Monday, 17 December 2012

Modern Chelsea Managers A Rarer and Rarer Breed


"I'm Sorry but Unfortunately Your Fired!!"

Jose Mourinho (The Second Coming)
03/06/2013
Mourinho has signed a four-year contract and will return to the club where he won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups between 2004 and 2007.
On 3 June 2013, Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay announced the appointment of Mourinho as manager for the second time, on a four-year contract. Mourinho told Chelsea TV: "In my career I've had two great passions - Inter and Chelsea - and Chelsea is more than important for me."
"It was very, very hard to play against Chelsea, and I did it only twice which was not so bad."
"Now I promise exactly the same things I promised in 2004 with this difference to add: I'm one of you."
On 10 June 2013, Mourinho was officially unveiled as Chelsea manager for the second time at a press conference held at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho's first competitive game back in charge of Chelsea ended in a 2-0 victory against Hull City on 18 August 2013 at Stamford Bridge. In 29 January 2014 following a 0-0 draw at home to West Ham United, Mourinho described the Hammers as playing "19th century football" saying "This is not the best league in the world, this is football from the 19th century,"
"The only [other] thing I could bring was a Black and Decker to destroy the wall."
Team        From   To                       Record
                                   M  W   D   L  Win %

 Chelsea 2 June 2004 20 September 2007 185 124 40 21   67.03
Chelsea 3 June 2013          Present                43    28   8   7   65.12

 Mourinho CSKA Moscow 05042010 2.jpg
     P    W   D  L       Win%
Real Madrid Spain 31 May 2010 Present 178 128 28 22   71.91
Rafael Benitez 2012-13
Relations with other managers Prior to Appointment
Benítez has had confrontations with both José Mourinho (Chelsea manager, 2004–2007) and Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United manager, 1986–) during his time in English football. Benítez made a number of suggestions during Mourinho's tenure as manager that Roman Abramovich's money had brought Chelsea success, and the pair refused to shake hands after some matches (although Mourinho declared the feud to be over after a league game in 2006). When Mourinho exited Chelsea in 2007, Benítez said "You know my relationship with him, it is better that I do not say anything"; declining to comment as Ferguson and Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger had.On 21 November 2012, following the sacking of Roberto di Matteo, Chelsea appointed Benítez as interim first-team manager until the end of the 2012–13 season. He was unveiled as the new Chelsea manager at a press conference on 22 November 2012. He appointed Boudewijn Zenden as his new assistant manager at Chelsea on 22 November. Benítez's first game in charge of Chelsea came on 25 November 2012, a 0–0 draw at home to Manchester City. He received a hostile reception from the Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge during his first match, due to them being unhappy with his appointment. On 5 December 2012, Benítez recorded his first win as Chelsea manager, a 6–1 victory at home to Nordsjælland in the Champions League. Despite this win, Chelsea failed to progress beyond the group stage of the competition. This was followed by a 3–1 away victory to Sunderland, with Benítez presiding over his first league win as manager.
Benítez qualified for his first final as Chelsea manager on 13 December 2012, defeating Monterrey 3-1 to reach the final of the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup. On 16 December 2012, Chelsea went on to lose the final 1-0 to Brazilian side Corinthians.
First Signings
03/01/2013 Demba Ba from Newcastle.
Ba passed a stringent medical and had agreed terms on a £70,000-a-week deal but the switch from Newcastle was delayed as at least three agents argued over how to divide a £2million payment.
Chelsea had met the clause in his Newcastle contract to sign the Senegal international forward but negotiations were complicated by the fact both the player and his representatives were due a slice of the transfer fee – Ba’s cut was understood to be £2.5million.
Demba Ba scores his second against Southampton
Demba Ba, made it a debut to remember as he netted a goal in each half during our 5-1 FA Cup win against Southampton, unfortunately in the Prem game we lose a 2-0 lead and the Boo's follow Rafa off the pitch, at least Demba is still scoring and Torres has Refound his Touch.
Rafa Will Now Leave with a UEFA Europa Cup Win on His CV as Chelsea Beat Benfica 2-1.
Record so far                                                       P  W  D  L Win%
Chelsea England 21 November to 2012 Present
47 27 10 10 57.45
AVB Since Joining Spurs                                         P  W  D  L Win%
Tottenham Hotspur   12 July 2012 to Present
53 26 16 11 49.06


Di Matteo - ChelseaRoberto Di Matteo 2012
Di Matteo won his first trophy as Blues boss when goals from Ramires and Drogba helped us to a 2-1 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup final, and while league form stuttered slightly due to a congested fixture list, focus was centred around the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in their home stadium.
The Blues were unsurprisingly forced to defend for large parts of the game, and when Bayern took the lead eight minutes from time the dream appeared to be slipping away.
In the 87th minute, however, Drogba rose highest to meet a Mata corner and head home, forcing the game into extra-time.
The ensuing 30 minutes saw Petr Cech save an Arjen Robben penalty, and the Blues goalkeeper reproduced more heroics in the shoot-out to deny Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger, leaving Drogba to win the trophy for Di Matteo's side, capping the most magical night in the club's history.
This Season Blues were defeated in both the European Super Cup and the FA Community Shield, our early league form though was impressive.
Away victories at both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur maintained our momentum, before a 2-1 Champions League defeat in Shakhtar Donetsk set the alarm bells ringing for the first time.
Di Matteo suffered his first league defeat of the season four days later when Manchester United won 3-2 at Stamford Bridge in a game littered with controversy, while the following three games - against Swansea, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion - yielded only two points from a possible nine.
With a pivotal Champions League clash in Juventus looming, the pressure was mounting on Di Matteo, and his cause wasn't helped when we were beaten 3-0 in Turin, leaving our hopes of qualification for the knockout stages in jeopardy.
Di Matteo was relieved of his duties when he returned to London after the match, but will always hold a special place in the hearts of Chelsea supporters given his achievements at the club, both as a player and manager.
  • FA Cup (1): 2011–12
  • UEFA Champions League (1): 2011–12
4 March 2012 to 21 November 2012 Played 42 Won 24 Drawn 9 Lost 9 Win% 57.14
    AVB WATCHES TRAINING 
    Andre Villas-Boas 2011-12
    Andre Villas-Boas arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2011 amid much fanfare following a season in charge at Porto where he led them to four trophies, including the Europa League, without losing a single match.
    On 30 July 2011, during the pre-season, Villas-Boas won his first piece of silverware with Chelsea, the 2011 Barclays Asia Trophy. Villas-Boas won all of his pre-season fixtures with Chelsea, with the team conceding only one goal in all six games. On 14 August, Villas-Boas's first Premier League match ended in a 0–0 at Stoke City, with Villas-Boas commenting on Stoke's strong defence at home. Villas-Boas then won his first competitive match as Chelsea manager, defeating West Bromwich Albion 2–1 on 20 August. He continued his season with a back-to-back home wins beating Norwich City 3–1. On 18 September 2011, Villas-Boas's Chelsea lost to Manchester United 3–1 at Old Trafford. It was Chelsea's first defeat of the season and Villas-Boas's first defeat in 39 league matches, a run stretching back to his spells as manager of Académica and Porto. On 29 October, Chelsea lost their second derby under Villas-Boas in a 5–3 defeat at home to Arsenal after falling to a 1–0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers. Then three weeks later, his Chelsea side lost a second successive home game in a 2–1 defeat to Liverpool. Days later, he once again lost to Liverpool in a 2–0 defeat in the League Cup quarter-final.
    On 11 February 2012, pressure began to mount on Villas-Boas as Chelsea dropped out of the top four in the Premier League following a 2–0 league defeat against Everton. Villas-Boas responded by cancelling his squad's day off and called them in for an inquest, which provoked several senior players to question his tactics in front of owner Roman Abramovich. On 21 February 2012, during a UEFA Champions League match against Napoli, Villas-Boas left Frank Lampard, Michael Essien and Ashley Cole on the bench, prompting the club's technical director to ask for an explanation of the team selection on behalf of Abramovich. On 4 March 2012, following a 1–0 league defeat against West Bromwich Albion which left Chelsea three points adrift of Arsenal in the battle for fourth place in the Premier League, Villas-Boas was relieved of his managerial duties by Chelsea, with assistant manager Roberto di Matteo being appointed as caretaker manager on an interim basis until the end of the season. On the Chelsea website it read: "The board would like to record our gratitude for his work and express our disappointment that the relationship has ended so early."
    22 June 2011 to 4 March 2012 Played 40 Won 19 Drawn 11 Lost 10 Win% 47.50
    Sacked by Spurs 15th. December 2013 after two 5-0 defeats
     Tottenham Hotspur Record


