Europa League final: Chelsea 2-1 Benfica- as it happened

Chelsea players triumphantly lift the Europa League trophy after Branislav Ivanovic's injury time header game Chelsea the win

Chelsea players triumphantly lift the Europa League trophy after Branislav Ivanovic’s injury time header game Chelsea the win

Preamble
Well well well. This should be good. Chelsea players called to their dressing rooms at the Amsterdam Arena, and so are the Benfica players. Chelsea will be without the injured Eden Hazard and John Terry, while Benfica have um…-nobody injured as far as I can tell. The Blues will have to play Lampard in place of Hazard, and in my opinion, he should be the one lifting the trophy if Chelsea do win. Or Benitez- yeah, that would be fun. Still doubtful that Chelsea fans would like him again even if he did win, but imagine how much they would hate him if the Blues lost.

1 mins: Peep peep! Game starts, Benfica kick off, attempt a long ball which goes out for a goal kick to Chelsea.

2 mins: Er- can’t tell who, but a Benfica player heads over from a cross from the right. Good start for Benfica.

3 mins:
Benfica switching the ball between flanks, but one of the balls balloons out.

5 mins:
Benfica pressuring well, but they loose the ball and Matic slips over (accidentally he tells the ref), taking down Ramires.

6 mins: Players slipping all over the place. The field looks more like a pool then grass. Just kidding. But really, its wet out there.

7 mins: Mata chips one over to Oscar, but the Brazilians first touch is straight to Benfica goalkeeper Atrur.

9 mins: Pretty uneventful start. Very sloppy play.

10 mins: Phew! After some ping pong in the Chelsea box the ball gets blocked and cleared.

11 mins: Aww. Benfica again fail to get the first shot on target. Intricate play around the box, but when it fell to Cardozo the midfielder ballooned his shot over from fourteen yards.

14 mins: Oscar brings down, um..- I cant tell. Anyway, The Brazilian gets yellow carded.

15 mins: Ohh! Benfica play it short, and after some ping-pong in the box Chelsea clear. Nervy start from The Blues.

16 mins: Benfica keeping possession….

17 mins: Cardozo’s long ball goes right to Cech, who punts up it up the field. It falls to Mata in a promising position, but his pass in straight to a Benfica defender.

19 mins: Benitez doesn’t look to pleased with Chelsea start. He shouldn’t be to happy with it, the Blues have been very poor and are allowing Benfica to pressure.

20 mins: “It’s been all Benfica,” says Fox Soccer’s American commentator. And he’s right. Benfica have been the better side in the opening minutes. Anyway back to the football. Luiz plays a long ball to Torres…

21 mins: …Torres holds it up, but is forced to play it back. Now Oscar has been fouled thirty-yards out from goal… Mata sends it in, but Benfica clear.

23 mins: Really uneventful start. Benfica look lively, but Chelsea look terrible. So many long balls just coming to nothing for the Blues.

24 mins: Torres wins a free-kick out wide on the right… Mata swings it in and Artur punches it away.

25 mins: Ohhh….. Great play from CHelsea leads to Mata getting the ball in a promising position in the Benfica half, but the Spaniards touch is too big and the ball rolls through at Atrur.

26 mins: Oscar tries his luck from twenty-five yards out, but Artur saves.

27 mins: It’s been far to easy for Benfica. Cross from the right falls to Gaitan… But his touch is horrible and it falls to Chelsea, who clear.

29 mins: Sheesh, Chelsea have been horrible. A back pass from Mata is horribly hit, but Cech controls it anyways.

30 mins: Ivanovic scythes down Perez thirty-yards out from goal. Free-Kick awarded…. But Cardozo smashes it into the wall.
Rafa Benitez leads the Chelsea squad out to get their medals now. The players pass the trophy up to Lampard and Terry, who raise it up together. Well, that all for me, till next time, bye!

32 mins: Benfica’s shape is perfect. Chelsea having a lot of trouble. Ooooo…. Gaitan, who has been excellent, curls a shot just over the bar with the outside of his foot after some more good play from Benfica.

