Benfica 1-2 Chelsea
Rafael Benitez's reign as Chelsea's interim manager will end in triumph after Branislav Ivanovic's injury-time header won the Europa League final against Benfica in Amsterdam.
Benitez has proved an unpopular appointment with Chelsea's supporters but they were celebrating wildly in the Amsterdam Arena as they added this trophy to the Champions League won last season.
Fernando Torres scored against the run of play to put Chelsea ahead on the hour but Oscar Cardozo's penalty deservedly drew Benfica level.
Blues keeper Petr Cech saved superbly from Cardozo and Frank Lampard struck the woodwork in a dramatic conclusion before Ivanovic - suspended for last year's Champions League final - rose to meet Juan Mata's corner deep into stoppage time to prompt a subdued clenched-fist celebration from Benitez.
It was a night when Chelsea rode their luck for periods against their Portuguese opponents but the sheer grit and resilience shown in grinding out this win in their 68th game of the season is a tribute to their reserves of character.
As for Benitez, he will leave Stamford Bridge following Sunday's final Premier League game against Everton a satisfied - and probably in-demand - manager after guiding the west Londoners into next season's Champions League and claiming a major trophy after succeeding Roberto Di Matteo in November.
Benfica, with their greatest ever player Eusebio watching from the stands, were attempting to lift their European curse and end a 51-year barren sequence but have now lost seven successive European finals, many of their players slumping to the turf in tears at the final whistle.
Chelsea, with Eden Hazard already out with a hamstring injury, also had to do without captain John Terry for a second successive European final after he failed to recover from the ankle problem he sustained at Aston Villa.
The inspiration of Hazard was sorely missed in a lifeless first half from Chelsea, when they were only spared by Benfica's tendency to over-elaborate and their dreadful finishing.
Nicolas Gaitan, in particular, was a culprit when he twice shot wildly off target after Benfica's precise approach play had opened up Chelsea at the back.
Torres took a knock early on and his struggles were made even more acute by a lack of support in midfield, where former Chelsea midfield man Nemanja Matic, who went to Benfica as part of the David Luiz deal, was impressive.
For all Benfica's possession and superiority, it was their goalkeeper Artur who had to make the half's outstanding save. The keeper, prone to occasional moments of eccentricity, did brilliantly to change direction and palm Lampard's swerving shot to safety.
The pattern continued in the second half and the dangerous Cardozo thought he had made Benfica's deserved breakthrough after 50 minutes, but his header from Gaitan's cross was ruled out for offside.
Chelsea took the lead against the run of play just before the hour, but it was a moment of vintage Torres that provided it. He showed pace and body strength to escape the attentions of Ezequiel Garay and Luisao before rounding Artur to score from the tightest of angles.
The lead lasted only nine minutes. Benfica drew level from the spot after Cesar Azpilicueta handled Eduardo Salvio's header, Cardozo scoring emphatically.
It required superb athleticism from Cech to prevent Cardozo putting Benfica in front with nine minutes left, the keeper at full stretch to turn his dipping 20-yard shot over the bar.
Lampard came even closer with only three minutes left when his 20-yard drive beat Artur but bounced back out to safety off the bar.
Chelsea had one last chance deep into stoppage time and Ivanovic produced a towering header to win the Europa League.
