Chelsea enjoyed a convincing win against Europa League quarterfinal opponents Rubin Kazan. The Londoners' compatriots Tottenham and Newcastle were not so successful, and Turkey’s Fenerbahce won at home to Lazio.
Chelsea led 2-1 at halftime Thursday evening thanks to goals from Fernando Torres, who bundled a long range pass into the net, and Nigerian international Victor Moses. Rubin Kazan's Bebras Natcho scored from the penalty spot.
After the break, Chelsea doubled their lead with a header from Torres, making the final score 3-1 to the reigning European champions.
Across London, the situation was reversed for Tottenham Hotspur, with the English side 2-1 down after the first half. Basel had been two up - with goals from Fabian Frei and Valentin Stocker - before Emmanuel Adebayor narrowed the gap.
The game ended even, after Spurs' Gylfi Sigurdsson netted with a fierce shot deflected off defender Fabian Schär.
Against Benfica in Lisbon, Newcastle scored first through forward Papiss Cisse. The home side equalizing 13 minutes later through the Spaniard Rodrigo.
Joy at Stadium of Light
In the second half Benfica went ahead with a cheeky goal by the Brazilian Lima and doubled the lead from the penalty spot moments later through Paraguayan forward Oscar Cardozo to end it 3-1.
The first half in Turkey was goal-free, the first big moment coming after the break with the sending off of the Nigerian Ogenyi Onazi, reducing the Italians to 10 men.
Germany's Miroslav Klose made an appearance for Lazio 72 minutes into the match, but was not much of a talisman. The Italians gave away a penalty through Stefan Radu's handball - the spot kick was successfully converted by Cameroonian Pierre Webb.
The ex-Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt made it 2-0 for the Turks in injury time, firing into the net after a free-kick was parried by the keeper.
The sides play their next game on April 11, with a place in the semifinals - and a chance to reach the May 15 final in Amsterdam - up for grabs.