Chelsea triumph after late Ivanovic winner

Chelsea 2 Benfica 1

Chelsea dramatically won the Europa League with a last-minute goal by Branislav Ivanovic.

Extra time beckoned when the defender, who missed last year’s Champions League triumph through suspension, rose to head home Juan Mata’s right-wing corner.

The Blues, without the injured Eden Hazard and John Terry, led through Fernando Torres’ opener and Oscar Cardozo equalised for Benfica with a penalty.

Frank Lampard then hit the woodwork before Ivanovic’s winner meant Chelsea became only the fourth club to win all three major European trophies.

Benfica, with their slick passing and movement, dominated the first half and thought they had gone ahead early in the second, when the outstanding Cardozo nodded in Nicolas Gaitan’s cross but was ruled offside.

Chelsea were on the back foot as Benfica dominated the first half.
Chelsea were on the back foot as Benfica dominated the first half.

For all their attacking flair, the Portuguese side often looked vulnerable at the back – and they were undone by a throw straight down the middle from Chelsea keeper Petr Cech on the hour mark.

The throw was missed by Mata, which wrong-footed the Benfica defence and created space for Torres, who held off Luisao before rounding keeper Artur and slotting into the net.

However, Cesar Azpilicueta’s careless handball meant Chelsea’s lead lasted only eight minutes.

Cech, Chelsea’s penalty hero in Munich last year, was unable to keep out Cardozo’s powerful spot-kick.

Crucially, Cech was able to tip over a left-footed effort from Cardozo, before Lampard hit the bar with a cracking 30-yarder two minutes from the end of normal time.

That was a major let-off for Benfica but their luck ran out when Ramires cleverly won a corner and Ivanovic met Mata’s perfect delivery.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Lampard, Luiz, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Torres.
Subs not used: Turnbull, Mikel, Moses, Ferreira, Marin, Benayoun, Ake.



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