Chelsea wins Europe League Cup with a heart-taking last minute goal against Benfica

16 May 2013, 05:00
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Chelsea wins Europe League Cup with a heart-taking last minute goal against Benfica

The Europa League final game seemed to be destined to go into extra time when Branislaw Ivanovic came forward and send impressive header in looping arch producing dramatic goal in the last added minute of the match.


Benfica, although shocked and devastated, did try to respond and equalize, but Oscar Cardozo missed the ball, and the time was over. Such ending was especially heartbreaking since Benfica players demonstrated one of the most outstanding performances in the whole season.


Through the first half, Benfica looked charged and motivated achieving full domination on the field. Although their attacks could not really connect perfectly and result in accurate scoring shot, it seemed just a matter of time.


Chelsea players were struggling to take the ball away and did seem intimidated with Portuguese passion and speed.


Starting with the second half, the game levelled a bit becoming more open and offensive both ways. The teams kept trading fast attacks until Chelsea managed to score in a reminder of its 2012 Champion's league's smash-and-grab style.


In 59th minute, Peter Chech threw the ball to the centre of the field where it was pushed through further by Juan Mata to find Torres who easily ran away from the defender and round the goalkeeper to roll the ball into empty goal.


Benfica did not give up, and after taking a brief recovery pause, rushed forward eventually scoring through penalty. The hope returned, but it was not their night after all, or Bella Guttman curse manifested itself again.


With this win, Chelsea became the first team in history to simultaneously hold the Europa League and Champions League titles, although their Champions League crown will be relinquished either to Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund in 10 days.


Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez, joined Giovanni Trapattoni as the only coaches to win the Europa League Cup with two different teams. First time, he won it in 2004 with Valencia.


Also, London team became the fourth club to have conquered all three major European trophies – now abandoned UEFA Cup, Europa League Cup and Champions League Cup.


Only three teams including Ajax, Juventus and Beyern have accomplished this feat before.


In turn, Benfica has lost its seventh major European final since 1962 and brought up legendary and somewhat forgotten 'Bela Guttman's curse'.


The legend says that, after being denied salary raise in 1962 after winning two consecutive European Cups, Guttman proclaimed the club would not win another European Cup and left the team.


Since then, Benfica lost five European Cup finals in 1963, 1965, 1968, 1988, 1990, the 1983 UEFA Cup final and now the Europa League final.

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