Chelsea set a new competition unbeaten record in drawing at Eintracht Frankfurt, and will look to complete the job in London.
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Chelsea entertain Eintracht Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge with the semi-final level at 1-1 after an entertaining first leg in Germany during which the Londoners, who are yet to lose at home to Bundesliga visitors, set a new UEFA Europa League record of 16 consecutive matches without defeat.
• Chelsea have won 11 of their 13 matches in this UEFA Europa League campaign, drawing the other two. They dominated Group L in the autumn before coasting to a 5-1 aggregate victory over Malmö in the round of 32, overwhelming Dynamo Kyiv 8-0 over the two legs in the last 16 and also winning both quarter-final matches against Slavia Praha (1-0 away, 4-3 home).
• It has been an equally impressive campaign for Eintracht, who have lost just once in their 13 matches. They topped Group H with maximum points, winning home and away against Lazio, Apollon Limassol and 2017/18 runners-up Marseille, before eliminating Shakhtar Donetsk, Internazionale and Benfica, all three of whom had transferred in mid-season from the UEFA Champions League.
• Eintracht took the lead in the first leg with a well-placed diving header from top scorer Luka Jović, but Chelsea temporarily silenced the vociferous home crowd when Pedro rifled in on the stroke of half-time – his third goal in the Blues' last two UEFA Europa League games. Chelsea's David Luiz came closest to a second-half winner when his free-kick struck the crossbar.
• Chelsea's record in 20 matches against Bundesliga opposition is W10 D6 L4, the first victory coming in the 1997/98 European Cup Winners' Cup final against Stuttgart (1-0).
• The Blues have never lost at home to German visitors, winning six of the eight fixtures, all of which have been in the UEFA Champions League over the past 20 years. Only two of those games have been in the knockout phase, Chelsea winning both ties – against Stuttgart in the 2003/04 round of 16 (1-0 away, 0-0 home) and Bayern München in the 2004/05 quarter-finals (4-2 home, 2-3 away).
• Eintracht had never faced Chelsea prior to the first leg but have been involved in three previous two-legged UEFA competition ties against English clubs and lost them all, suffering away defeats on each occasion. The last of those was in 1982, when Tottenham Hotspur defeated them 3-2 on aggregate in the European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals.
• Frankfurt have faced English opposition just once in between that tie and this one, a 0-0 home draw against Newcastle United in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage.
• In the UEFA Europa League group stage for the first time this season, Chelsea eased through to the knockout phase, doing the double over PAOK (1-0 away, 4-0 home) and BATE Borisov (3-1 home, 1-0 away) before Vidi, who had lost 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, denied them a clean sweep with a 2-2 draw in Budapest on matchday six. In the round of 32 they defeated Malmö away (2-1) and at home (3-0) before sweeping aside Dynamo Kyiv (3-0 home, 5-0 away). They then made it six wins in a row against Slavia Praha in the quarter-finals.
• This is Chelsea's second appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, their first, in 2012/13, having concluded with victory in the competition overall. En route to that final in Amsterdam, where they beat Benfica 2-1, they registered three successive 3-1 wins at home, the last of them against Basel in the semi-final following a 2-1 first-leg success in Switzerland.
• Chelsea are now a record 16 games unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League, including the last three matches of that victorious 2013 campaign, with 14 wins in those matches. They have yet to suffer a home defeat in this competition, winning all of their last nine matches, with Sparta Praha, their first UEFA Europa League visitors, still the only side to have denied them victory at Stamford Bridge (1-1).
• Chelsea have won five of the nine UEFA ties in which they have drawn the first leg away but have lost three of the last four, two to Spanish clubs in UEFA Champions League semi-finals (Barcelona in 2008/09 and Atlético Madrid in 2013/14, both after 0-0 away draws) and most recently on away goals against Paris Saint-Germain in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League round of 16 (1-1 away, 2-2 home).That is the only time they have failed to progress after drawing the first leg 1-1 away, the other four instances having all produced aggregate victories after second-leg home wins.
• A dramatic 2017/18 German Cup final victory over Bundesliga champions Bayern München – 3-1 in Berlin – gave Eintracht their first major silverware in 30 years and secured their first European campaign in five.
• The 1980 UEFA Cup winners opened their Group H campaign with a 2-1 victory in Marseille and secured qualification by beating Lazio (4-1 home) and Apollon (2-0 home, 3-2 away), maintaining their winning streak against Marseille (4-0 home) and Lazio (2-1 away) to finish nine points clear of the Italian club.
