Benfica 1-2 Chelsea (2012-13 UEFA Europa League Final)

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2013 UEFA Europa League Final
2013 UEFA Europa League Final programme.jpg
0Scoreline Benfica 1-2 Chelsea
0Date 15 May 2013
0Competition UEFA Europa League
0Referee Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)
0Stadium Amsterdam Arena
0Attendance 46,163

The 2013 UEFA Europa League Final was contested between Chelsea and Portuguese side Benfica. The match was played on Wednesday 15 May 2013 at the Amsterdam Arena, the home stadium of Ajax. It was Chelsea's first appearance in a UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League final and the club's fifth appearance in a major European final overall. As reigning UEFA Champions League holders prior to the 2012-13 final Chelsea were seeking to become the first club to hold both European titles at once, albeit for 10 days. Benfica were competing in their ninth European final, but after winning back-to-back European Cups in 1961 and 1962 they had lost their last six final appearances in European competition, the most recent being the 1990 European Cup Final. Despite both Chelsea and Benfica having significant history and experience in European competition, the only previous competitive matches between the two clubs had come the previous season, in the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League, which the Blues won 3-1 on aggregate on their way to winning the tournament. Both clubs had exited the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League at the group stage, and joined the UEFA Europa League in the Round of 32.

Three players faced their former clubs in the final: Benfica's Nemanja Matić had moved to Portugal from Chelsea as part of the deal to bring David Luiz to Stamford Bridge, whose compatriot Ramires also played for Benfica before signing for Chelsea. The Blues would be without one of their star players for the final, Eden Hazard having picked up a hamstring injury in the dying minutes of a match against Aston Villa on the preceding Saturday. Ryan Bertrand was also injured, along with club captain John Terry, who would miss his second consecutive European final, this time due to an ankle injury rather than suspension. As had been the case for the entire competition Chelsea had limited options up front, with Demba Ba being cup tied. Benfica were relatively untroubled by injuries, but were missing right-back Maxi Pereira through suspension.

Chelsea won the match 2-1, the winning goal coming in the final minute of injury time; Man of the Match Branislav Ivanovic scoring with a looping header from a Juan Mata corner. Óscar Cardozo had earlier levelled from the penalty spot following a second half opener from Fernando Torres. The result meant that Chelsea became the first English club to win all three major UEFA competitions (European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League), and only the fourth club in history to do so, after Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich. [1]


Match review

Branislav Ivanović heads the winner
The Portuguese side had the better of the first half, dominating possession for long periods but failing to convert promising openings and swift build-up play into clear cut chances. A swerving Frank Lampard effort from outside the area was Chelsea's most threatening moment, goalkeeper Artur managing to readjust in mid-air and help the ball over the bar. Five minutes into the second half Benfica had a goal ruled out following a marginal – but correct – offside decision, however Chelsea improved in the second period, with possession being much more even. Though Chelsea's possession play had improved after the break it was nonetheless a direct move that gave the Blues the lead; Petr Čech threw the ball forward to Juan Mata in midfield, whose faint touch played the ball into the path of Fernando Torres in the opposition half. The Spaniard raced forward and used his strength and body position superbly to hold off Benfica centre back Luisão before calmly taking the ball round Artur and slotting in from an angle to score his sixth goal in nine Europa League matches. The lead lasted for less than ten minutes. Benfica were gifted an opportunity to equalise after César Azpilicueta – who had made something of a habit of giving away penalties in the run to the final – handled the ball in the area, allowing Óscar Cardozo to equalise from the spot.

Both teams came close with long-range strikes in the final ten minutes; Cardozo had a dipping, volleyed effort tipped over the bar by Cech before Lampard smashed a venomous shot against the crossbar. With the teams still level as the match entered 3 minutes of injury time, Ramires showed typical energy and persistence to win a corner, giving Chelsea what seemed to be a last chance as extra time approached. Juan Mata swung the ball over to the far post where Ivanovic headed the ball at the perfect angle to loop back across goal and into the far corner of the net as a helpless Artur looked on. With the goal being scored in the last minute of injury time the match appeared won, but Benfica almost had a chance to equalise immediately; Gary Cahill denying Cardozo with a last ditch clearance as the Paraguayan international was shaping to slot the ball past Cech from close range. The final whistle soon followed as Chelsea finished yet another turbulent season on a high.

