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.
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MOTD- Chelsea 3-1 FC Basel

David Luiz curl's his wonder goal into the top corner in the fifty-seventh minute

David Luiz curl’s his wonder goal into the top corner in the fifty-seventh minute

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 Continue reading

MOTD- FC Basel 1-2 Chelsea

Fernando Torres attempts a bicycle-kick against Basel

Fernando Torres attempts a bicycle-kick against Basel

Chelsea have stolen a win in Switzerland in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal tie against FC Basel, and David Luiz’s injury time free-kick gave Chelsea a win that looks set to earn them a spot in the finals.  Basel started the match dominantly, and enjoyed a lot of early possession.  But Chelsea looked dangerous on the counter-attack, and Cesar Azplilicueta was given much joy down the right flan.  It was Azpilicueta’s cross that lead to Chelsea’s opener in the thirteenth minute when The left-back’s bouncing cross from the right found Frank Lampard at the front post, and the Englishman  tapped it towards goal, forcing Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer into a good save to push it wide for a corner.  Lampard swung the corner in to the middle of the box, and after Branislav Ivanovic missed the header, it deflected off the head of Moses and Mohamed El-Nenny somehow failed to nod it off the line at the far post.  Basel immediately bounced back, and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech was forced into an acrobatic save to tip Fabian Schar’s curling free-kick over the bar. Continue reading

MOTD- FC Basel (4)2-2(1) Tottenham Hootspur

FC Basel have surprisingly beaten Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 on penalties, after the match ended 2-2 after extra time, to earn the Swiss side a spot in the Europa League semifinals . The match started slowly with both teams felling their way into the match. Although Tottenham were the first side to come out of the early slumber, Fabian Schar almost put Basel in front in the third minute with a long range free-kick that dipped just wide of the post. Spurs kept up their dominance, but still allowed Basel to counter-attack, and Murat Yakin’s side again almost took the lead when Marco Steller played a neat one-two with Philipp Degan down the right flank, before chipping a beautiful cross to Mohamad Salah, only for Salah to hoick his acrobatic volley over the bar. Tottenham were still dominating possession, and took the lead in the twenty-third minute through a horrendous Basel mix-up. From the center circle, center-back Jan Vertonghen played a through ball straight through the middle, which Aleksander Dragovic should have easily cleared at the back, but slipped, and ended diverting the ball straight into the path of Clint Dempsey, who rounded Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer and poked the ball into the back of the net.

Amazingly, it took only three minutes for Basel to equalize, when Mousa Dembele’s wayward pass was intercepted by Streller inside Tottenham’s box. Steller released Salah in down the right with a through ball, and Salah, after taking a bad first touch, just managed to poke the ball past Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedal into the back of the net. Continue reading

MOTD- Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 FC Basel

Tottenham Hotspur have come back from behind to beat FC Basel in an exciting night at White Hart Lane, while Gareth Bale was carried off on a stretcher in the second half.  Basel surprisingly started the match brightly,  with Murat Yakin’s side starting very physically.  The Swiss team almost opened the scoring in the tenth minute when Marco Streller flicked a pass to Markus Steinhofer on the edge of the area.  Steinhofer hit a shot on goal, and Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedal did well to parry the shot.  The chance wasn’t over though, and when Basel recovered the ball they played it to Fabian Frei on the left, who sent in a low cross to Streller.  Streller’s shot from two yards out was straight at Friedal, but Basel didn’t let the chance go, with Valentin Stocker recovering the ball and hitting a fierce volley just over the bar.

After a shaky opening Tottenham started to come out of their shell, with Kyle Naughton’s deflected volley going inches wide of the post in the twenty-sixth minute.  Amazingly, it was Basel who opened the scoring in the thirtieth minute when Stocker managed to wriggle through the Tottenham defense.  Stocker played it to Mohamed Salah down the right, and Salah played it to Streller in the center of the box.  Streller turned on goal with the ball, only for his low shot to slam against the post.  It was a horrible miss, but luckily for Basel the rebound fell to Stocker, who slammed it into the back of the net from six yards out. Continue reading

MOTD- Chelsea 3-1 Steaua Bucuresti

Chelsea have beaten Steaua Bucucesti 3-1 at Stamford Bridge to progress to the Quarterfinals of the Europa League with a 3-2 win on aggregate.  Chelsea started the match on top and kept possession in their half looking for a way through the Steaua defense. But it was Steaua who got the first chance of the match and when John Terry lost the ball twenty-five yards out from his own net, Steaua’s Raul Rusescuce was put in on goal, and took the ball up to the Chelsea box. Rusescuce curled a shot to the far post from just outside the box, and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech had to dive to his left to tip it wide. Chelsea continued to keep possession, and the Blues got their first chance of the half in the twenty-first minute when some good footwork from Eden Hazard freed John Obi Mikel on the edge of the Steaua box. Mikel struck a low shot and Steaua goalkeeper did well to make the save and push it wide.

