Chelsea 3-1 FC Basel (5-2 agg)
Chelsea secured their place in the Europa League final against Benfica with an ultimately comfortable win over FC Basel at Stamford Bridge.
The Swiss side, attempting to reverse a 2-1 deficit from the first leg of their semi-final, gave Chelsea brief moments of anxiety, especially when Mohamed Salah gave them the lead on the night just before half-time.
But Fernando Torres put Chelsea back on track with his 20th goal of the season just after half-time and Victor Moses removed any remaining doubts with a second two minutes later.
David Luiz, Chelsea's match-winner in Basel, then produced the sort of spectacular 25-yard strike that is fast becoming his trademark to add gloss to an evening of celebration at Stamford Bridge.
Benitez, who claimed this trophy in its guise as the Uefa Cup with Valencia in 2004, was able to put aside the continuing speculation about the possible return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge by adding to his own reputation as a European specialist.
Chelsea's fans chanted for Mourinho's return throughout - but there was not a flicker of recognition for the man who picked up the reins towards the end of the London club's calamitous defence of the Champions League and now has the chance in Amsterdam to win European football's consolation prize.
Benitez may not have won favour from Chelsea's supporters - he is now accepted in grudging silence - but he surely deserves credit for taking them to a major final whilst also guiding them into a favourable position to finish in the Premier League's top four.
Basel, defeated 2-1 at home last week, needed to score to have any hope and should have got the early goal they so craved inside the first 50 seconds, only for Marco Streller to scuff an angled shot wide with only Petr Cech to beat.
With John Terry on the bench, Frank Lampard had taken the captain's armband - and he was almost celebrating a piece of history after only eight minutes but the post stopped him equalling the Chelsea club record of 202 goals held by Bobby Tambling.
Torres was looking lively and he almost gave Chelsea the lead when a swift exchange of passes with Eden Hazard ended with the striker bringing a low save from keeper Yann Sommer.
Basel were enterprising and Streller was only inches away from giving them the lead on the night with a flashing angled volley that flew just wide.
As both sides created opportunities, Ramires brought another save from Sommer but it was Basel who went ahead seconds before half-time.
Salah had already wasted one chance to score when he was blocked by Cech but he made no mistake when he was played in by Valentin Stocker, converting with a cool finish.
Chelsea needed to react after the interval - and they did so in such spectacular fashion that their place in Amsterdam was sealed before the hour.
Torres, a regular Europa League marksman this season, equalised in the 51st minute when he reacted first to turn in the rebound after Sommer failed to hold Lampard's shot from the edge of the area.
The Blues were well on their way to the final two minutes later when Torres's shot bounced off a Basel defender and fell invitingly for Moses, who scored at the second attempt from six yards.
If there was any lingering hope in Basel hearts, it was snuffed out by another piece of instinctive brilliance from Luiz, who took Lampard's pass before curving a wonderful left-foot finish into the top corner with Sommer motionless.
Basel still mustered the energy to attack and Fabian Frei struck the woodwork with Cech beaten as his shot took a glancing deflection off Branislav Ivanovic. Sereh Die also forced a save from the keeper but it was all in vain.
Now, despite the disappointment of their early Champions League exit, Chelsea have the opportunity to bring a European trophy to Stamford Bridge for the second successive season.
