Having met for the first time in European competition barely a year ago, SL Benfica and Chelsea FC will face each other once again in this season's UEFA Europa League final.
Neither side had an easy ride in their respective semi-final ties, with Fenerbahçe SK and FC Basel 1893 both putting up a strong case during the course of Thursday's second legs. Chelsea eventually beat Basel 3-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate, with Benfica 3-2 overall victors despite last week's 1-0 defeat in Istanbul. Both teams started their 2012/13 European campaigns in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
The Blues are now one game away from becoming only the fourth club to count all three of the European Champion Clubs' Cup, UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup on their roll of honour. They will follow in the footsteps of Juventus, AFC Ajax and FC Bayern München should they beat Benfica.
The fourth UEFA Europa League final will take place at the Amsterdam ArenA on Wednesday 15 May, with kick-off at 20.45CET. Benfica are the nominal home team following last month's draw in Nyon.
Chelsea won both legs of last season's UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie on their way to lifting the trophy, the sole occasion the two sides have met competitively. Salomon Kalou scored the only goal at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, before a Frank Lampard penalty and a late strike from Raul Meireles (who was also in the Fenerbahçe team Benfica overcame in the semis) helped secure a 2-1 second-leg success against the Eagles, who had Maxi Pereira sent off.
European final pedigree
SL Benfica (POR)
1989/90 ECCC: lost 1-0 v AC Milan
1987/88 ECCC: lost 6-5 on pens v PSV Eindhoven (0-0 aet)
1982/83 UCUP: lost 2-1 v RSC Anderlecht (agg)
1967/68 ECCC: lost 4-1 v Manchester United FC (aet)
1964/65 ECCC: lost 1-0 v FC Internazionale Milano
1962/63 ECCC: lost 2-1 v AC Milan
1961/62 ECCC: won 5-3 v Real Madrid CF
1960/61 ECCC: won 3-2 v FC Barcelona
Chelsea FC (ENG)
2011/12 UCL: won 4-3 on pens v FC Bayern München (1-1 aet)
2007/08 UCL: lost 6-5 on pens v Manchester United FC (1-1 aet)
1997/98 UCWC: won 1-0 v VfB Stuttgart
1970/71 UCWC: won 2-1 v Real Madrid CF (replay after 1-1 draw)
UCL: UEFA Champions League
ECCC: European Champion Clubs' Cup
UCUP: UEFA Cup
UCWC: UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
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