Chelsea took a deserved lead in the twenty-fifth minute, and when Juan Mata gave the ball to Ramires five yards out form the Steaua box, Mata ran around his marker and Ramires played the ball back to him six yards out from goal. Mata let the ball run through his legs hit a shot through the legs of Steaua goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu, and despite a slight deflection of Tatarusanu’s legs, the ball managed to creep into the near post. The Blues tried to double their lead, but the Steaua defense held strong and Chelsea couldn’t create any chances. Amazingly, Steaua equalized with the last kick of the half when Chelsea failed to clear a corner after Cech did well kick-save a poke from one of the Steaua players at the near post, and the ball fell to Vlad Chiriches. Chiriches slammed the ball into the back of the net from five yards out to make it 1-1. The first half ended immediately after the goal, with Chelsea needing to score two goals in the second half to progress to the Quarterfinals.

With the possibility of extra time gone, Chelsea started the second half lively and tied the tie 2-2 on aggregate in the fifty-eighth minute of a Mata free-kick on the left side of the Steaua box.  The Spaniard swung the ball to the near post, and John Terry reached it completely unmarked.  Terry hit it hard and low into the near side of the net to put Chelsea 2-0 up.  Chelsea started to push Steaua back into their half, and almost got their third goal on the night in the sixty-second minute when Hazard slammed a volley from the edge of the box at Tatarusanu who kicked it away without knowing to much about it.  Steaua did look dangerous on the counterattack, but Chelsea kept to push Steaua back and the Romanian side were having trouble containing Chelsea.

Chelsea needed one more goal to progress to the Quarters, and got it in the seventy-first minute when Mata feed the ball to Torres on the left side of the Steaua box.  Hazard let it run on to Torres and the Spaniard cut the ball across his body and hit a shot through the legs of Steaua defender Alexandru Chipciu.  The shot just managed to slip into the far post to put Chelsea 3-1 up and up 3-2 on aggregate.  Chelsea kept on top, and after changing his shirt due to a nosebleed, Torres came back on and almost put Chelsea 4-1, but his shot from the right side of the box curled just wide.  But Steaua still had hope, and if they scored one goal Chelsea would have to score again to make it through.  In the eighty-sixth minute Chelsea had a golden chance to put the game away, and when Hazard cut inside the center of the Steaua box, Alexandru Bourceanu tripped him and referee Stéphane Lannoy awarded a penalty.  Torres stepped up to take the kick, and his shot looked like it was in, but it flew just to high and hit the top crossbar and bounced out.  Torres almost made up for his miss in the second minute of injury time, and he rounded three Steaua defenders on the right to come into the box, and he played the ball to Yossi Benayoun who flicked the ball just wide.  After three minutes of intense extra time, the match ended with Chelsea winning the match 3-1 and the tie 3-2.
Man of the Match: Fernando Torres

MOTD halftime Chelsea 1-1 Steaua Bucuresti

Chelsea need two goals in the second half against Steaua Bucuresti to advance to the Quarterfinals of the Europa League as Steaua score in the last seconds of the half to make the score 1-1 in an exciting first half at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea started the match on top, and kept possession in their half looking for a way through the Steaua defense. But it was Steaua who got the first chance of the match and when John Terry lost the ball twenty-five yards out from his own net, Steaua’s Raul Rusescuce was put in on goal, and took the ball up to the Chelsea box. Rusescuce curled a shot to the far post from just outside the box, and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech had to dive to his left to tip it wide. Chelsea continued to keep possession, and The Blues got their first chance of the half in the twenty-first minute when some good footwork from Eden Hazard freed John Obi Mikel on the edge of the Steaua box. Mikel struck a low shot and Steaua goalkeeper did well to make the save and push it wide.

Chelsea took a deserved lead in the twenty-fifth minute, and when Juan Mata gave the ball to Ramires five yards out form the Steaua box, Mata ran around his marker and Ramires played the ball back to him six yards out from goal. Mata let the ball run through his legs hit a shot through the legs of Steaua goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu, and despite a slight deflection of Tatarusanu’s legs, the ball managed to creep into the near post. The Blues tried to double their lead, but the Steaua defense held strong and Chelsea couldn’t create any chances. Amazingly, Steaua equalized with the last kick of the half when Chelsea failed to clear a corner after Cech did well kick-save a poke from one of the Steaua players at the near post, and the ball fell to Vlad Chiriches. Chiriches slammed the ball into the back of the net from five yards out to make it 1-1. The first half ended immediately after the goal, and Chelsea will need to score two goals in the second half to progress to the Quarterfinals. Whether Chelsea do or not, the second half is sure to be exciting, so look out for my full time review, right here on Football Every Day!