FC Zenit St. Petersburg have one foot in the semi-final as they welcome Bayer 04 Leverkusen to the Petrovsky Stadium having won 4-1 at the BayArena.
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FC Zenit St. Petersburg have one foot in the semi-final as they welcome Bayer 04 Leverkusen to the Petrovsky Stadium having won 4-1 at the BayArena in the first leg.
• The first leg was a horror show for Leverkusen, who levelled the scores through Stefan Kiessling after Andrei Arshavin's opener before conceding three goals in 12 second-half minutes, with Pavel Pogrebnyak, Aleksandr Anyukov and Igor Denisov thrilling coach Dick Advocaat, who was serving the final term of a three-match suspension in the stands.
• The result matched Leverkusen's worst European home defeat, a 3-0 against CA Osasuna at exactly the same stage of last season's UEFA Cup. Midfielder Simon Rolfes said: "We simply had to avoid a repeat of Osasuna, but we failed categorically. For some reason, we didn't play the way we've been playing all season."
• The return match in Russia is Zenit's 50th game in the UEFA Cup.
• The two teams had never met in UEFA club competition prior to the first leg but Leverkusen had played three games against Russian opponents, on each occasion meeting FC Spartak Moskva, runners-up to Zenit in the 2007 Russian Premier-Liga.
• The teams met home and away in the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League first group stage, with Leverkusen losing 2-0 in Moscow but winning 1-0 at home.
• They returned to the Luzhniki Stadium – also the venue for this season's UEFA Champions League final – in the group stage of this year's UEFA Cup, losing 2-1.
• Paul Freier's added-time goal in that game was Leverkusen's first on Russian soil.
• Overall their record against Russian sides reads won one and lost three and they have yet to win a game in Russia.
• Leverkusen must score at least four goals away from home to progress, something they have done five times in UEFA club competition, most recently when they won 5-0 at FC Zürich in this season's UEFA Cup group stage.
• Zenit have now come up against German sides on seven occasions in UEFA club competition, winning one game, drawing two and losing the remaining four. Their previous three home games against Bundesliga sides ended in two defeats and one draw.
• They lost 6-2 on aggregate to 1. FC Dynamo Dresden – from the former East Germany – in the first round of the 1981/82 UEFA Cup, and were beaten 6-0 over two legs by VfB Stuttgart in the 1989/90 competition.
• More recently things have gone better. They drew 2-2 at TSV Alemannia Aachen in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage, and earned a 2-2 result at home against 1. FC Nürnberg in this season's group stage.
• Hired as Leverkusen coach in October 2005, Michael Skibbe is involved in his first two-legged tie against Russian opposition. Forced to retire as a player at 22 after three cruciate ligament tears at FC Schalke 04, he moved into the Gelsenkirchen club's youth coaching ranks before taking on a similar role with BV Borussia Dortmund.
• He became Dortmund's senior trainer in 1998, becoming the youngest ever Bundesliga coach at the age of just 32. He subsequently worked for the German Football Association, and was Rudi Völler's assistant during his time as national team coach.
• He was thus up against Zenit coach Advocaat's Netherlands side when the two teams drew 1-1 at UEFA EURO 2004™. Leverkusen's Bernd Schneider also played in that game. Torsten Frings and Ruud van Nistelrooy scored the goals.
• Skibbe and Advocaat had previously crossed swords as Skibbe's Dortmund met Advocaat's Rangers FC side in the 1999/00 UEFA Cup third round. An own goal from Jürgen Kohler and a Rod Wallace strike gave the Glasgow side a 2-0 win in the home leg, but strikes from Viktor Ikpeba and Fredi Bobic levelled the scores in Germany. Dortmund won 3-1 on penalties, with current Leverkusen star Sergej Barbarez scoring the decisive final spot-kick.
• Advocaat has now been involved in eleven games against German sides as a club coach with PSV Eindhoven, Rangers and Zenit, winning five, drawing three and losing three. He has yet to lose as the coach of a home side against German opponents, winning four games and drawing two.
• Advocaat has now been triumphant in two visits to Leverkusen, with his Rangers' side travelling to the BayArena in the 1999/00 UEFA Cup second round, with Leverkusen stalwart Carsten Ramelow playing in both legs. Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Jonatan Johansson put Rangers 2-0 up at the BayArena before Thomas Reichenberger pulled one back for Christoph Daum's Leverkusen.
• Johansson scored again in the second leg to put Rangers ahead with Ulf Kirsten's reply for Leverkusen failing to spark a revival as they bowed out 3-2 on aggregate.
• Advocaat will be on the bench again after serving a three-match touchline ban for gross misconduct. The Zenit coach was able to watch the first leg from the grandstand but was not allowed into the dressing room, tunnel or technical area before and during the match, nor was he permitted to contact his team.
• Leverkusen boast Russian talent in the form of striker Dmitri Bulykin who joined the club last summer from FC Dinamo Moskva.
• Zenit and Getafe CF are the only two teams left in the competition never to have won a major European trophy.
• Leverkusen's Tranquillo Barnetta, Manuel Friedrich, Gonzalo Castro, Karim Haggui, Stefan Kiessling and Pirmin Schwegler are all within a booking of a suspension.
• Zenit have Ivica Križanac, Aleksandr Anyukov, Andrei Arshavin, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Fernando Ricksen and Radek Šírl within a booking of a suspension.
• Pogrebnyak is the UEFA Cup's joint-top scorer this season with eight goals along with FC Bayern München's Luca Toni. Leverkusen's Kiessling has registered seven times.
• Leverkusen finished top of UEFA Cup Group E, and then beat Galatasaray AS and Bundesliga rivals Hamburger SV to earn their place in the quarter-finals. Zenit finished third in Group A, but beat Villarreal CF and Olympique de Marseille over two legs to earn their last-eight berth.
• The winners of the tie will face either FC Bayern München or Getafe in the semi-finals, playing the first leg away on 24 April, with the home game on 1 May.
• The winners of that tie will be the nominal home team in the UEFA Cup final at the City of Manchester Stadium on 14 May.