League campaigns, winning 12 of them. Just five of those dozen victories have been by a margin that would enable Benfica to overturn their 1-0 deficit, however.
• Benfica's 13-game unbeaten home record is six shy of the competition record, held by city rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal, who have won 13 matches and drawn six. In fact, in 32 UEFA Europa League games staged in Lisbon, group stage to final, the visiting team have never won. Brøndby IF beat Sporting 2-0 in the 2010/11 play-offs but even then lost 3-0 at home and bowed out.
• Should Fenerbahçe avoid defeat in the Portuguese capital, they will not only get to their first European final but will, in the process, establish a UEFA Europa League record sequence of unbeaten away matches – seven. They are currently tied on six with Atlético, FC Porto and PAOK FC.
• In each of the preceding three seasons, one semi-final has been won in the second leg by the hosts and the other by the visitors. In each case the side that secured qualification away from home went on to take the trophy.
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