- 01 Artur
- 04 Luisao Booked
- 24 Garay Booked (Jardel - 78' )
- 25 Melgarejo (Ola John - 66' )
- 20 Gaitan
- 21 Matic
- 34 Almeida
- 35 Perez
- 07 Cardozo
- 18 Eduardo Salvio
- 19 Moreno (Lima - 65' )
- 13 Paulo Lopes
- 33 Jardel
- 10 Aimar
- 15 Ola John
- 89 Gomes
- 11 Lima
- 23 Urretaviscaya
- 01 Cech
- 02 Ivanovic
- 03 Cole
- 04 Luiz
- 24 Cahill
- 28 Azpilicueta
- 07 Ramires
- 08 Lampard
- 10 Mata
- 11 Oscar Booked
- 09 Torres
- 22 Turnbull
- 19 Ferreira
- 12 Mikel
- 13 Moses
- 21 Marin
- 30 Benayoun
- 57 Ake
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +2:18
The assist for the goal came from Juan Mata.90:00 +2:18 Goal scored
Goal! - Branislav Ivanovic - Benfica 1 - 2 Chelsea Branislav Ivanovic grabs a headed goal from close range. Benfica 1-2 Chelsea.90:00 +2:16
Inswinging corner taken by Juan Mata from the right by-line,90:00 +0:49
The referee gives a free kick against Oscar Cardozo for handball. Petr Cech takes the indirect free kick.89:59
Free kick awarded for a foul by Fernando Torres on Enzo Perez. Guilherme Artur Moraes takes the direct free kick.89:37
The ball is delivered by Eduardo Salvio, Anderson Luisao takes a shot. Blocked by Ashley Cole.88:08
Shot from deep inside the area by Rodrigo Lima clears the bar.87:51
Frank Lampard takes a shot.86:30
Gary Cahill challenges Ola John unfairly and gives away a free kick. Centre by Nicolas Gaitan, Oscar Cardozo takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a comfortable save.86:13
Cesar Azpilicueta takes a shot. Save by Guilherme Artur Moraes.85:36
Emboaba Oscar fouled by Andre Almeida, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Emboaba Oscar.84:59
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Luiz by Enzo Perez. Gary Cahill restarts play with the free kick.84:23
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Juan Mata, Gary Cahill produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.84:05
Nascimento Ramires takes a shot. Blocked by Anderson Luisao.81:58
Eduardo Salvio delivers the ball, blocked by Ashley Cole. Corner taken right-footed by Eduardo Salvio from the right by-line, Header from deep inside the area by Vieira Jardel goes harmlessly over the crossbar.81:26
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ola John from the left by-line.81:05
Oscar Cardozo takes a shot. Save made by Petr Cech.80:36
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nicolas Gaitan by Nascimento Ramires. Direct free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.78:56
The assistant referee signals for offside against Nascimento Ramires. Free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Oscar Cardozo on Gary Cahill. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.77:09 Substitution
Substitution Vieira Jardel on for Ezequiel Garay.74:07
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nascimento Ramires by Nemanja Matic. Juan Mata takes the free kick.71:47
Ola John concedes a free kick for a foul on Cesar Azpilicueta. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.70:57
A cross is delivered by Nascimento Ramires.69:33
Nascimento Ramires is caught offside. Guilherme Artur Moraes restarts play with the free kick.68:44
A cross is delivered by Emboaba Oscar, save by Guilherme Artur Moraes.67:19 Goal scored
Goal! - Oscar Cardozo - Benfica 1 - 1 Chelsea Penalty taken left-footed by Oscar Cardozo and scored. Benfica 1-1 Chelsea.66:19
Handball by Cesar Azpilicueta.64:40
David Luiz has an effort direct from the free kick.64:40 Substitution
Substitution Ola John replaces Lorenzo Melgarejo.64:40 Substitution
Substitution Rodrigo Lima is brought on as a substitute for Moreno Rodrigo.64:40
Free kick awarded for a foul by Enzo Perez on David Luiz.63:38
Nemanja Matic concedes a free kick for a foul on Emboaba Oscar. Petr Cech takes the direct free kick.62:37
Free kick awarded for a foul by Nascimento Ramires on Nemanja Matic. Nemanja Matic takes the direct free kick.60:59
Juan Mata produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.60:59 Booking
Booking Anderson Luisao goes into the referee's book.60:54
Fernando Torres fouled by Anderson Luisao, the ref awards a free kick.58:57
Assist by Juan Mata.58:57 Goal scored
Goal! - Fernando Torres - Benfica 0 - 1 Chelsea Fernando Torres finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Benfica 0-1 Chelsea.58:48
Moreno Rodrigo takes a shot. Save made by Petr Cech.57:17
The ball is sent over by Juan Mata, save by Guilherme Artur Moraes.57:08
The ball is delivered by Juan Mata, clearance made by Anderson Luisao.56:28
Fernando Torres challenges Enzo Perez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Nemanja Matic takes the free kick.56:10
Juan Mata produces a cross, Guilherme Artur Moraes makes a comfortable save.55:42
Corner taken left-footed by Juan Mata from the right by-line, Anderson Luisao makes a clearance.55:03
Nascimento Ramires is caught offside. Free kick taken by Lorenzo Melgarejo.53:58
Unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Anderson Luisao results in a free kick. Juan Mata delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, clearance by Ezequiel Garay.52:55
Cesar Azpilicueta delivers the ball.52:08
Nascimento Ramires is ruled offside. Guilherme Artur Moraes takes the indirect free kick.51:11
Juan Mata fouled by Andre Almeida, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Juan Mata.50:35
Oscar Cardozo is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.50:07
Corner taken by Nicolas Gaitan from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Frank Lampard.49:49
A cross is delivered by Oscar Cardozo, clearance by Cesar Azpilicueta.48:59
Nicolas Gaitan has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.48:15
Lorenzo Melgarejo fouled by Nascimento Ramires, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Lorenzo Melgarejo, clearance made by Frank Lampard.47:46
Oscar Cardozo fouled by Branislav Ivanovic, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Andre Almeida.45:52
Nicolas Gaitan crosses the ball, clearance by Gary Cahill.45:07
Ashley Cole gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eduardo Salvio. Free kick taken by Enzo Perez.45:01
The referee gets the second half started.45:00 +1:25 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.45:00 +0:37
Strike on goal comes in from Frank Lampard from the free kick.45:00 +0:37 Booking
Booking Ezequiel Garay goes into the referee's book.45:00 +0:20
Ezequiel Garay gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emboaba Oscar.44:32
The assistant referee flags for offside against Cesar Azpilicueta. Lorenzo Melgarejo takes the free kick.43:56
A cross is delivered by Nascimento Ramires, Ezequiel Garay makes a clearance.43:24
Centre by Nicolas Gaitan, save made by Petr Cech.41:47
Short corner taken by Eduardo Salvio.41:24
Enzo Perez delivers the ball, Oscar Cardozo takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Cahill.40:32
The referee blows for offside against Fernando Torres. Guilherme Artur Moraes restarts play with the free kick.40:18
A cross is delivered by Juan Mata.40:04
The referee blows for offside against Juan Mata. Ezequiel Garay takes the free kick.38:02
Corner taken by Juan Mata from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Oscar Cardozo.37:40
Frank Lampard takes a shot. Fantastic save by Guilherme Artur Moraes.37:21
Emboaba Oscar produces a cross, Ezequiel Garay manages to make a clearance.34:16
Nicolas Gaitan fouled by Cesar Azpilicueta, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Nicolas Gaitan, Frank Lampard manages to make a clearance.32:53
Nicolas Gaitan takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.32:12
Foul by Moreno Rodrigo on David Luiz, free kick awarded. David Luiz restarts play with the free kick.30:16
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Enzo Perez by Branislav Ivanovic. Strike on goal comes in from Oscar Cardozo from the free kick.28:07
Enzo Perez produces a cross, clearance made by David Luiz.26:20
Shot from 25 yards by Emboaba Oscar. Guilherme Artur Moraes makes a save.24:07
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Ezequiel Garay. Juan Mata crosses the ball in from the free kick, Guilherme Artur Moraes makes a save.21:54
Unfair challenge on Emboaba Oscar by Andre Almeida results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Juan Mata, Ezequiel Garay manages to make a clearance.21:25
Nicolas Gaitan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Luiz. David Luiz restarts play with the free kick.19:41
Lorenzo Melgarejo fouled by Nascimento Ramires, the ref awards a free kick. Lorenzo Melgarejo restarts play with the free kick.17:27
Foul by David Luiz on Enzo Perez, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Anderson Luisao.16:34
Nascimento Ramires challenges Nemanja Matic unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Nemanja Matic.15:48
Free kick awarded for a foul by Nascimento Ramires on Nemanja Matic. Nemanja Matic takes the direct free kick.14:42
The ball is sent over by Enzo Perez, Gary Cahill makes a clearance.13:29
Direct free kick taken by Oscar Cardozo.13:29 Booking
Booking Emboaba Oscar goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.13:24
Free kick awarded for a foul by Emboaba Oscar on Enzo Perez.12:31
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Luiz on Nemanja Matic. Nemanja Matic restarts play with the free kick.11:49
Effort on goal by Nicolas Gaitan from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.10:41
Oscar Cardozo takes a shot. Branislav Ivanovic gets a block in. Nicolas Gaitan takes a shot. Blocked by Ashley Cole.8:44
The official flags Fernando Torres offside. Direct free kick taken by Lorenzo Melgarejo.5:26
Nemanja Matic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nascimento Ramires. Free kick taken by David Luiz.1:57
Centre by Andre Almeida, Header from deep inside the area by Oscar Cardozo goes harmlessly over the crossbar.0:00
The referee gets the game started.
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