    3 July 2012 16 December 2013 Played 80 Won 44 Drawn 20 Lost 16 Win% 55.00

    ancelotti with trophies
    Carlo Ancelotti 2009-11
    Appointed Chelsea manager and in his first season led them to a historic Premier League and FA Cup Double. He became only the second non-British manager to win the double, the other being Arsène Wenger. After an uneven Premier League season in which Chelsea failed to retain the title, Ancelotti was dismissed as their manager in May 2011. On 30 December 2011, Ancelotti signed a contract with ambitious French side Paris Saint-Germain.
    • Premier League: 2009–10
    • FA Cup: 2009–10
    • Community Shield: 2009
    Hiddink 
    Gus Hiddink 2009
    As Caretaker Manager Gus led Chelsea to an FA Cup win against Everton in 2009.
    16 February to 2009 30 May 2009 Played 21 Won 15 Drawn 5 Lost 1 Win%  71.43
    Scolari
    Luiz Felipe Scolari 2008-09
    Scolari's career as Chelsea manager in the Premier League got off to a good start with a 4–0 victory over 2008 FA Cup winners Portsmouth.
    Under Scolari, Chelsea had the biggest away win of the club in five years in which Chelsea won 5–0 at the Riverside Stadium in October 2008. It was also the club's biggest win ever at Middlesbrough.
    Scolari was sacked as Chelsea manager on 9 February 2009 after a run of poor form culminating in a 2-0 defeat at Liverpool followed by frustrating 0–0 home draw with Hull City. The club's stated reason for his removal was that "the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season." Scolari's replacement at Chelsea for the remainder of the 2008-2009 season was the Dutch Guus Hiddink, who was also managing the Russian national team at the same time.
    1 July 2008 to 9 February 2009 Played36  Won 20 Drawn 11 Lost 5 Win% 55.56
     Grant
     Avram Grant 2007-08
    Grant moved to England in 2006 to become Technical Director of Portsmouth before being appointed Director of football at Chelsea in July 2007. Two months later, in September 2007, following the departure of José Mourinho, Grant was appointed manager of Chelsea. Despite steering the team into the Champions League final, the League Cup final and contesting the Premier League title to the last day, his contract was terminated at the end of the season.
    • Premier League: 2007–08 (runner-up)
    • UEFA Champions League: 2007–08 (runner-up)
    • Football League Cup: 2007–08 (runner-up)
    20 September to 2007 24 May 2008 Played 54 Won 36 Drawn 12 Lost 6 Win% 66.67

    Mourinho
    Jose Mourinho 2004-07
    After Winning the UEFA Champions League with Porto. Mourinho moved to Chelsea the following year and won the Premier League title, the club's first league title in 50 years, and the League Cup in his first season. In his second year Chelsea retained the Premier League and in 2006–07 he took the club to an FA Cup and League Cup double, though they finished as league runners-up. He often courted controversy for his outspokenness, but his victories at Chelsea and Porto established him as one of the world's top football managers. Mourinho left Chelsea in September 2007, amidst reports of a rift with club owner Roman Abramovich 
    • Premier League (2): 2004–05, 2005–06
    • FA Cup (1): 2006–07
    • Football League Cup (2): 2004–05, 2006–07
    • FA Community Shield (1): 2005
    2 June 2004 to 20 September 2007 Played 185 Won 131 Drawn 36 Lost 18 Win% 70.81

    Ranieri
    Claudio Ranieri 2000-04
    As head coach of Chelsea from 18 September 2000 to 31 May 2004, Ranieri worked hard to overcome the language barrier. When he arrived at the London club, he could speak only limited English; fortunately, the club had a few players who could speak Italian and Spanish and could help translate for him on the training pitch. Ranieri's first season consisted of inconsistent results, with Chelsea reaching sixth place and a UEFA Cup spot. Ranieri had been instructed to reduce the average age of the squad, and worked to rebuild Chelsea in the summer of 2001, essentially creating a brand new midfield by signing Frank Lampard from West Ham United, Emmanuel Petit and Boudewijn Zenden from Barcelona, and Jesper Grønkjær from Ajax. He also signed defender William Gallas from Olympique Marseille, spending in total over £30 million.
    He was criticised, however, for both selling fan favourite Dennis Wise and the fact that Chelsea's league performance did not improve much on the previous season. They finished 6th once again but did reach the FA Cup Final, losing 2–0 to Arsenal. During the 2002–03 season and throughout his Chelsea days Ranieri was accused of over-rotating his squad, picking up the nickname of "the Tinkerman" from the British media. Chelsea finished the season on a high, qualifying for the Champions League after beating Liverpool 2–1 on the last day of the season. Ranieri's achievement, coming after a close season where the club were in a difficult financial situation and the only arrival was Enrique de Lucas from Espanyol on a free transfer, was greatly appreciated by fans and the media alike. In addition, Ranieri succeeded in getting the best out of players like Samuele Dalla Bona and Mario Stanić and nurtured emerging talents in John Terry, Robert Huth, and Carlton Cole.
    When Chelsea were taken over by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003, Ranieri was given a large transfer fund but also found his job under threat. Days after the takeover, Abramovich was spotted meeting with England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson. Although the club denied Eriksson would be taking over at the time, these rumours would haunt Ranieri's season. Ranieri spent £120 million on players in the summer of 2003. These signings included Irish winger Damien Duff for a then club record £17 million, English youngsters Wayne Bridge, Joe Cole, and Glen Johnson, Argentine pair Juan Sebastián Verón and Hernán Crespo, Frenchman Claude Makélélé and Romanian star Adrian Mutu. The heavy investment bought the best league placing for the club in 49 years, finishing runners-up in the Premier League to Arsenal, the first side in over a century to go an entire league season unbeaten. This position automatically qualified Chelsea for the Champions League. The club also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League; Chelsea knocked out Arsenal en route, although Ranieri's position was weakened by the semi-final loss to AS Monaco, a reverse the manager himself was blamed for due to several bizarre substitutions and tactical changes.
    That season saw Chelsea break club records for the least number of goals conceded and highest number of points in a season. Former English footballer and pundit David Platt used the example of Ranieri to illustrate his observation that "building a team that can win the title and actually steering this team to the title are two different matters entirely." On 31 May 2004, after almost a year of speculation, which included the club's well-publicized courting of Eriksson, he was finally relieved of his coaching duties at Chelsea, and his job went to José Mourinho, who had led Porto to successive European triumphs. In Ranieri's four seasons Chelsea improved their points total season on season. The core of the Chelsea team which won two Premier League titles under Mourinho, including John Terry, Petr Čech, Arjen Robben, William Gallas, Claude Makélélé, and Frank Lampard were all brought to Chelsea or nurtured by Ranieri. Ranieri published in September 2004 a book named Proud Man Walking chronicling his last year at Chelsea. All proceeds went to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital.
    18 September 2000 to 31 May 2004 Played 199 Won 107 Drawn 46 Lost 46 Win% 53.77