34 mins: Benfica fans are cheering deafeningly loud. Chelsea fans on the other hand are probably whispering: “Mourinho, Mourinho,” though you can’t hear them.

35 mins: Gaitan’s free-kick from the right evades everybody and flies out.

36 mins: Torres brilliantly tracks back and wins the ball, but them immediately loses it.

37 mins: Oscar swings an excellent cross in from the right but nobody’s there…… Oh my word! It falls to Lampard, who hits a wicked swerving shot that Artur had to change direction in mid-air to reach. The goalkeeper just manages to dip it over for a corner.. which comes to nothing.

40 mins: Benfica still looking good, but Chelsea look very good down the right. Mata swings a cross in from the left, but it is called back for offside.

41 mins: The last ten minutes have been very lively. Now Perez swings in a cross from the right, and Cardozo it first to it and heads it just over. Benfica are awarded a corner.

42 mins: Short corner form Benfica comes to nothing. What a waste. Why not swing it into the box?

43 mins:
Long throw from Benfica on the left rolls in to Cech…

44 mins: Ramires has hit cross clocked… Chelsea earn a throw in….. which they waste. Azpilicueta throws it to Torres, who plays it back to Azpilicueta, who it offside.

45 mins:
Garay clips Oscar from behind to take the Brazilian down….. Free kick for Chelsea.

45+1 mins: Lampard blasts the free-kick over the bar from forty yards out… and Peep Peep, the first half ends!

Halftime:
Chelsea need to to much better in the second half. Besides for the last few minutes of the half, they have been very poor.

This certainly doesn’t look like two Champions League sides, but then again Benfica aren’t a team that was in the Champions League. Chelsea are though, but they’ve been pretty poor, although they were good in the last part of the first half.

46 mins: Peep Peep! The second half begins. Lets see some goals!

47 mins: Ramires brings down Melgarejo on the right… Cardozo swings in the ball, which Chelsea clear.

50 mins: GOallll… -sorry, no goal. Cross from the left finds Cardozo at the near post, and the midfielder heads into the back of the net, but it is brought back for offside.

51 mins:
Replays show Cardozo was not offside. Unlucky for Benfica.

53 mins: Benfica looking very dangerous, but they now lose the ball….

53 mins: Chelsea work it up to Azpilicueta, who horribly over-hits a cross from the right. The Blues could really use Hazard.

54 mins: Oscar looks in on goal, but the ref calls it back for a high boot from a Benfica player on Torres. Good call.

55 mins: Ramires’ cross from the right finds Oscar on the front post, and the Brazilian’s touch is deflected out….. But the following corner is cleared.

57 mins: Oscar attempts to slip Mata in, but his pass is intercepted. This is better from Chelsea.

57 mins: Chelsea then cross in from the left, but Artur comes out to collect.

58 mins: GOALLL!!!!!! (Torres). Seconds after Salvio had his header at the far post saved, Chelsea score!

58 mins: Great play from Torres. Cech’s punt is played long to Torres who beats a Benfica defender before rounding Cech and chipping it into the back of the net.

60 mins:
Torres is brought down in a dangerous position by Luisao… and the wall blocks Mata’s curling free-kick from twenty-five yards out.

63 mins: The Amsterdam Arena is rocking. Chelsea look very dangerous.

64 mins: Mata’s in down the right… he brilliantly flicks it inside and lays it off to Lampard…. who’s return ball is way to long for Mata.

65 mins: Luiz blasts a long range free-kick wide of the bar.  Benfica looking shaky; Benitez must be happy.  Imagine if he wins…

66 mins: PENALTY TO BENFICA! Azpilicueta stupidly put his hands in the air as Cardozo’s chipped ball into the box is headed on by a Benfica player, which of course his the outstretched arm of the defender.

67 mins:
GOALLL!!!!!! (Cardozo) Cardozo sends Cech the wrong way and coolly buries the penalty into the back of the net. Cardozo looks like he hurt himself with the kick… yep, looks like a cramp.