• A 2-2 draw at Shakhtar in the first leg of the round of 32 ended their winning run but a 4-1 victory in the return propelled them for the first time into the UEFA Europa League last 16, where they beat Inter 1-0 on aggregate (0-0 home, 1-0 away). In the quarter-final Frankfurt suffered their first defeat of the campaign, going down 4-2 with ten men at Benfica, but recovered to progress on away goals with a 2-0 home victory.
• Eintracht's only other European participation in the past dozen seasons came in 2013/14, when they reached the UEFA Europa League round of 32 before going out to Porto.
• Eintracht's overall record in the UEFA Europa League, home and away and including qualifying, is W16 D5 L2, the sole defeat prior to the one at Benfica having come away to Maccabi Tel-Aviv (2-4) in November 2013. Their away record in the competition is W7 D2 L2, but only one of those wins has come in the knockout phase (D2 L1).
• Eintracht have lost three of the four UEFA ties in which they have drawn the first leg at home, the exception having come in this season's round of 16 against Inter. On the one previous occasion that they drew 1-1 at home in the first leg, they were defeated 3-0 at Juventus in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup quarter-final.
Links and trivia
• Antonio Rüdiger (Stuttgart, 2012–15) and Andreas Christensen (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 2015–17) have both played in the Bundesliga.
• International team-mates:
Mateo Kovačić & Ante Rebić (Croatia)
Rüdiger & Kevin Trapp (Germany)
Christensen & Frederik Rønnow (Denmark)
• Filip Kostić and substitute Luka Jović were members of the Serbia side that lost 2-0 against a Brazil team featuring Willian during the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage.
• Rebić scored a stunning volley past Willy Caballero to open the scoring for Croatia in their 3-0 group stage win against Argentina at the 2018 World Cup; Gonzalo Higuaín was a substitute for Argentina.
• Chelsea are the only one of the four semi-finalists who have won the UEFA Europa League before, though Eintracht, like Valencia, have lifted the trophy in its former guise as the UEFA Cup.
• Chelsea's Olivier Giroud is the leading scorer in this season's UEFA Europa League, with ten goals – one more than Eintracht's first-leg marksman Jović.
• Chelsea defender Christensen is the only player from any of the semi-finalists to have been on the field for every minute of this season's UEFA Europa League. Eintracht pair Danny da Costa and Makoto Hasebe have started all 13 matches, while Jović and Mijat Gaćinović and Chelsea's Willian have been involved in every game.
• Willian has provided seven assists in the competition, putting him level at the top of the charts with Igor Stasevich of eliminated BATE.
• Chelsea were one of seven teams to come through the group stage undefeated and are now the only one to have retained that status. Their run of 16 UEFA Europa League games without defeat has eclipsed the competition record previously held alone by Atlético Madrid since October 2012.
• Eintracht are the only one of the UEFA Europa League semi-finalists appearing in the last four of the competition for the first time.
• Chelsea defeated Watford 3-0 at home on Sunday to secure a place in the top four of the Premier League and qualification for next season's UEFA Champions League group stage. On the same day Eintracht were defeated 6-1 at Bayer Leverkusen – their heaviest defeat of the season and the first time they had ever conceded six goals in the first half of a Bundesliga game – but remain fourth on goal difference ahead of their opponents.
• Chelsea's record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L3:
1-4 v Liverpool, 2006/07 UEFA Champions League semi-final
5-6 v Manchester United, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League final
4-3 v Bayern München, 2011/12 UEFA Champions League final
4-5 v Bayern München, 2013 UEFA Super Cup
• Eintracht's record in one UEFA penalty shoot-out is W0 L1:
4-5 v Salzburg, 1993/94 UEFA Cup quarter-final
• Named as the new Chelsea boss in succession to his fellow Italian, Antonio Conte, in July 2018, Maurizio Sarri is widely considered to be one of Europe's most progressive coaches. He paid his dues in Italy's lower leagues with a multitude of clubs before getting his big break at Empoli, whom he steered into Serie A, and then replaced Rafael Benítez at Napoli in 2015. Three seasons in Naples all brought top-three finishes, his entertaining side running Juventus close for the Scudetto in 2017/18.
• Austrian coach Adi Hütter was appointed by Eintracht Frankfurt as the successor to Bayern München-bound Niko Kovač in May 2018, having just led Young Boys to their first Swiss league title in 32 years. A midfielder who spent seven years with Salzburg, he returned to lead the club to a domestic double in 2014/15 after managerial spells at Altach and Grödig. He then crossed the border to spend the next three seasons in Berne.