Chelsea have come back from behind to grab a spot in the Europa League final, their third European final in the past six years, with a 3-1 win over FC Basel. Although the match was marred with chants from the fans about Jose Mourinho, Chelsea won 3-1 in a thrilling night with a great atmosphere at Stamford Bridge. Basel kicked-off the match very brightly, Macro Streller volleyed just wide of the post in the first minute. Although Basel had most of the possession in the opening five minutes, Chelsea slowly worked there way back into the match, and Frank Lampard came very close to opening the scoring for the Blues in the ninth minute. Ramires played the ball into Fernando Torres at the edge of the Basel box, and the Spaniard chipped a beautiful pass above the Basel defense to the run of Lampard, who’s first time volley from a tight angle on the right side of the box beat Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer, but bounced back out off the inside of the left post. In the seventeenth minute Torres almost scored when he played a nice one-two with Eden Hazard on the edge of the box, before sending a low drive, which Sommer did well to push away.
Although Chelsea were becoming increasingly dominant, Streller almost put Basel in front in the twenty-fifth minute. Markus Steinhofer lobbed a wonderful thirty-five yard diagonal pass to Streller on the left side of the box, and the winger hit a stunning Van Basten-like dipping volley, that flew inches wide of Cech’s post from the edge of the box on the left flank. Ramires had his low shot blocked by Sommer, before Basel amazingly took the lead in the first minute of added time in the first half. Mohammed Elneny knocked it to Valentin Stocker, who turned before slipping a wonderful through ball into the run of Mohammed Salah. The winger coolly curled a shot around Cech into the back of the net from around the penalty spot, to give Basel a surprise lead. Seconds later the whistle blew for halftime, with Basel leading 1-0.
Despite Chelsea the half very slowly, the Blues were up only three minutes into the half after Hazard did brilliantly in the middle of the field, beating three Basel players before losing the ball inside the Basel box. The loose ball fell to Lampard, who hit a low shot on goal, which Sommer just managed to palm away. Sommer could only palm it into the path of Torres, who tapped it into the back of the net at the far post. Amazingly, Chelsea doubled their lead three minutes later when Torres’ heavy touch on the edge of the box fell to Victor Moses, who expertly turned with the ball before tapping it past Sommer and slamming it into the back of the net.
Stunningly, Chelsea grabbed a third in the fifty-eighth minute when Hazard cross it to Lampard on the edge of the box from the left. Lampard laid it off to David Luiz, who hit an incredible curling effort from thirty yards out around Lampard and into the top corner of the net. Surprisingly, Basel bounced back, with Gaston Suaro’s screaming long-range effort slamming off the top crossbar. Marcelo Diaz had low drive from twenty-five yards out pushed wide by Cech, but Basel could not grab a crucial late goal, and after two minutes of extra time the match ended, with Chelsea advancing to the finals on a 5-2 aggregate win.
Man of the Match: Fernando Torres