Torres stars for Chelsea

The much-maligned Europa League threw up a bumper mix of goals, controversy and defensive blunders on Thursday as Chelsea, Benfica and Fenerbahce won by two-goal margins at home and Basel held Tottenham Hotspur. 

Hosts Tottenham, the only former winners still in the competition, were at times outplayed by Switzerland's Basel, the only domestic champions in the last eight, but scrambled a 2-2 draw in their quarterfinal first leg where Gareth Bale went off injured.
Fenerbahce scored two late goals, the first a highly debatable penalty, in a 2-0 win over Lazio, who played nearly the whole of the second half with 10 men.

Two goals from under pressure Fernando Torres gave European champions Chelsea a 3-1 win at home to Russia's Rubin Kazan and Benfica won by the same score in Lisbon against blunder-prone Newcastle United, who twice hit the post.  "Fernando needed to score a goal," Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez told reporters after the game.

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