- 01 Cech
- 02 Ivanovic
- 04 Luiz (Ake - 81' )
- 24 Cahill
- 28 Azpilicueta Booked
- 34 Bertrand
- 07 Ramires (Oscar - 66' )
- 08 Lampard
- 13 Moses
- 17 Hazard (Mata - 75' )
- 09 Torres
- 22 Turnbull
- 19 Ferreira
- 26 Terry
- 10 Mata
- 11 Oscar
- 30 Benayoun
- 57 Ake
- 01 Sommer
- 15 Voser
- 16 Schar Booked
- 26 Sauro
- 27 Steinhofer Booked
- 08 Geoffroy Booked
- 14 Stocker (Degen - 62' )
- 20 F Frei (Marcelo Diaz - 75' )
- 22 Salah
- 33 El-Nenny
- 09 Streller (Jacques Zoua - 62' )
- 18 Vailati
- 03 Joo-ho Park
- 05 Ajeti
- 07 Degen
- 21 Marcelo Diaz
- 24 Cabral
- 31 Jacques Zoua
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The match has reached full-time.90:00 +2:06
Serey Die produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.90:00 +1:48
Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save made by Yann Sommer.90:00 +1:11
The ball is swung over by Emboaba Oscar.89:58
Gary Cahill gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jacques Zoua. Direct free kick taken by Fabian Schar.88:11
Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save by Yann Sommer.87:39
Gary Cahill takes the free kick.87:39 Booking
Booking Serey Die receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.87:35
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emboaba Oscar by Serey Die.86:15
Jacques Zoua produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.84:19
The ball is swung over by Ryan Bertrand, Fabian Schar gets a block in. Juan Mata takes a shot. Save made by Yann Sommer.83:16
The ball is sent over by Markus Steinhofer, Branislav Ivanovic makes a clearance.82:26
The ball is delivered by Mohamed Salah, save made by Petr Cech.80:58 Substitution
Substitution Nathan Ake joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Luiz.79:57
Marcelo Diaz takes a shot from long range which goes wide of the right-hand post.78:15
Marcelo Diaz takes a inswinging corner.77:54
Marcelo Diaz takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a save.76:12
Serey Die takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.75:41
David Degen takes a shot. Gary Cahill gets a block in.74:53
Emboaba Oscar sends in a cross, Fabian Schar makes a clearance.
Free kick taken by Branislav Ivanovic.73:53 Substitution
Substitution Marcelo Diaz replaces Fabian Frei.73:53 Substitution
Substitution Juan Mata joins the action as a substitute, replacing Eden Hazard.73:53
Mohamed El-Nenny concedes a free kick for a foul on Frank Lampard.73:42
The ball is swung over by Kay Voser, Gary Cahill manages to make a clearance.72:58
Effort on goal by Eden Hazard from 25 yards. Save made by Yann Sommer.72:10
Serey Die produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.71:44
Emboaba Oscar takes the outswinging corner, save made by Yann Sommer.71:07
Emboaba Oscar takes the outswinging corner, David Degen makes a clearance.70:42
Jacques Zoua takes a shot. Blocked by Cesar Azpilicueta.70:15
Corner from the right by-line taken by Emboaba Oscar, Markus Steinhofer makes a clearance.69:22
Mohamed El-Nenny produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.68:29
Branislav Ivanovic restarts play with the free kick.68:29 Booking
Booking The referee shows Markus Steinhofer a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.68:25
Eden Hazard fouled by Markus Steinhofer, the ref awards a free kick.66:24
Strike comes in from Frank Lampard from the free kick.66:24 Booking
Booking Fabian Schar goes into the book.66:15
Fabian Schar gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Fernando Torres.65:31 Substitution
Substitution (Chelsea) makes a substitution, with Emboaba Oscar coming on for Nascimento Ramires.65:17
Mohamed El-Nenny produces a cross.65:03
Corner taken short by Mohamed El-Nenny.62:56
Fabian Frei takes a shot. Shot from just outside the box by Mohamed Salah misses to the left of the goal.61:16 Substitution
Substitution Marco Streller leaves the field to be replaced by Jacques Zoua.61:16 Substitution
Substitution David Degen comes on in place of Valentin Stocker.60:58
Eden Hazard takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.58:24
Assist by Frank Lampard.58:24 Goal scored
Goal! - David Luiz - Chelsea 3 - 1 FC Basel David Luiz gets on the score sheet with a goal from long range to the top left corner of the goal. Chelsea 3 (5)-(2) 1 Basle.58:20
The ball is swung over by Eden Hazard.56:54
Gaston Sauro challenges Fernando Torres unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Luiz has an effort direct from the free kick.55:09
Free kick taken by Yann Sommer.55:09 Booking
Booking Cesar Azpilicueta is given a yellow card.55:05
Free kick awarded for a foul by Cesar Azpilicueta on Gaston Sauro.54:00
Corner from right by-line taken by Eden Hazard. The referee penalises Gary Cahill for handball. Free kick taken by Yann Sommer.53:40
The ball is swung over by Nascimento Ramires, blocked by Fabian Schar.51:25 Goal scored
Goal! - Victor Moses - Chelsea 2 - 1 FC Basel Victor Moses scores a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 2 (4)-(2) 1 Basle.51:23
