Benfica 1-2 Chelsea: Ivanovic strikes late on to win it for the Blues!
It wasn't a classic and to be honest apart from a Frank Lampard belter, Chelsea weren't a...
It wasn't a classic and to be honest apart from a Frank Lampard belter, Chelsea weren't at the races in the first half! Chelsea turned the screw up a notch second half, got plenty of attacking possession and finally created decent chances. Thanks to Fernando Torres, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill, Chelsea lifted the Europa League and became the first club in history to hold both trophies at the same time!.
Of course Benfica overall were the better side and looked much more dangerous that Chelsea did but who cares! We are in a results business and it's what goes in the record books that matters. Chelsea rode their luck at times as Benfica wasted their chances but in big games such as these, you MUST take your chances when you get them.
Chelsea for the most part defended well. Gary Cahill was outstanding and his last ditch tackle at the feet of Cardozo not once but twice, won us the trophy.
Fernando Torres' goal took us back to days of watching him in his prime. He pounced on a long throw from Cech, flicked onto Torres by Juan Mata and he was on his bike. As Luisao came over to close him down, he used his strength to hold him off, drew out the keeper and rounded him and slotted the ball into the net.
Cesar "Dave" Azpilicueta was penalised for handball just inside the box and rightly so. Cardozo scored the penalty as he blasted the ball past Cech down the middle to make it 1-1.
Interestingly enough, Benfica made all their substitutions during the game but Rafa never made a single one. The Chelsea players looked to have plenty left with Ramires, although not having a great game, causing them problems down the right hand side for the whole second half.
Frank Lampard once again late on hit another 25 yarder onto the crossbar with a couple of minutes to go. He has a habit of doing that doesn't he!
So, we move into three minutes added time. Benfica have a corner that comes to nothing and an attack. Chelsea move the ball forward and again that man Ramires is played in down the line. He makes sure he wins a corner off the defender.
So here we are, just as in Munich, in the dying moments of the game, Chelsea have a corner. Juan Mata swings the ball into the box and Ivanovic moving towards the back post, only has eyes on the ball. Surprisingly, no defender tracks him or closes him down until its too late. He rises high and heads the ball back across goal towards the far post and the ball loops into the net with the keeper beaten. We've won it 2-1!!
Once again it was a fantastic team effort to never give up, keep plugging away and to create some chances. Once again we took them and that was the difference.
Credit the players, credit Rafa and credit our football club for creating history!
Champions of Europe once again!
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Carefree & KTBFFH!