London Blues Win 2013 Europa League Championship : Chelsea 2-1 Benfica

 

Europa League Trophy 2013 2 

Rafa Benitez, Manager Chelsea FC

The London Blues Win the 2013 Europa League Championship : Chelsea 2-1 Benfica

Benfica's goal was scored by Cardozo (pen 68') and Chelsea's goalscorers were Torres (59') and Ivanovic (90 + 3').

Champions League drop-outs Benfica and Chelsea clashed in front of 53,000 fans in the Amsterdam to decide the Europa League Cup in Chelsea's 68th game in what has been a marathon season for Chelsea.

Squads

Benfica: Artur Moraes, Almeida, Luisao, Garay (Jardel 78), Melgarejo (John 66), Perez, Matic, Rodrigo (Lima 65), Gaitan, Cardozo, Salvio.
Subs Not Used: Paulo Lopes, Aimar, Urreta, Gomes.
Booked: Garay, Luisao.
Goals: Cardozo (pen) 68.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Lampard, Luiz, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Torres.
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Mikel, Moses, Ferreira, Marin, Benayoun, Ake.
Booked: Oscar.
Goals: Torres 59, Ivanovic 90.

Ashley Cole told the official Chelsea website that he is proud of becoming a double European champion.

Fernando Torres opened the scoring for Chelsea.

Then Oscar Cardozo's penalty cancelled out Fernando Torres's opener, but Branislav Ivanovic scored at the end of injury time to head home the winner.

'It was disappointing the way we played in the first half but when you get to big games and there's a medal and a trophy involved, it is win at all costs,' said 32-year-old Cole. 'We got away with a few chances but the main thing is we won the game.

At half-time, manager Rafa Benitez gave his men a pep talk.

'Benfica definitely had the better of the first half and at half-time we had to have a look at ourselves. The manager laid it down and said we had to be better than we were in the first half, or we wouldn't get anything out of it," continued Cole. 'We were lucky to go in at 0-0 and it could only get better for us. He said we had to produce what we know we can, and we went out and showed a lot of determination and spirit and managed another last-minute goal.

'Fernando had a rough time of it out there, they were pulling him and kicking him, but he never gave up and was a willing runner in behind, so he really deserved a goal.

'Branislav of course missed out in Munich too, and we missed him there, as we did JT, Raul Meireles and Ramires. Branislav came back in and had a great game, so it was great for him to score the winner.'

'It was amazing to win the Champions League last season and come back strong and win something again this year,' Cole said. 'It isn't the Champions League but to win something in Europe is a brilliant achievement and we're very proud of that achievement.

'It's been a tough season. It's been disappointing at time but we're definitely in the top four, maybe the top three and we have a European trophy. There are a lot of Premier League sides that would love to do that, and for us to do it is brilliant.'

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