Chelsea's players celebrate with the trophy after defeating Benfica in their Europa League final soccer match at the Amsterdam Arena May 15, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (NETHERLANDS - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
Chelsea will not finish the 2012-13 season empty-handed. The Blues defeated Benfica in the Europa League Wednesday to become the first European club to ever hold the Champions League and Europa League trophy simultaneously.
The Blues headed into the match as the favorites, but faced a great deal of pressure after a disappointing season that saw them eliminated from the Champions league in the group stage.
The first half was an even affair with Benfica finishing with more chances. However, the English side got a huge lift in the 60th minute when striker Fernando Torres walked into the Benfica penalty area all alone. He dribbled past the opposing goaltender Arthur and eventually deposited the ball into the vacant net. The goal appeared to be a rather strange one as no defenseman was close to Torres and he seemingly had all the time in the world to score.
Benfica would even the score eight minutes later on an Oscar Cardozo penalty shot.
The game seemed headed to extra time, but Chelsea managed to get a header goal from Branislav Ivanovic in the third minute of stoppage time.
"It's a great feeling. This team deserved this, because we have had a very difficult season and a lot of games," Ivanovic said after the win. "In the end, today was a very hard game and Benfica played very well. ... We deserve that trophy."
"That was a great performance in the second half, against a very good team," said Chelsea's Interim manager Rafa Benitez said. "I'm really pleased for the players and everyone involved."
Chelsea is now the fourth team to hoist all three of UEFA's major club trophies after Juventus, Ajax Amsterdam and Bayern Munich; Chelsea obtained the now-defunct European Cup Winners' Cup in 1971 and 1998.