Chelsea have been made strong favourites to secure a historic Europa League triumph after David Luiz scored a late winner in their semi-final first leg against FC Basel.
The Blues took the lead in Switzerland after 11 minutes when Frank Lampard’s corner hit Victor Moses and flew past home keeper Yann Sommer.
Basel drew level with three minutes remaining after Cesar Azpilicueta was judged to have fouled Valentin Stocker in the area and Fabian Schar converted the resulting penalty.
However, Luiz fired home an injury-time free-kick to give Chelsea a vital advantage to take back to Stamford Bridge for next week’s return fixture.
The bwin bookmakers have subsequently slashed the Blues from 13/10 to 13/20 to become the first team ever to win the Champions League and the Europa League in successive seasons.
Rafael Benitez’s men are also 2/5 to beat Basel again inside 90 minutes next Thursday after a result which leaves the Swiss champions as a 20/1 chance to lift the trophy.
Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, Fenerbahce produced an impressive display to claim a 1-0 first-leg triumph over Benfica in Istanbul.
Egemen Korkmaz headed home the only goal of the game with 18 minutes left on the clock, although the Turks could yet be left to rue missing a penalty on the stroke of half-time.
Benfica will fancy their chances of overturning the deficit at the Stadium of Light but the odds reflect just how delicately balanced the tie is, with both teams rated as 17/20 shots to reach next month’s final in Amsterdam.
The Portuguese giants, who, like Chelsea, were parachuted into the last 32 after finishing third in their Champions League group, can now be backed at 3/1 to win the competition.
Fenerbahce, for whom Moussa Sow and Dirk Kuyt also hit the woodwork, are available at 4/1 to go all the way after securing a precious advantage in their first-ever European semi-final.