Benfica 1-2 Chelsea: Match Report

Ivanovic

Chelsea are kings of Europe for ten days at least, as Branislav Ivanovic's late goal won them the Europa League final.

Branislav Ivanovic scored in injury time as Chelsea beat Benfica 2-1 in Amsterdam to become the first team to win the Europa League the year after the Champions League.

Benfica dominated the first half and missed a slew of chances before Torres broke to score in the 59th minute.

However their lead was short-lived, with Cardozo scoring from the spot in the 68th minute after Cesar Azpilicueta handled in the area.

Lampard hit the bar late on, before Ivanovic headed home superbly in the 92nd minute to win the game for the Blues.

Benfica had the best of the early exchanges, with Oscar Cardozo, Salvio and Nicolas Gaitan all missing chances.

Frank Lampard, now Chelsea’s record goalscorer and captain in John Terry’s absence, then drew a fine save out of Artur with a swerving effort.

The Blues were lucky to go in level at half-time, but made Benfica pay for their misses when Torres broke to score his 9th European goal of the season.

A Petr Cech throw bounced through to the Spanish striker, who turned his defender before calmly rounding Artur and slotting into the net.

Jorge Jesus responded by bringing on top scorer Lima and Ola John, and Benfica leveled soon after when Cardozo powered in a penalty.

Azpilicueta blocked Salvio’s header with his arm, and Cardozo confidently netted his tenth goal against British sides to bring Benfica level.

Lampard almost won the game for Chelsea in the 88th minute, rattling the crossbar from 30 yards, before Ivanovic then scored the winner.

The defender, who was suspended for last year’s Champions League final, headed home Juan Mata’s corner to put Chelsea on top of Europe once again.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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