Europa League draw pits Chelsea against Basel

The Europa League semi-final draw took place on Friday in Nyon, Switzerland, and Turkish outfit Fenerbahce opened the draw, being pitted against Benfica of Portugal in the first-leg. The other tie saw Basel of Switzerland matched at home in the first-leg of the semi-finals against European champions Chelsea, who are the last remaining Premier League team in Europe this season.

Fenerbahce and Benfica met in the first round of the 1975/76 European Cup, where Benfica emerged triumphant, thumping their opponents 7-1 on aggregate.

Chelsea will be bidding to become the fourth team in history to have won the UEFA grand slam of all three of UEFA’s major club competitions – Champions League, Cup Winners’ Cup and the Europa League – following in the footsteps of Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich.

Chelsea’s representative at the draw, club secretary David Barnard, said of Basel: “They have already knocked out one of our English colleagues. We are looking forward to it. When you get to the semi-final you can almost touch the cup.

Barnard also pointed out that should the Blues go on to win the tournament, they would become the first club in history to simultaneously hold the Europa League and Champions League crowns, as the latter final takes place 10 days after the Europa League’s conclusion.

The first legs of the semi-finals will be played on Thursday April 25, with the return fixtures on Thursday May 2.

You can follow all the news surrounding the draw at BBC Sport.

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