BENFICA – FENERBAHCE, Semi- Final 2nd leg: Match Preview
Egemen Korkmaz’s goal is the decisive difference at the halfway stage of this Europa League semi-final.
Fenerbahce dominated the first leg hitting the woodwork twice before Cristian’s spot-kick rattled the bar for a third time. One goal is unlikely to be enough to settle this one although the Istanbul outfit will be confident of scoring in Lisobon.
For their part, Benfica had a real off day in the first leg and it is unlikely they will be as bad when they play at the Estadio da Luz in front of 65,000 fanatical football fans. The Portuguese Eagles will be hoping that history repeats itself. The last time these two teams met in a competitive fixture the score in Istanbul was 1-0 to Fenerbahce, but this was after the Turks had been beaten out of sight by seven goals to nil in the first leg.
A major worry for Fenerbahce will also be that their talismanic striker Pierre Webo will be missing from the 2nd leg after he received a soft yellow card in the 90th minute for kicking the ball away. He may prove to be the difference as to whether Fenerbahce become only the second Turkish club side to reach an European final.
Chelsea are already many people’s favourites to lift the cup in the Amsterdam Arena on the 15th May. One thing for sure is that whether they play Benfica or Fenerbahce, neither will be easy opposition. One other factor could be the suspicion aired by some pundits citing question marks as to whether Chelsea will be able to lift themselves to be up for a non-Champions League European final.