    Vialli
    GianLuca Vialli 1998-2000
    Gullit was sacked in February 1998 and 33-year-old Vialli was appointed player-manager. Chelsea were already in the semi-finals of the League Cup and the quarter finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup, and went on to win both competitions under Vialli, as well as finishing 4th in the Premier League. In beating VfB Stuttgart at the Cup Winners' Cup final on 13 May 1998, 33 years and 308 days old Vialli became the youngest manager to ever win a UEFA competition. The record stood for thirteen years until 18 May 2011 when FC Porto's André Villas-Boas won the Europa League at the age of 33 years and 213 days. Coincidentally, Villas-Boas would eventually go on to manage Chelsea.
    The following season Chelsea won the European Super Cup by beating Real Madrid 1–0, and finished 3rd in the Premier League, just four points behind champions Manchester United in what was Chelsea's highest league finish since 1970. Vialli made his final competitive appearance for the club against Derby County at the end of that season (a game in which he scored), finishing his Chelsea career with 83 appearances and 40 goals.
    The following season saw Chelsea reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League on their debut in the competition, the highlight of which was a 3–1 quarterfinal first leg victory over FC Barcelona, although they were eventually knocked out on aggregate following a 5-1 return leg loss at Camp Nou that needed extra time. Despite a disappointing 5th place finish in the Premier League, the campaign ended on a high note when Vialli guided Chelsea to a win over Aston Villa in the 2000 FA Cup final.
    The 2000–01 season started brightly, with Chelsea beating Manchester United to win the FA Charity Shield, Vialli's fifth official trophy with the club in less than three years, making him the club's most successful manager at the time. But Vialli was sacked five games into the season after an indifferent start and having fallen out with several players, including Gianfranco Zola, Didier Deschamps and Dan Petrescu.
    • FA Cup: 1997
    • League Cup: 1998
    • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1998
    • UEFA Super Cup: 1998
    12 February 1998 to 12 September 2000 Played 143 Won 76 Drawn 29 Lost 38 Win% 53.15
     
    Gullit
    Ruud Gullit 1996-98
    In the summer of 1996, when Glenn Hoddle left Chelsea to become manager of the England national team, Gullit was appointed as a player-manager. Gullit made a promising start to his managerial career when in the first season as a player-manager he guided Chelsea to an FA Cup triumph in 1997, the club's first major trophy in 26 years. Gullit became the first non-British manager to win a major trophy in England. The club also finished at a creditable sixth place in the Premiership.
    The following season, with Chelsea in second place in the Premiership and proceeding to the quarterfinals in two cup competitions, he was sacked, allegedly for a disagreement with the club's board over the compensation, though Gullit himself disputed this.
    He was replaced by Gianluca Vialli, a man he had helped to bring to the club, and who went on to guide them to UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and Football League Cup glory over the remainder of the season. Gullit's last appearance as a player came in the first leg of that season's Football League Cup semi final against Arsenal, but Gullit was sacked before the second leg.
    After Gullit's controversial sacking by Chelsea, chairman Ken Bates famously said of Gullit - "I didn't like his arrogance - in fact I never liked him".

    • FA Cup (1): 1997
    10 May 1996 to 12 February 1998 Played 83 Won 41 Drawn 24 Lost 18 Win% 49.39

    Hoddle
    Glen Hoddle 1993-96
    In June 1993, Hoddle became player-manager of Chelsea (he retired from the playing side in 1995). His assistant at Chelsea was the former Tottenham manager Peter Shreeves, and they reached the FA Cup final in Hoddle's first season, where they lost 4–0 to Manchester United. But United had done the double, and consolation for their failure to win the trophy came in the form of a Cup Winners' Cup place. Chelsea reached the semi finals of that competition in 1994–95 and lost by a single goal to Real Zaragoza, who went on to beat Arsenal in the final. Hoddle guided Chelsea to the FA Cup Semi Finals in 1995–96, but was unable to take them beyond 11th place in the Premiership – they had occupied this final position three times in four years. He did establish them as a force in cup competitions and made them capable of attracting top-class players – such as Ruud Gullit – to the club.

    • FA Cup runner-up: 1994

    June 1993 to May 1996 Played 157 Won 53 Drawn 54 Lost 50 Win% 33.76
     
    Webb
    David Webb 1993
    As a player David finally left Chelsea in July 1974, having scored 21 times in 230 games to join QPR.
    Webb returned to Chelsea as manager in February 1993 on a short-term contract to replace Ian Porterfield – another former player. The club were in freefall, without a league win in over two months and threatened with relegation. Under Webb, performances and results gradually improved and the team eventually finished a comfortable 11th in the Premiership. But the club's board did not renew his contract and appointed Glenn Hoddle instead.








    Porterfield
    Ian Porterfield 1991-93
    As assistant manager to Bobby Campbell at Chelsea and oversaw their promotion back to the First Division and Second Division champions in 1988-89.

    In October 1989, Porterfield was named manager of Third Division side Reading but was sacked 18 months later, having failed to mount a promotion challenge.
    Porterfield returned to Chelsea as manager for the 1991-92 season, following Bobby Campbell's decision to resign as manager and become PA to assistant Ken Bates. 1991-92 was an uneventful season, but 1992-93 began with Chelsea looking like surprise contenders for the first Premier League title. However, the good form had gone by Christmas and Porterfield was dismissed on 15 February 1993, gaining the distinction of being the first manager to be sacked by a Premier League club.

    1st. Year of Prem. 1992-3 
    Played 42 Won 14 Drawn 14 Lost 14 For 51 Against 54  GD −3  Points 56

    Campbell
    Bobby Campbell 1988-91
    Towards the end of the 1987-88 season, Campbell was appointed assistant to manager John Hollins at Chelsea, in the midst of a relegation battle; one month later Hollins was sacked and Campbell appointed caretaker manager until the end of the season. Campbell was unable to turn around the club's fortunes in the eight games which remained that season, and they were relegated via the short-lived play-off system.
    He made amends the following season, however, as his side romped to promotion as Second Division champions with a haul of 99 points. A year later, he led to Chelsea to a 5th place finish in the First Division, their highest league placing since 1970. He was relieved of his managerial duties after an 11th place finish and appointed personal assistant to Chelsea chairman Ken Bates in 1991.
    Campbell went on to coach in Saudi Arabia. 

