Friday, May 3, 2013

Chelsea meet Benfica in Europa League final

David Luiz is bundled by team-mates, and salutes the Bridge faithful after dusting himself down.

David Luiz is bundled by team-mates, and salutes the Bridge faithful after dusting himself down

Chelsea outscored Basel 5-2 at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night to enter the Europa League final in Amsterdam where they will against Benfica.
Trailing 2-1 from the first leg at home, the Swiss side Basel levelled the tie by Mohamed Salah's cool finish in the area just before the half-time. If the score went unchanged to the final whistle, it still was Chelsea who has one more away goal to go through.
However, the last season's European champion proved too strong for the visitor. In span of nine minutes from the 50', Fernando Torres, Victor Moses and David Luiz erased any remaining doubts by hitting three in a row to seal the lop-sided victory.
Luiz, the Brazilian defender, again was placed into a holding midfielder role and showed his shooting talent. He took Frank Lampard's deft pass from a 25 yard position before curving a spectacular angled but also powerful enough shot into the top corner.
The best goal of the night sent the 39,403-attendance Stamford Bridge into wildness and clearly boost the host's confidence to become the first club in history to clinch Champions and Europa League titles in successive years.
About five minutes after Chelsea's victory, Benfica succeeded to overturn a first-leg 1-0 defeat and overcome Fenerbahce 3-1 at home to set up the final against the Blues.
Having met for the first time in European competition only a year ago, the duo will face each other again on May 15.
Chelsea are now one game away from a grand slam triumph. If they can beat Benfica, they will become only the fourth club to collect all three of the major European competitions including Champions League, Europa League (formerly known as UEFA Cup) and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Before them, Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich made this achievement.