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1 vs 2
Played
May 15, 2013 2:45 PM EDT
Amsterdam ArenA — Amsterdam
Referee:‬ B. Kuipers‎
Attendance:‬ 46163‎
 
68′ (PG) Ó. Cardozo
 
Top of the Match
Branislav Ivanovic
Branislav Ivanovic
Chelsea
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Chelsea
Flop of the Match
Ramires
Ramires
Chelsea
Ramires
Ramires
Chelsea

Benfica 1-2 Chelsea: Ivanovic heads dramatic winner to seal Europa League glory

The Serbian defender nodded home in the 93rd minute after Fernando Torres' second-half goal on the counterattack had been cancelled out by Oscar Cardozo's penalty

By Oliver Platt

Branislav Ivanovic scored a dramatic late winner as Chelsea saw off Benfica 2-1 to win the Europa League and claim its second continental title in two seasons in Amsterdam.

Fernando Torres coolly finished off a swift counterattack to give the Blues the lead against the run of play shortly before the hour mark.

Oscar Cardozo soon equalized from the penalty spot after Cesar Azplicueta's handball but Ivanovic struck in the 93rd minute to ensure Rafa Benitez's reign at Stamford Bridge ended with silverware.

Benfica, which suffered a dramatic defeat in its virtual title-decider against Porto at the weekend, was anchored by Chelsea youngster Nemanja Matic in central midfield, while Pablo Aimar, a Spanish league winner under Benitez at Valencia, was on the bench.

Eden Hazard and John Terry were missing from the Chelsea squad due to injury so Oscar joined Juan Mata and Ramires in support of Torres, while Branislav Ivanovic partnered Gary Cahill at center back as David Luiz pushed into midfield.

If there was any despondency lingering in the Benfica ranks following its loss at the Estadio do Dragao, it did not show in the early stages.

Led by the towering presence of Matic, Cardozo, Nicolas Gaitan and Rodrigo all had chances in the opposition penalty area in the opening quarter of an hour but were denied by a combination of last-ditch Chelsea defending and a heavily watered and consequently slippery pitch.

Gradually, though, Benitez's team improved. Frank Lampard's swerving 25-yard effort seemed to have wrong-footed Artur, but after diving to his right the goalkeeper flung out his left arm to push the ball over the crossbar in spectacular style.

Bellowed on by manager Jorge Jesus, Benfica retook the initiative after halftime and Chelsea was saved by a correctly raised offside flag when Cardozo nodded home Gaitan's excellent cross from the right.

The Premier League club, though, was happy to go route one to take the lead. Petr Cech's long throw to the center circle was hooked on through the middle of the Benfica defense by Mata and Torres, after shaking off the company of Luisao, calmly rounded Artur and slotted home.

Jesus responded by reinforcing his attack with the introduction of Lima and Ola John and the change immediately paid dividends. After exchanging a one-two with Cardozo, Lima looked to flick the ball past Azpilicueta only to see the right back block with his hand.

Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Cardozo finished decisively from 12 yards.

The Paraguayan appeared to hurt himself in taking the spot-kick but was able to carry on and forced a fine tipped save from Cech with a 20-yard volley as the final entered its last 10 minutes of the regulation 90.

Lampard would go even closer, rattling the crossbar with a terrific drive from distance, but Chelsea did not rue the 34-year-old's miss. In the third and final minute of added time, Ivanovic rose at the back post and looped home a header with Artur rooted to the spot.

The Serbian's error gifted Cardozo a glorious chance to draw Benfica level for the second time with the last kick but Cahill heroically cleared the ball to safety and delivered the trophy.

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Benfica

1
Artur
Goalkeeper
2.50
4
Luisao
Defender
61′
2.50
24
Ezequiel Garay
Defender
46′ 78′
3.00
28
L. Melgarejo
Midfielder
66′
3.00
18
Toto Salvio
Striker
3.00
21
Nemanja Matić
Midfielder
3.50
30
André Almeida
Defender
3.00
35
3.50
7
Ó. Cardozo
Striker
68′
3.50
19
Rodrigo
Striker
66′
 - 

Chelsea

3.50
1
Petr Cech
Goalkeeper
4.50
2
3.00
3
Ashley Cole
Defender
3.50
4
David Luiz
Defender
4.00
24
Gary Cahill
Defender
2.50
28
2.50
7
Ramires
Midfielder
3.50
8
Frank Lampard
Midfielder
2.50
11
Oscar
Midfielder
14′
3.50
9
3.00
8
Juan Mata
Midfielder
60′ 93′

Substitutes

13
Paulo Lopes
Goalkeeper
 - 
33
3.00
10
Pablo Aimar
Midfielder
 - 
16
 - 
-
André Gomes
Midfielder
 - 
11
Lima
Striker
66′
2.50
24
Ola John
Striker
66′
2.50

Substitutes

 - 
21
Ross Turnbull
Goalkeeper
 - 
20
 - 
27
Nathan Ake
Defender
 - 
12
John Obi Mikel
Midfielder
 - 
12
Victor Moses
Midfielder
 - 
21
Marko Marin
Midfielder
 - 
30
Yossi Benayoun
Midfielder

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Jonathan Jonathan
Striker
Salzburg
11 2
Jermain Defoe Jermain Defoe
Striker
Toronto FC
7 1
Alexander Meier Alexander Meier
Midfielder
Eintracht Frankfurt
7 1
Paco Alcácer Paco Alcácer
Striker
Valencia
7 0
C. Bacca C. Bacca
Striker
Sevilla
7 0