Victor Moses takes a shot. Fabian Schar gets a block in.50:39
Fabian Frei gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eden Hazard. Branislav Ivanovic takes the free kick.49:04
Assist on the goal came from Frank Lampard.49:04 Goal scored
Goal! - Fernando Torres - Chelsea 1 - 1 FC Basel Fernando Torres finds the back of the net with a goal from close in to the top right corner of the goal. Chelsea 1 (3)-(2) 1 Basle.49:02
Frank Lampard has an effort at goal. Save by Yann Sommer.47:48
Mohamed El-Nenny takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.47:33
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Markus Steinhofer by Ryan Bertrand. Markus Steinhofer takes the free kick.47:01
Unfair challenge on Kay Voser by Nascimento Ramires results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Kay Voser.46:26
The ball is delivered by Eden Hazard, Fabian Frei gets a block in.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:00 +1:12 Half time
Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.45:00 +0:22
The assist for the goal came from Valentin Stocker.45:00 +0:22 Goal scored
Goal! - Mohamed Salah - Chelsea 0 - 1 FC Basel A goal is scored by Mohamed Salah from deep inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 0 (2)-(2) 1 Basle.44:04
Fernando Torres produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.42:04
The ball is sent over by Victor Moses, Fabian Frei makes a clearance.39:49
Fabian Schar has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.39:29
Valentin Stocker takes a shot. Ryan Bertrand gets a block in.38:59
Mohamed Salah takes a shot. Save made by Petr Cech.38:12
Centre by Markus Steinhofer, Gary Cahill makes a clearance.36:51
Mohamed El-Nenny takes a shot. Blocked by Frank Lampard.35:53
The ball is sent over by Eden Hazard.35:22
Free kick awarded for a foul by Fernando Torres on Fabian Frei. Fabian Frei takes the direct free kick.34:38
Long range shot from Cesar Azpilicueta misses to the left of the target.33:45
A cross is delivered by Markus Steinhofer, clearance by Branislav Ivanovic.33:30
Corner taken by Mohamed El-Nenny, save by Petr Cech.31:35
Valentin Stocker takes a shot. Branislav Ivanovic gets a block in. Mohamed Salah is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Petr Cech takes the free kick.29:56
Nascimento Ramires takes a shot. Save by Yann Sommer.29:26
Mohamed El-Nenny concedes a free kick for a foul on David Luiz. David Luiz takes the direct free kick.28:06
Mohamed El-Nenny takes the inswinging corner, save by Petr Cech.27:27
Victor Moses is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Fabian Schar.26:50
The assistant referee signals for offside against Mohamed Salah. Free kick taken by Branislav Ivanovic.26:15
Valentin Stocker takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a comfortable save.25:29
Markus Steinhofer delivers the ball, Effort from the edge of the area by Marco Streller goes wide of the right-hand post.22:24
The ball is sent over by Frank Lampard.21:26
Markus Steinhofer crosses the ball.20:38
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Frank Lampard, clearance made by Valentin Stocker.20:01
Eden Hazard takes a shot. Yann Sommer makes a comfortable save.18:05
Corner from left by-line taken by Eden Hazard.17:34
Eden Hazard takes the inswinging corner, Fabian Frei manages to make a clearance.17:20
Fernando Torres takes a shot. Yann Sommer makes a brilliant save.16:01
Serey Die gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eden Hazard. Frank Lampard takes the free kick.15:29
Markus Steinhofer produces a cross, Petr Cech makes a save.14:42
Ryan Bertrand delivers the ball, save by Yann Sommer.13:47
The ball is delivered by Eden Hazard, Yann Sommer makes a save.13:19
Unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Fabian Frei results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Eden Hazard.9:48
The ball is swung over by Markus Steinhofer, Branislav Ivanovic manages to make a clearance.9:02
Fernando Torres is caught offside. Kay Voser restarts play with the free kick.8:22
Frank Lampard takes a shot from close in that bounces off the post. Victor Moses takes a shot. Save by Yann Sommer.7:40
Fabian Frei challenges Eden Hazard unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ryan Bertrand takes the free kick.6:54
Nascimento Ramires challenges Fabian Schar unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gaston Sauro restarts play with the free kick.5:47
Foul by Serey Die on Ryan Bertrand, free kick awarded. Ryan Bertrand takes the free kick.4:46
Free kick awarded for a foul by Serey Die on Victor Moses. Eden Hazard crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left by-line, Fabian Schar manages to make a clearance.2:09
The ball is crossed by Victor Moses.0:54
Marco Streller has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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