One of the most tragic weeks in the history of any club have just gone over Benfica, managing to lose a title and a European final in the span of four days with two injury time goals. Meanwhile, Fernando Torres proves that all a team needs is to put him in a final, and he’ll look like a formidable striker. Branislav Ivanovic put on the finishing touch, giving Chelsea the Europa League title.
Rafa Benitez became the first manager to win the trophy with two different teams, adding it to his UEFA Cup with Valencia from 2004. Benfica? Jorge Jesus, the fans, the players, are only left with tears. Branislav Ivanovic didn’t hit the ball strongly, but it was high enough off the corner from Juan Mata for Artur Moraes to lose track of it and forget to respond. He’s not the only one to blame for this loss, but some will remember his inaction.
Oscar Cardozo scored the penalty kick that gave Benfica a deserved equalizer through a penalty kick. Benfica were the better team for most of the match, but hardly got a shot at goal in the first half, preferring to pass inside the box and look for Cardozo instead of taking the more practical shot. Chelsea only needed one huge mistake by Luisao that gave Fernando Torres the opportunity to score his sixth goal in the competition this season, with a similar to his one with Spain against Germany in the 2008 Euro final.
But it came down to those final moments. Benfica looked weary, exhausted, and looking for extra time. Chelsea were the better team after the equalizer, with Frank Lampard sending one vicious shot to the crossbar. Benfica started wasting time, waiting for the final whistle and a little bit of a breather. A team that doesn’t play to win in the final moments, just like in their match against Porto, ends up losing everything.
Tears, and more anguish for their fans, and players. A team that played wonderful football all through the season couldn’t come through when it mattered the most. Chelsea had an uninspiring season and campaign, but for the second time in a row, found a dramatic way to come out on top. Rafa Benitez, Fernando Torres. Two names that haven’t been attached to too much love this season end up as huge winners, even if they don’t deserve it.