The first leg of the Europa League quarter finals was on today. Benfica, Chelsea & Fenerbahce played at home and defeated Newcastle United, Rubin Kazan & Lazio respectively. Tottenham Hotspurs could not grab a win at home and drew with Basel 2-2. A brief look at the matches below.
Benfica 3-1 Newcastle United
Benefica defeated Newcastle United coming from behind to secure a 2 goal lead. Having the valuable away goal Newcastle still have a slim chance of reversing the results next week at home.
Benefica 3: Rodrigo 25′, Lima 65′, Cardozo (pen) 71′
Newcastle United 1: Cisse 12′
Question to the readers: Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had suggested that Benfica were not as good as the best teams in the premier league – Benfica proved their point to him today. What do you think will be the result of the second leg?
Chelsea 3-1 Rubin Kazan
Fernando Torres finds his goal scoring quality to score twice against the Russian team. Holding onto the healthy lead Rafa Benitez’s side will be travelling to Moscow next week to play the second leg. Benitez commented that he was happy but not 100 per cent as his team had conceded a goal when they were in control of the game. His post match comments paraphrased.
Chelsea 3: Torres 16′, Moses 32′, Torres 70′
Rubin Kazan 1: Natcho (pen) 41′
Question to the readers: A reporter, after the match, lightly asked Rafael Benitez if Torres should stick with the mask until the end of the season. Do you think Torres has returned to form and will he maintain the class he displayed against the Russians today?
Fenerbahce 2-0 Lazio
Fenerbahce made sure they utilised the advantage of Lazio going down to 10 men. Webo’s 79′ penalty and Kuyt’s 90′ goal secured their victory ahead of the second leg at Rome.
Fenerbahce 2: Webo (pen) 78′, Kuyt 90+0′
Question to our readers: Do you think the Turkish team will be able to hold on to the lead past the second leg to make their first appearance in the Europa League Semi Finals.
Tottehnam Hotspur 2-2 Basel
The Spurs came from two goals behind to finish on a draw during the first leg against a fantastic FC Basel. For the Spurs fanatics it was a tough to see their team down 2-0 with Basel scoring two away goals before half time. Much to their reilef the goals from Adebayor and Sigurdsson evened things before the final whistle.
To add to their misery Gareth Bale had to be taken away on a stretcher after rolling on his right ankle after a tussel for the ball with David Degen. Though it looked horribly worn on TV and pictures Villas-Boas revealed the initial diagnosis was positive. He will be undergoing scans for a definite answer.
Tottenham Hotspur 2: Adebayor 40′, Sigurdsson 58′
Basel2: Stocker 30′, Fabian Frei 34′
Question to our readers: Basel already has the valuable 2 away goals and on top of that Bale’s ankle injury – is this the end for tottenham’s Europa dream this year? Or will the spurs reverse the score next week?