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Koeman winning over Everton fans


Benfica boss eyes Europa glory

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus insists his side are confident heading into Thursday's Europa League semi-final second leg against Fenerbahce.

The Portuguese league leaders trail 1-0 from the first leg thanks to Egemen Korkmaz's goal and are fortunate not to be further behind after being dominated for large parts of the match at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.

The Turkish side also hit the post three times during the match, but Jesus believes that slice of luck may provide Benfica with the impetus as they return home for the second leg.

"It is a result that is dangerous but also gives confidence that we can turn it around," he said. "We have some experience of these matches in the Europa League and the Champions League so we are calm.

"We will not change anything that we have done throughout this Europa League campaign. We trust and hope that the fans will also help us."

The Turkish side have a formidable record away from home in this season's competition and have yet to taste defeat, claiming a win in Marseille and holding Lazio to a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico in the second leg of their quarter-final.

Fenerbahce striker Moussa Sow is hoping that form continues, and believes it will be a huge boost for Turkish football if the club can reach the Europa League final.

Only once before has a team from Turkey won a major European competition, Fenerbahce's bitter rivals Galatasaray successful in the 2000 UEFA Cup in a penalty shootout win over Arsenal.

"It's something massive for the club to be in the Europe League semi-final," Sow told

"Right now we are achieving something huge. We're in the semi-finals, we're about to face Benfica and for the club, for the fans, for Turkey, it's something exceptional. We will do everything to reach the final and why not win the trophy?

"It would mean a lot (to win). A Turkish club has already won the Europa League so why not Fenerbahce this time?

"I am dreaming a lot, but first of all we have Benfica and we will take it step by step. But it's true that I think about it a bit.

"People really love football (in Istanbul), they live for football. You can see it in everyday life. When I go for a walk or for dinner, I see that people love football and support us. They are true football fans, you can feel it and it's a great thing."

European champions Chelsea or Swiss side Basel await the winner in the final on May 15, with the Premier League side 2-1 up ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.


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