    Last Season of 1st. Division 

    Played 42Won13Drawn 14Lost 15
    GD -10Points 53



    Hollins 
    John Hollins 1985-88
    He had his most prolific goalscoring season for Chelsea in the 1971–72 season, finding the net 17 times. Chelsea also reached another League Cup final in 1972, losing to Stoke City, but declined thereafter, though Hollins remained until the side's relegation to the Second Division at the end of the 1974–75 season, when he was sold to nearby QPR.
    Hollins returned to Chelsea on a free transfer from Arsenal in 1983, and helped the club gain promotion back to the First Division in 1983–84, playing a further 30 times. He retired at the end of that season, having played 939 first-class matches in total.
    Hollins was immediately appointed coach at Chelsea; a year later he became first team-manager following John Neal's retirement. Chelsea built up a strong title challenge in 1985–86 and went top in February, but they finished sixth after collecting a mere nine points from a possible 33 during their final 11 games.
    His side still won the Full Members Cup in the same season, though, hanging on for a 5–4 win over Manchester City at Wembley having almost let slip a 5–1 lead. The following years were less successful, as Hollins and his assistant Ernie Walley fell out with several key players, particularly David Speedie and Nigel Spackman, team morale slumped and the side began to struggle. He was sacked in March 1988 with the club in the midst of a four month run without a league win which would see the season end in relegation.
    Season 1987-88
    Played 40 Won 9 Drawn 15 Lost 16 GD -68 Points 42
    Relegated to 2nd. Division


    JOHN NEAL 1981 to 1985


    GEOFF HURST 1979 to 1981


    DANNY BLANCHFLOWER 1978 to 1979


    KEN SHELLITO 1977 to 1978


    EDDIE McCREADIE 1975 to 1977


    RON SUART 1974 to 1975


    DAVE SEXTON 1967 to 1974


    TOMMY DOCHERTY 1962 to 1967


    TED DRAKE 1952 to 1961


    WILLIAM BIRRELL 1939 to 1952


    LESLIE KNIGHTON 1933 to 1939


    DAVID CALDERHEAD 1907 to 1933


    JOHN ROBERTSON 1905 to 1906

    How Times Have Changed :0)

    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    R.I.P. Dave Sexton 1930-2012 #Gentleman&Legend



    Son of former professional boxer Archie Sexton, he started his playing career with West Ham United in 1948. Playing mainly at inside-forward, he would finish his career with time at Luton Town, Leyton Orient, Brighton and Hove Albion, and Crystal Palace. His biggest success came at Brighton, where he won the Third Division (South) Title in 1957–58.

    Coaching and managerial career

    Sexton started off as a coach at Chelsea, before leaving to begin his managerial career at Leyton Orient in 1965. In 1966 he was appointed by Arsenal manager Bertie Mee as the Gunners' first-team coach, but a year later returned to Chelsea to become manager following the departure of Tommy Docherty. He led the club to FA Cup success in 1970 and the European Cup Winners' Cup a year later. Chelsea also reached the League Cup final in 1972, but lost to Stoke City. However, Sexton fell out with several players, including Peter Osgood and Alan Hudson, who were subsequently sold. This, combined with other problems at the club, ensured that Sexton did not come close to repeating his earlier success and early in the 1974–75 season - which ended in Chelsea's relegation - he was dismissed.
    A few weeks later in October 1974 he was appointed manager of Queens Park Rangers as successor to Gordon Jago. With a team containing the likes of Stan Bowles and Gerry Francis, as well as players recruited from ex-club Chelsea, John Hollins and David Webb, Sexton took Rangers to within a point of the League title in 1975–76. The 3–2 defeat at Norwich City in their final away game of that season marked the end of a 14-match unbeaten run which had produced a spectacular 13 wins and one draw. They were top after playing their final home game versus Leeds United on 24 April 1976, but Liverpool's late 3–1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on 4 May 1976 denied them their first-ever league title. Still, second place was – and remains – their highest league finish. UEFA Cup qualification came as consolation for the place in the European Cup, which Liverpool went on to win a year later and retain the year after that. Sexton would soon find himself taking charge of a side posing a more consistent threat to the dominant Liverpool of that era.
    He took over at Manchester United – again succeeding Tommy Docherty – in the summer of 1977 but his reign was characterised by dour football and he was not popular with the fans. In appointing Sexton it appeared as if the United board had again opted for safety following the tumultuous tenure of Docherty (sacked for having an affair with the wife of the club's physiotherapist), whose four-and-a-half-year spell had overseen relegation from the First Division but an immediate comeback followed by high league finishes and completed with an FA Cup triumph in the season before Sexton's appointment.
    His reign at Old Trafford failed to deliver any trophies and in the pressured atmosphere that was engulfing United, Sexton seemed an inevitable casualty. The highlight was an FA Cup final appearance in 1979, losing 3–2 to Arsenal in a dramatic match, and finishing as league runners-up to Liverpool in 1979–80.
    His signings brought mixed success. Midfielder Ray Wilkins was bought from Chelsea in 1979 and soon established himself as one of Europe's finest midfielders, and striker Joe Jordan scored more than 50 goals in three years after arriving from Leeds United in 1978. On a less positive note, Sexton paid a club record £1.25million for Nottingham Forest striker Garry Birtles in 1980, but a player who had been one of the country's finest goalscorers with his old club failed to find the net once in 25 league appearances during the 1980–81 season. In a television documentary more than a decade later, Sexton defended Birtles's performances by claiming that he had played "very well" for United, but hadn't been able to find the back of the net.
    Sexton was dismissed on 30 April 1981, despite having won his final seven games in charge, as United had finished eighth in the league and Sexton had now been in charge of them for four seasons without winning a major trophy. The FA Cup final appearance two years earlier and the narrow second place finish behind Liverpool a year earlier was of little consolation to United fans, who felt that "nearly" was nowhere near good enough.
    He then managed Coventry City for two years (preserving their top flight status) before leaving in 1983 to go into semi-retirement.
    Sexton also had a very successful period as coach of the England's Under-21 side, and won the UEFA Under 21's Championship twice, in 1982 and 1984. After that he went on the become the FA's first Technical Director at the FA's National School at Lilleshall in 1984. He also wrote a book on coaching a soccer team for coaches of all levels called "Tackle Soccer."
    He later lived in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, where in 2008 he was commemorated with a new building in the town centre. He lived in Kenilworth after becoming Coventry City manager in 1981 and the building in his honour, Sexton House, is a refurbished building divided between shops and offices.

