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Chelsea, Benfica reach Europa semis

Chelsea and Benfica joined FC Basel and Fenerbahce in the UEAF Europa League semifinals.

Chelsea and Benfica joined FC Basel and Fenerbahce in the UEAF Europa League semifinals.

LONDON - European heavyweights Chelsea and Benfica reached the Europa League semifinals on Thursday and were joined by lesser lights FC Basel and Fenerbahce who made the last four of a continental competition for the first time.

European champions Chelsea grabbed a spot in Friday's draw with a 5-4 aggregate win over Rubin Kazan despite going down 3-2 on the night in Moscow, while Benfica scored in stoppage time to draw 1-1 at Newcastle United for a 4-2 aggregate victory.

Tottenham Hotspur had done the hard work to level their tie at 4-4 against Basel before being reduced to 10 men just before the end of normal time to leave themselves a man down for the extra period which they survived before losing 4-1 on penalties.

Fenerbahce weathered an onslaught behind closed doors at Lazio to draw 1-1 and go through 3-1 on aggregate.

Benfica, who held a 3-1 lead from last week's first leg, endured a nervous conclusion to their game after falling behind to a 71st-minute header from Papiss Cisse that meant the hosts would go through on away goals if they could score again.

The Europa League final takes place on 15 May in Amsterdam.

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