Match details

15 May 2012
19:45 BST
Benfica 1 - 2 Chelsea Venue: Amsterdam Arena
Attendance: 46,163
Referee: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)
Cardozo Goal 68' (pen) Torres Goal 59'
Ivanović Goal 90+3'
GK 1 Artur
RB 34André Almeida
CB 4 Luisão (c) Booked 61'
CB 24Ezequiel Garay Booked 45+1' Sub off.png 78'
LB 25Lorenzo Melgarejo Sub off.png 66'
CM 35Enzo Pérez
CM 21Nemanja Matić
RW 18Eduardo Salvio
AM 19Rodrigo Sub off.png 66'
LW 20Nicolás Gaitán
CF 7 Óscar Cardozo
GK 13Paulo Lopes
DF 33Jardel Sub on.png 78'
MF 89André Gomes
MF 23Jonathan Urretaviscaya
MF 10Pablo Aimar
MF 15Ola John Sub on.png 66'
FW 11Lima Sub on.png 66'
Jorge Jesus
GK 1 Petr Čech
RB 28César Azpilicueta
CB 2 Branislav Ivanović
CB 24Gary Cahill
LB 3 Ashley Cole
CM 8 Frank Lampard (c)
CM 4 David Luiz
RW 7 Ramires
AM 10Juan Mata
LW 11Oscar Booked 14'
CF 9 Fernando Torres
GK 22Ross Turnbull
DF 19Paulo Ferreira
MF 12Mikel John Obi
MF 21Marko Marin
MF 30Yossi Benayoun
MF 57Nathan Aké
FW 13Victor Moses
Rafael Benítez

Road to the Final

Chelsea entered the competition at the Round of 32 stage, having finished in third place in Group E of the UEFA Champions League.

Season Day D M Year Round Opposition Venue Result Score Additional information
2012-13Thu14Feb2013Round of 32 1st LegSparta PragueAwayWon1-0
2012-13Thu21Feb2013Round of 32 2nd LegSparta PragueHomeDrew1-1(2-1 aggregate)
2012-13Thu7Mar2013Round of 16 1st LegSteaua BucharestAwayLost0-1
2012-13Thu14Mar2013Round of 16 2nd LegSteaua BucharestHomeWon3-1(3-2 aggregate)
2012-13Thu4Apr2013Quarter Final 1st LegRubin KazanHomeWon3-1
2012-13Thu11Apr2013Quarter Final 2nd LegRubin KazanAwayLost2-3(5-4 aggregate)
2012-13Thu25Apr2013Semi Final 1st LegBaselAwayWon2-1
2012-13Thu2May2013Semi Final 2nd LegBaselHomeWon3-1(5-2 aggregate)

Match reports


Chelsea in Europe
Champions League: 1999–002003–042004–052005–062006–072007–082008–092009–102010–112011–122012–132013–142014–152015–16
UEFA Cup/Europa League: 2000–012001–022002–032012–13
Cup Winners' Cup: 1970–711971–721994–951997–981998–99
Fairs Cup: 1958–601965–661968–69
Super Cup: 199820122013
European Cup: 1955–56
2012-13 season
Premier League:
Wigan (A)Reading (H)Newcastle (H)QPR (A)Stoke (H)Arsenal (A)Norwich (H)Tottenham (A)
Man Utd (H)Swansea (A)Liverpool (H)West Brom (A)Man City (H)Fulham (H)West Ham (A)Sunderland (A)
Aston Villa (H)Norwich (A)Everton (A)QPR (H)Stoke (A)Southampton (H)Arsenal (H)Reading (A)Newcastle (A)
Wigan (H)Man City (A)West Brom (H)West Ham (H)Southampton (A)Sunderland (H)Fulham (A)
Liverpool (A)Swansea (H)Man Utd (A)Tottenham (H)Aston Villa (A)Everton (H)
FA Cup:
3rd round: Southampton | 4th round: BrentfordReplay | 5th round: Middlesbrough | QF: Man UtdReplay | SF: Man City
League Cup:
3rd round: Wolves | 4th round: Man Utd | 5th round: Leeds Utd | SF: Swansea: 1st Leg2nd Leg
Champions League:
Group stage: Juventus (H)Nordsjælland (A)Shakhtar Donetsk (A)Shakhtar Donetsk (H)Juventus (A)Nordsjælland (H)
Europa League:
R32: Sparta Prague: 1st Leg2nd Leg | R16: Steaua Bucharest: 1st Leg2nd Leg | QF: Rubin Kazan: 1st Leg2nd Leg
SF: Basel: 1st Leg2nd Leg | Final: Benfica
Club World Cup:
SF: Monterrey | Final: Corinthians

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