    Honours

    Player

    West Ham United
    • Second Division (1): 1954–55
    Brighton & Hove Albion
    • Third Division South (1): 1957–58

    Manager

    Chelsea
    • FA Cup (1): 1969–70
    • European Cup Winners' Cup (1): 1970–71
    Manchester United
    • FA Charity Shield (1): 1977 (shared)
    England Under-21
    • UEFA U21 Championship (2): 1982, 1984

    Individual

    • OBE (services to football): 2005

    Managerial statistics

    Team Nat From To Record
    G W L D Win %
    Leyton Orient England January 1965 December 1965 37 7 20 10 18.92
    Chelsea England October 1967 October 1974 333 140 93 100 42.04
    Queens Park Rangers England October 1974 July 1977 130 57 41 32 43.85
    Manchester United England July 1977 April 1981 191 75 52 64 39.27
    England Under-21s England 1977 1990



    Coventry City England May 1981 May 1983 88 28 39 21 31.82
    England Under-21s England 1994 1996



    Tuesday, 28 August 2012

    How We Won The UEFA Europa Cup 2012-2013

    Competition format


    Chelsea Says :
    There are first meetings with Ukrainian and Danish champions Shakhtar and FC Nordsjælland for the Blues, though Italian champions Juventus were opponents in the first knockout round back in 2009.
    On that occasion we were narrow winners at home before a 2-2 draw in Turin sent us through to the quarter-finals.
    Shakhtar play at the impressive Donbass Arena, which was a key feature of Euro 2012, hosting England's games against France and Ukraine, as well as the quarter-final between Spain and France, and the semi that saw Spain sneak past Portugal on penalties. Chelsea club doctor Paco Biosca joined us from the Ukrainian club last summer.
    Juventus return to European competition as Serie A winners, and were unbeaten last season. Since our last meeting in 2009, they have returned to their home, the Stadio Delle Alpi, which has been rebuilt with the running track removed, and renamed the Juventus Stadium. Its capacity is 41,000.
    FC Nordsjælland are first-time Danish champions, and based just outside Copenhagen. Their stadium is a little over 10,000 capacity, and so they will play their home games at Parken in Copenhagen, home of the Danish national team. Their squad includes Andreas Laudrup,the nephew of former Chelsea winger Brian, and son of Swansea manager Michael.
    Reacting to the draw, Chelsea club secretary David Barnard said: 'Shakhtar Donetsk are well organised, but we don't know much about them in turns of playing them before. Juventus we played in 2009 in the last 16 and we came out on top but since then they have new owners and have moved on so it will be a difficult tie. FC Nordsjaelland are an unknown quantity.'
    The Story So Far.......
    Group Stage Draw Took Place in Monaco on Thursday 30th. August 2012
    Chelsea Were Drawn By Denis Law From Pot 1 into Group E By Steve McManeman
    Group E
    Chelsea
     Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)
    Juventus (Italy)
    NordJaelland (Denmark)

    Full Group Draws Visit http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/draws/index.html

    Wed. Sep. 19th. 2012
    CL Matchday 1
    Chelsea 2 v 2 Juventus (H)


    MATCH REPORT

    Summary

    Our defence of the Champions League trophy began in disappointing style as we threw away a two-goal lead, drawing 2-2 with Juventus on what was only the third occasion in which we'd failed to win our opening group game.
    Everything was going according to plan when Oscar drove us in front, via the aid of a deflection, in the 30th minute, and two minutes later were looked to be heading for a comfortable victory when the youngster doubled our advantage with a sublime strike which gave Gianluigi Buffon no chance.
    Juventus reduced the deficit five minutes later when Arturo Vidal fired home, and while the Blues had a legitimate penalty claim waved away after the break when Eden Hazard was tripped inside the penalty area, the visitors always looked dangerous.
    The equaliser came nine minutes from time when the substitute Fabio Quagliarella raced on to Claudio Marchisio's pass to secure a point.
    Attention now turns towards a Premier League clash at home to Stoke City on Saturday where we will be looking to get back to winning ways and maintain our place at the top of the league.
    Team news
     Roberto Di Matteo made only one change to the Chelsea team which drew 0-0 at Loftus Road on Saturday, with Oscar being handed his first start for the club since joining in the summer, Ryan Bertrand the player making way. David Luiz partnered captain John Terry in central defence, while Fernando Torres, withdrawn against Queens Park Rangers, retained his place in the side as the lone striker, making his 50th appearance for the club. Juan Mata, who missed the weekend's game after being given some time off, returned to the squad, although the Spaniard had to be content with a place on the bench. Daniel Sturridge, meanwhile, missed out after picking up a hamstring strain.
    First half
    It was a bright start from the Blues, with two corners forced inside the opening couple of minutes, and while the first was easily cleared, David Luiz went close from the second, although the defender couldn't get enough power behind his header to seriously trouble Buffon.
    Juventus, though, unlike many Italian sides playing away from home, were happy to push men forward early on, and it required a smart David Luiz block to prevent Mirko Vucinic from slipping his strike partner Sebastian Giovinco through on goal.
    The play flowed back and forth as both sides attempted to gain an early advantage, but it was the visitors who had the first real sight of goal, Marchisio racing on to a Leonardo Bonucci clearance in the 21st minute, only to be denied by the lightning quick reflexes of Petr Cech, who raced off his line to parry the midfielder's effort.
    The Chelsea defence was breached again moments later as Stephan Lichtsteiner played in Vucinic, but with the goal at his mercy the Montenegro international somehow scuffed his effort into the side netting.
    It was an opportunity the Italians were made to pay for on the half-hour mark as Chelsea took the lead. Oscar pounced on a loose ball 25 yards from goal, and as the youngster struck from distance, his effort took a wicked deflection off Bonucci and flew past the stranded Buffon.
    Two minutes later, with the supporters still on their feet celebrating his first strike, Oscar doubled his tally for the night with one of the goals of the season so far, spinning on the edge of the box and bending an absolute peach of a strike into the top corner.
    Di Matteo had opted to ease the 20-year-old into the side gradually over the course of the opening few weeks of the campaign, but in the space of a couple of minutes he had given the Stamford Bridge faithful a glimpse of his unquestionable abilities.
    Five minutes later, however, the away side were back in the game courtesy of a powerful, low strike into the bottom corner by Vidal, a goal which, in truth, they will have felt their first half performance merited.
    Buoyed by their sudden reprieve, Juventus sensed the panic in the Blues defence as the half drew to a close, and they were almost level with the last kick of the half, Andrea Pirlo's free-kick sailing inches past Cech's right-hand post.
    Second half
    Chelsea, unchanged from the first half, came out after the break eager to restore our two-goal advantage, and shortly after Ramires narrowly failed to connect with a Hazard cross, Buffon saved low down to his right from an impressive Branislav Ivanovic effort.
    The veteran Italian goalkeeper was called into action again moments later when he did well to save a thumping Frank Lampard free-kick as we stepped up the pressure.
    The referee, who had incensed the home supporters with a string of poor decisions in the opening 45 minutes, did little to enhance his standing with them when he denied the Blues what appeared to be a certain penalty as Hazard was brought down inside the box by Chiellini.
    Juventus were growing into the game as the half wore on, and after Lampard lost possession just outside our own penalty area, David Luiz made a stunning last-gasp block to deny Marchisio as the defender looked to pull the trigger.
    Sensing the visitors were beginning to take control of proceedings, Di Matteo made his first substitution of the night, replacing Ramires with Ryan Bertrand, a switch which saw Hazard move out to the right-hand side and Bertrand play ahead of Ashley Cole on the left.
    Soon after it was Oscar making way, the Brazilian suffering after being caught by a late tackle minutes earlier, with Mata coming on to play in behind Torres.
    The Spaniard's impact was almost instant, but after linking up well with Hazard his left-footed strike flew wide of Buffon's post, and from the subsequent attack Juventus were level.
    Marchisio picked up possession midway inside the Chelsea half and was afforded far too much time to slide his pass into the path of the substitute Fabio Qualiarella, who took one touch before calmly rolling the ball through the legs of the advancing Cech, sending the travelling hordes behind the goal delirious.
    As the clock ticked down it was Juventus firmly in the ascendancy, and Quagliarella almost turned the game completely on its head when he turned on the edge of the box and crashed a strike against the bar with what was the last attempt on goal.
    Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry (c), Cole; Mikel Obi, Lampard; Ramires (Bertrand 69), Oscar (Mata 73), Hazard; Torres.
    Unused substitutes: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Romeu, Moses.
    Scorers Oscar 30, 32
    Booked
    Ramires 58
    Juventus (3-5-2): Buffon (c); Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Vidal, Marcilio, Pirlo, Asamoah, Lichtsteiner (Isla 76); Vucinic (Matri 86), Giovinco (Quagliarella 74).
    Unused substitutes: Storari, Lucio, Giacherrini, Marrone
    Scorers Vidal 37, Quagliarella 81
    Booked
    Vidal 65
    Referee Pedro Proenca (Portugal)
    Crowd
    40,918

