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Jesus hoping that 'inspired' Eagles can soar

SL Benfica coach Jorge Jesus wants an "inspired" performance against Chelsea FC but knows they may require patience against opponents Roberto Di Matteo says are improving fast.

Jesus hoping that 'inspired' Eagles can soar
Jesus hoping that 'inspired' Eagles can soar ©UEFA.com

Jorge Jesus is hoping his SL Benfica side will be "inspired" in a quarter-final tie against Chelsea FC which he believes will test their reserves of patience and experience. His Chelsea counterpart Roberto Di Matteo believes the Londoners' form is improving, and is targeting an away goal in Lisbon.

Coach Jorge Jesus
I didn't speak with José Mourinho or André Villas-Boas about Chelsea, because our opponents are a well-known team that we can see playing in almost any match. We have to see a strong Benfica tomorrow, against another strong side. We have to be inspired, in defence and in attack; we have to be perfect to win. We are strong at home, but we're facing a very experienced team used to playing Champions League finals and semi-finals so we have to be focused in order to win.

The tie won't be resolved tomorrow, it's just the first match. Benfica are a more experienced side nowadays; we know better how to control any anxiety and we cannot start looking for a goal from the start, we have to be patient. Chelsea have four players who worked with me before [David Luiz, Ramires, Hilário and Paulo Ferreira]. They know my way of working and if Di Matteo talked to them about us he did well, but we also know them well and have some new things to show and football is always changing. You have to remember that Benfica and Sporting Lisbon eliminated Manchester United and Manchester City, the two top teams in England, from Europe.

Weekend result
Friday: SC Olhanense 0-0 Benfica
Artur; Emerson (Saviola 83), Luisão, Jardel, Pereira; García, Witsel (Rodrigo 73), Gaitán, Nolito (Aimar 46); Oliveira, Cardozo.

• Half-time substitute Pablo Aimar was sent off after 63 minutes (his first red card since January 2003) as Benfica's run of four successive wins came to an end. The result came after the Eagles had recovered from 2-1 down to beat FC Porto 3-2 in the Portuguese League Cup semi-final. Benfica will face Gil Vicente FC in the final on 14 April.

Team news
Defender Ezequiel Garay and forward Yannick Djaló have been out since the first week of March with knee and thigh injuries respectively.

Interim manager Roberto Di Matteo
We had some problems, the numbers say it, but we have good players. I still think that Chelsea are a very good team. At Napoli [in the last round] we conceded too many goals, so tomorrow we want to score an away goal and try to avoid them in order to have a more peaceful second leg. Benfica play with great intensity, with lots of pressure, they're a very skilful side. I saw them play many matches, both in Europe and also their domestic league. They have many good players such as Óscar Cardozo, Pablo Aimar, Nicolás Gaitán, Bruno César or Rodrigo.

We are getting better, we are scoring more away goals and we'll try again to score tomorrow in order to have a better match at Stamford Bridge. The team is in good shape – defensively stronger and as for the strikers not scoring I don't care who scores as long as the ball is going in. I have a lot of faith in these players and in this team. They are proving that they are still good – we are in the semis of the FA Cup and the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Weekend result
Saturday: Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur FC
Čech; Bosingwa (David Luiz 60), Cahill, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Essien (Torres 76), Mata, Lampard, Sturridge (Kalou 89); Drogba.

• Juan Mata and Tottenham's Gareth Bale both struck the woodwork as Chelsea were held to a draw that keeps them five points adrift of their opponents and fourth place in the Premier League. The draw, on Petr Čech's 250th league appearance, means the Londoners are unbeaten in nine games at Stamford Bridge in 2012, winning six.

Team news
John Terry returned to the side on Saturday having missed Chelsea's previous two games with a calf injury, but Branislav Ivanović was absent with a thigh problem sustained in the first half at Manchester City.

Match fact
Two-time winners Benfica have not got beyond the last eight since 1990 while Chelsea, by contrast, have been regular semi-finalists in the past decade. Chelsea will arrive buoyed by their fightback against SSC Napoli in the last round but Benfica have their own cause for confidence in a long unbeaten home run in UEFA competition.