70 mins:
Mata plays a through ball to Ramires, but Garay clears it out wide…

71 mins: This match is very open. Mama Mia! Ramires has just send a cross into row z.

72 mins:
Azpilicueta earns a free-kick to release the pressure Benfica were applying. This match is there for the taking.

73 mins: Mata’s been good, and so has Torres, but Ramires has been horrible. As for Benfica, Cardozo has been very good and so has Garay.

74 mins: Oh my word!! Luisao trips Torres inside the box, but no penalty awarded. Now Garay is limping off with what looks like a leg cramp.  Nobody is getting any big calls from the ref since the penalty.

76 mins: By the way, it is very unusual for Benitez not to have made any subs by now, especially since it’s still tied.

78 mins: Chelsea have now been awarded a free-kick for handball on Cardozo inside the Chelsea box following a cross form the left. What a waste for Benfica.

79 mins: We are now entering the final ten minutes of play. Ohhh, Torres is released down the center, but instead of taking on two Benfica defenders plays an inaccurate through ball to Ramires. Benfica clear.

80 mins:
Sheesh. Ramires is now almost into double digit fouls….. On my word!! Cardozo hits a wicked dipping strike from twenty-five yards out, and Cech just managed to tip it over for a corner….

81 mins: Benifca flick the corner to the far post where Cardozo is waiting, but when the winger looked sure to score he mis-hit is effort backwards. Chelsea look shaken.

84 mins: Ohh! Lampard releases Ramires down the right, and although having many options, Ramires took it himself and his shot was blocked wide for a corner.

85 mins:
Mata swings in the corner, and Cahill reaches it, but heads over from six yards.

86 mins: Benfica clear a cross, and it falls to Azpilicueta.. Who rifles an effort on goal, and Artur does well to save.

87 mins:
OOHHHHHHHH!!! LAMPARD HITS THE POST!!! Mata lays it off to the Englishman, who rifles a fine effort onto the top crossbar from thirty-yards out. Whew, Benfica are now desperate defending.

88 mins: You just get the felling Torres will score an injury time goal to win it for Chelsea, and he finally will be loved at Stamford Bridge.

89 mins: This looks like it’s going into extra time.

90 mins: Torres concedes a free-kick inside the Benfica half. There will be three minutes of added time.

90+1 mins
: Chelsea still haven’t made a single substitution, while Benfica have made all of their three.

90+2 mins: OHHH MY WORD!!!! GOAL!! (Ivanovic) INCREDIBLE!

90+3 mins: Chelsea have won the Europa League. Torres smartly won a corner, and Mata desperately swung the corner to the far post where Ivanovic rose up and headed it back across goal into the top corner of the net.

90+4 mins: Benfica apply some late pressure… Ohh!!!Cahill is forced to kick away the ball from Cardozo during a scramble in the box, Chelsea don’t concede.

FULL TIME! Peep Peep!! And Chelsea win the Europa League!!

Benfica fans are heartbroken. And they should be. Their side has been excellent, but Chelsea have stolen the win (and the trophy). I can’t help saying: “I knew it! I predicted it!” Well mostly. I though Torres would be the injury-time scorer for Chelsea, but I new Chelsea would grab a late winner.

Lets see who is going to lift the trophy. I hope it’s Lampard or Benitez.

Everybody’s waiting for the trophy to come out. It’s taking them SO long to engrave Chelsea’s name into it.  Anyways, Chelsea have now won the Champions League and the Europa League in back-to-back seasons.  I wonder why Abrahmovic is still so content on changing managers.

Benfica now line up to receive their runners up medals, most of the weeping as they do so. It has been a very eventful week for the Portuguese side; they lost the Portuguese league title and the Europa League final within five days- unlucky? Totally. By the way, Eusebio is one of the medal giver-outers.

Rafa now leads the Chelsea squad up the the stairs to receive their medals.

Now that everybody has their medal the trophy is handed to Lampard and Terry…… who lift the trophy together!  Chelsea have won the Europa League!  Anyways,  that all for me, until next time, bye!

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