    Tue. Oct. 2nd. 2012
    CL Matchday 2 

    Chelsea 4 v 0
    FC Nordaelland (A)
     

    MATCH REPORT: FC NORDSJAELLAND 0 CHELSEA 4

    SummaryIn the end, it was a comfortable three points, but the 4-0 scoreline was slightly harsh on the home side.
    Juan Mata gave us the lead 12 minutes before half-time, finishing off a lovely move which involved both Fernando Torres and Frank Lampard.
    After the break the home side began to threaten, and Petr Cech was called into action on a couple of occasions, with one save in particular, when he tipped a Joshua John strike on to the post, maintaining our lead.
    A minute later we were 2-0 up when David Luiz scored a sublime free-kick, lifting his strike over the wall and into the back of the net with the keeper rooted firmly to the spot.
    If the second goal had knocked the stuffing out of the home side, the third, two minutes later, put the game to bed, Mata scoring hi second of the night, pouncing on a loose ball to fire home as the Danes struggled to clear their lines.
    With the three points in the bag, there was still time to put the seal on a fine night's work, with the honour falling to Ramires, who stabbed home from Oscar's cross.
    Our first win of the Champions League campaign, and a first away win in the group stages since 2010, sees us head into a double header against Shakhtar Donetsk in good heart.
    Team news
    Roberto Di Matteo made three changes to the side which won 2-1 at Arsenal on Saturday. With John Terry starting on the bench, Gary Cahill came in to partner David Luiz in the centre of defence, while Lampard, who had failed to start our three previous matches, skippered the side after coming in for John Mikel Obi. The only other change saw Victor Moses make his European debut, coming in to play wide on the left at the expense of Eden Hazard who started on the bench.
    First half
    The Blues were gifted a chance inside the opening couple of minutes when a careless throw-in fell straight into the path of Oscar.
    The Brazilian linked up well with both Fernando Torres and Moses before a teasing delivery had just a little too much pace on it for the Spaniard.
    Chelsea came into the game as big favourites against the Champions League novices, and a minute later we were almost in front, Moses rising highest to meet an Oscar cross, but under pressure the young attacker saw his effort crash against the post.
    It was an extremely positive start as we looked to exert a stranglehold on the game in the opening stages.
    Soon after and another defensive lapse from the home side saw Torres through on goal. He could, and probably should, have shot as soon as he picked the ball up on the edge of the Nordsjaelland penalty area, but as he attempted to evade Jores Okore, the defender made the challenge and the chance went begging.
    The hosts were allowing us far too much time and space early on, with one particular pass from Petr Cech to Juan Mata symptomatic of the manner in which the game was evolving.
    Joshua John had the first attempt on goal for Kasper Hjulmand's men, showing a lovely piece of skill to pop the ball through the legs of Ramires before firing wide from distance.
    An early Chelsea goal would undoubtedly have tested the resolve of the hosts, but an inability to take our chances in the first five minutes appeared to galvanise Nordsjaelland and it required a well-timed block from Ashley Cole to deny Mikkel Beckmann as they began to offer more of an attacking threat.
    At the other end, meanwhile, Torres went close after producing a clever trick to go beyond Ivan Runje, with Jesper Hansen using his feet to block the striker's attempt.
    The Blues took the lead just after the half-hour mark, profiting from another defensive mistake.
    Torres pounced on a loose ball, driving at the defence before rolling it back into the path of the supporting Lampard. The stand-in captain showed tremendous vision to pick out Mata, allowing the Spaniard to calmly slot us into the lead, his third goal in successive games.
    A minute before the break we should have doubled our advantage, Oscar splitting the Danes with a simple ball, but Torres, who looked destined to score, saw his strike palmed away by Hansen.
    Second half
    There were no changes to personnel at the break, and after Torres was again thwarted by Hansen a minute after the restart, John almost levelled things up for Nordsjaelland, cutting in from wide on the left and firing inches past Cech's right-hand upright.
    Moses, in particular, was seeing more of the ball during the second spell; a fizzing cross after being released by a wonderful Lampard volley was cleared away, before the 21-year-old had a goal ruled out for offside.
    With only one goal separating the two sides, Nordsjaelland were still very much in the game, and Nikolai Stokholm stung the palms of Cech from just outside the box as they looked to restore parity.
    Moments later Beckmann was left unmarked on the edge of the penalty area, and but for his failure to connect with the ball as it dropped to him in a dangerous position, we could have been made to pay for some slack defending.
    Eighteen minutes into the second half Di Matteo made his first substitution of the night, replacing Moses, who had worked tirelessly, with Hazard in what was a straight swap.
    The warning signs were beginning to mount, and like at Arsenal at the weekend, we had Cech to thank for keeping us in front.
    John, who had been the home side's biggest threat throughout, was allowed to roam, and as his curling effort looked set to nestle in the far top corner, the Blues 'keeper somehow managed to get a fingertip on it and divert it on to the post.
    The game, however, was put out of the Danish side's reach shortly after when we doubled our advantage in some style.
    Torres was awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal after being tugged back, and it was David Luiz who stepped up, bending a stunning strike over the wall and into the back of the net via the aid of a post.
    With the travelling Chelsea hordes still revelling in the Brazilian's goal, the three points were secured two minutes later as Mata reacted quickest to a loose ball in the Nordsjaelland penalty area to score his second of the night.
    The game was all but over, but there was still time for more, and it was Ramires who made it 4-0 in the 90th minute, timing his run perfectly to convert easily from an Oscar cross.
    Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Lampard (c); Moses (Hazard 63), Oscar, Mata; Torres.
    Unused substitutes: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Terry, Bertrand, Romeu, Mikel Obi.
    Scorers Mata 33, 80, David Luiz 78, Ramires 90

    FC Nordsjaelland (4-2-3-1): Hansen; Okore, Runje, Mtiliga; Adu, Stokholm; Lorentzen, Nordstrand (Ticinovic 63), John; Beckmann (Christensen 73).
    Unused substitutes: Villadsen, Christiansen, Gundelach, Laudrup, Petry.
    Booked Runje 75
    Referee Marijo Strahonja

    Tue. Oct. 23rd 2012
    CL Matchday 3 

    Chelsea 1 v 2 Shakhtar Donetsk (A)

     

    Summary
     An impressive Shakhtar Donetsk side inflicted our first Champions League defeat under Roberto Di Matteo, scoring early in each half.
    Oscar pulled a goal back close to the end but there could little complaint about the result on a night when Petr Cech was by far the busier goalkeeper. Better Chelsea chances came in the second-half before the Oscar goal, Juan Mata and John Mikel Obi both clearing the crossbar, but the home team continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack and it will need a good performance to take points from them at Stamford Bridge in a fortnight's time.
    The outlook would have looked dimmer had it not been for Juventus's 1-1 draw in Denmark tonight meaning the Italians have yet to win in the group and Chelsea only drop to second.

    Team news
     Roberto Di Matteo freshened up the side with two personnel changes. In came the captain and vice-captain, Gary Cahill making way for John Terry and Frank Lampard back alongside John Mikel Obi with Ramires moving to the wide right position and Eden Hazard on the bench.
    Shakhtar selected four Brazilians in an unchanged line-up from their previous Champions League outing. Willian and Alex Texeira flanked highly rated Armenian Henrik Mkhitaryan as the three players behind lone striker Luiz Adriano.

    First half
     Results across the group in the first couple of round of matches meant Chelsea knew we needed something from this game if qualification for the knockout stages wasn't to become tricky. The last thing we needed was to give the Ukrainians an early boost but Shakhtar scored with their very first attack.
    There was a throw-in from the left and an initial shot by Luiz Adriano that Terry was able to block, but the ball ran unkindly - latched upon inside the area by Teixeira who had a relatively simple task in rolling it into the net. There were less than three minutes gone.
    Oscar combined with Torres and shot but it was too tame as the visitors tried to muster a quick response. Ramires did very well to dispossess Rat and Torres initially slipped the ball outside of one defender but there was a covering Shakhtar player who snuffed out the danger.
    It was Chelsea enjoying more possession for a spell but then on 15 minutes Shakhtar sprung forward at speed, as they would do on several occasions later on. A ball was initially threaded through the middle to Mkhitaryan before Willian accelerated to the edge of the area and fired over. Space for the attack had been helped by an injury to Lampard whose 100th European game for Chelsea was a short one. He was on the turf and soon walked off to be replaced on 17 minutes by Hazard.
    Oscar remained as the more central of the attacking midfielders and he was almost played through by Ramires but the keeper was quick enough out to deal with it. He then took a cross from Ivanovic in front of Torres and was pulled by Cole as he tried to release the ball quickly, at the expense of a booking for the Chelsea left-back.
    The home side were finding a worrying amount of space when they attacked and Willian, who was seeing plenty of the ball shot again, this time Cech saving well within his capabilities.
    On 24 minutes Hazard hit a first time pass to Oscar who momentarily looked to have played the ideal pass up to Torres, but again keeper Pyatov was quick enough to knock the ball out of the Spaniard's path. Shakhtar countered in a flash and it needed Terry with an admirable recovery and clearance to kill the attack. Mkhitaryan then shot with power but straight at Cech.
    It was Chelsea's turn to attack and Mikel and Oscar exchanged passes and the Brazilian sprinted inside the Shakhtar area but couldn't find a blue shirt with his cross. Then just past the half hour he showed vision with a pass over the top to Torres who appeared to take a touch too strong as he ran onto it.
    On 37 minutes, Cech was in action again, tipping over from Mkhitaryan after Cole had initially done well to impede the attack. The corner that followed proved difficult to clear. After another corner a minute later our keeper was at his best to keep the ball out when his compatriot and friend Tomas Hubschmanturned in goalwards from only a couple of yards out.
    Chelsea possession in or around the Shakhtar box was becoming increasingly rare, Torres hooked a difficult cross at the keeper an exception. It had been hard to see where a Chelsea goal would come from in that opening 45 minutes.
    Second half
     Four minutes after the restart, Chelsea did look incisive in the attack, Hazard pushing forward and opting not use Cole's lung-bursting run inside him, instead picking out Mata in the middle who unfortunately shot over.
    We were looking beginning to look better than the first half which made the mistakes that led to Shakhtar's second goal all the more infuriating. Mikel only just held onto possession in a tight spot inside the Chelsea half and when Ramires knocked the ball deeper to Hazard, he was dispossessed. The Blues defence was outnumbered and Luiz Adriano found Fernandinho in space to score with a shot across Cech. There were 51 minutes played.
    Ramires tried to get a recovery going with a 25-yard attempt that tested Pyatov as much as any so far, and one of Mata's brighter moments led to a cross that Torres just failed to reach when closely marked by two defenders.
    Mata then spotted Torres making a run down the inside right corridor but the out-of-sorts centre-forward crossed into the keeper's hands.
    Torres was successful in flicking on Mata's 67th minute corner but Mikel, who spun on to it couldn't keep a very difficult volley down.
    It had been a while since Shakhtar had pressured the Chelsea goal and when they did once more, the well-placed Fernandinho shot wide.
    Sturridge replaced Torres with 69 minutes played but the next two shots were from Mkhitaryan, both saved by Cech. Then Luiz Adriano's header across goal bounced odd Hubschman and only just wide of the post.
    All Chelsea's attacks were through Hazard but on three occasions he didn't have answer to how to beat Pyatov. David Luiz was booked for a foul on Willian, Olexandr Kucher having earlier been cautioned for the home side. Hubschman followed suit for a muscular challenge on Ramires.
    Hope came with three minutes of normal time left on the clock, Ivanovic the creator with a powerful drive into the box and pull-back that Oscar turned in from close-range.


    Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, JT (c) Cole; Mikel, Lampard (Hazard); Ramires, Oscar, Mata; Torres (Sturridge 69).
    Unused subs Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Bertrand, Romeu..
    Scorer Oscar 87.
    Booked Cole 21, David Luiz 79.
    Shakhtar (4-2-3-1): Pyatov; Srna (c), Kucher, Rakitskiy, Rat; Fernandinho, Hübschman; Teixeira (Ilsinho 81), Mkhitaryan, Willian (Douglas Costa 87); Luiz Adriano.
    Unused subs Kanibolotskiy, Kryvstov, Stepanenko, Gai, Eduardo.
    Scorers Teixeira 2, Fernandinho 51.
    Booked Kucher 66, Hubschman 85.
    Referee Damir Skomina from Slovenia.
    Crowd ?

    Wed. Nov. 7th. 2012
    CL Matchday 4 

    Chelsea 3 v 2 Shakhtar Donetski 



    MATCH REPORT: CHELSEA 3 SHAKHTAR DONETSK 2

    SummaryA stunning last-gasp header by substitute Victor Moses secured a much-needed 3-2 win which leaves us tied at the top of Group E with our beaten opponents.
    Fernando Torres had given us the lead inside the opening five minutes, but only three minutes later the highly-coveted Willian equalised for the visitors when he converted a Fernandinho cross.
    Shakhtar, in truth, had been the better team for the majority of the first half, but it was the Blues who went in ahead at the break thanks to a stunning Oscar lob six minutes before half time.
    All the hard work, however, was undone two minutes after the restart when Willian scored an almost identical goal to his first one to draw Shakhtar level once more.
    As the Blues huffed and puffed with time running out, it looked as though the game was slipping away, but with virtually the last action of the match, Mata swung in a corner from the right, and Moses, the smallest player on the pitch, rose highest to head into the top corner and seal a famous win, sending the home supporters delirious.
    Drama is seldom in short supply on European nights at the Bridge, and while we will now need to secure another big result away in Juventus in a fortnight's time, our immediate attention turns towards a massive test in the Premier League on Sunday when we welcome Liverpool to west London.
    Team newsThe big news with regards to team selection was that John Terry, available again after completing a four-game domestic ban, started on the bench, with David Luiz, who missed the weekend draw at Swansea with an ankle problem, coming back into the side to partner Gary Cahill in the centre of defence. Branislav Ivanovic reverted to a more familiar right-back role, while Cesar Azpilicueta dropped down to the bench. With Ashley Cole unavailable due to a hamstring injury, Ryan Bertrand started his first Champions League game since the final in Munich last May. In the other changes from Saturday, Ramires came in at the expense of Oriol Romeu to play alongside John Mikel Obi in midfield, while goalscorer Victor Moses made way for the returning Juan Mata. Petr Cech once again captained the side in the absence of both Terry and Frank Lampard.
    First halfRoberto Di Matteo had spoken in the pre-match press conference about the importance of starting the game well, and the players appeared to have heeded his words when we took the lead inside the opening five minutes.
    Oscar showed a deft piece of skill wide on the right to evade his marker, and as he attempted to pick out Fernando Torres with his cross, Andriy Pyatov, the Shakhtar goalkeeper, was allowed to gather.
    After rolling the ball out to Yaroslav Rakitskiy, the left-back, under pressure from Torres, played it straight back to the 'keeper, and as he hesitated in clearing, the Spaniard had made up enough ground to charge down his kick and break the deadlock.
    It was the perfect start, and the goal appeared to spark Torres into life as almost from the restart he was unfortunate not to double our advantage, effortlessly skipping beyond Rakitskiy before firing at Pyatov.
    The lead, however, was to last only three minutes, as with the subsequent attack Shakhtar restored parity.
    Fernandinho was allowed to roam unchallenged into the Chelsea penalty area and as his cross from the right fell at the feet of Willian, the Brazilian, so instrumental in Ukraine a fortnight ago, drove his strike past Cech.
    The visitors began to take control following the equaliser and almost went in front when Henrik Mkhitaryan fired narrowly wide after pouncing on a Luiz Adriano knock-down, and they were asking more than enough questions to give Di Matteo food for thought, particularly down the right-hand side.
    Torres, meanwhile, went close again for the Blues, but rather than pick out the unmarked Eden Hazard he opted to shoot from the tightest of angles and could only screw his strike into the side-netting.
    With so much at stake, it was perhaps unsurprising that there was a nervy atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge, and the awat side's ability to retain the ball so well merely added to the sense of frustration.
    Just after the half-hour mark, Alex Texeira fizzed a strike inches past Cech's right-hand upright after a flowing move involving both Fernandinho and Luiz Adriano as Shakhtar sensed an opening, while at the other end clear-cut opportunities were proving elusive.
    Six minutes before the break, though, we were back in front, albeit against the run of play.
    As yet another Shakhtar attack broke down, Mata, who had been a virtual spectator throughout the first half, attempted to pick out the advancing Ivanovic, but as Pyatov raced off his line to head clear, the ball fell kindly to Oscar 35 yards from goal, and the 21-year-old took one touch before crashing his strike straight back over the keeper's head and into an empty net.
    It was the youngster's fourth goal in this season's competition thus far, most of which had been of the spectacular variety, and it had come just at the right time.
    Second halfIf the first half had started in the best possible fashion, the second was the complete opposite, as barely two minutes in Shakhtar equalised for the second time on the night.
    The ball was worked out to the right-hand side far too easily, and Darijo Srna had plenty of time to pick out Willian who doubled his tally for the evening.
    It really was a cheap goal to concede, particularly at such a crucial time, and it allowed Shakhtar to settle comfortably back into their stride.
    Moments later our disappointment was almost compounded when Razvan Rat smashed an effort past Cech from distance, only to be denied by the post.
    As an attacking unit, we were struggling to get going, with only Eden Hazard looking capable of producing the spark we so desperately needed.
    Midway through the second half it looked as though we had restored our lead when Mikel Obi - the most unlikely goalscorer on the pitch - arrived at the far post to head home from a Mata free-kick, but the linesman's flag was raised, a decision which was proved to be the correct one from the subsequent replays.
    With the clock ticking down we began to assert ourselves in the final third, giving the Shakhtar defence more to think about.
    With 17 minutes left to play Hazard picked up the ball deep inside the opposing half and fed a delightful pass into the path of the advancing Ramires, but as the Brazilian prepared to pull the trigger he was sent crashing inside the box as the home supporters appealed for a penalty.
    It looked a simple decision for the Spanish referee, but he waved the shouts away to the utter bewilderment of Di Matteo and Eddie Newton in the Chelsea dugout, along with almost 40,000 spectators inside the stadium.
    Mikel again went close when he volleyed narrowly wide after a Mata corner had been headed into his path, while soon after Di Matteo made his first substitution of the night, replacing the tireless Oscar with Victor Moses in a bid to inject some pace in wide areas.
    The Blues forced a succession of corners in the final few minutes, realising the importance of securing all three points, but while Mata's deliveries were generally decent, the likes of Cahill and Ivanovic were unable to get the necessary touch.
    However, in the third minute of stoppage time, another stunning Champions League night at Stamford Bridge was complete when substitute Moses rose highest in the box to head home from a Mata corner and steal the win at the death.
    Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech (c); Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Bertrand; Mikel Obi, Ramires; Mata, Oscar (Moses 80), Hazard; Torres (Sturridge 88).
    Unused subs: Turnbull, Terry, Azpilicueta, Romeu, Marin.
    Scorers Torres 5, Oscar 39, Moses 90+3
    Booked
    David Luiz 88
    Shakhtar Donetsk (4-2-3-1): Pyatov; Srna (c), Kucher, Rakitskiy, Rat; Fernandinho, Hubschman; Teixeira (Ilsinho 77), Mkhitaryan, Willian; Luiz Adriano.
    Unused subs: Kanibolotskiy, Shevchuk, Chygrynskiy, Stepanenko, Douglas Costa, Eduardo.
    Scorers Willian 8, 47
    Booked
    Teixeira 56
    Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo from Spain
    Crowd
    41,067

    Tue. Nov. 20th. 2012
    CL Matchday 5 

    Chelsea 0 v 3 Juventus (A)


    MATCH REPORT: JUVENTUS 3 CHELSEA 0

    Summary The Blues will now need to keep one eye firmly on the result in Donetsk when we take on Nordsjaelland in the final group game, having been well beaten in Italy.
    The manner of the first two Juventus goals may have been a little unfortunate, Petr Cech wrong-footed by a deflection in each half, but once Eden Hazard had not taken an early chance when the game was scoreless, Chelsea never truly looked like scoring again.
    The Italian champions had been denied by a very good Cech save early on and although they created few clear-cut chances, they were in control for large parts of the match and finished it off with a third goal just before the final whistle.
    Team news Fernando Torres was left out and with Daniel Sturridge having strained a hamstring in training the night before, Eden Hazard was handed the task of leading the attack.
    Roberto Di Matteo sprung another surprise by naming Cesar Azpilicueta on the right of midfield, playing in front of the returning Branislav Ivanovic. Ashley Cole was also back, to play the 100th European game of his career, 99 of them in the Champions League. Juan Mata and Oscar, who started on the bench for the West Brom game were both back in the starting line-up.
    Juventus were able field Mirko Vucinic up front after an illness scare and paired him with Fabio Quagliarella who came off the bench to score at the Bridge.
    First halfOn what was always likely to be a night when the Blues' defensive resolve would be tested, there was concern as early as the second minute when an Ivanovic slip allowed Asamoah to put a cross in which Cole initially kicked skywards but Cech eventually caught. Then a couple of minutes later came a genuine scare when a ball was chipped over to the left of our six-yard box and Lichtensteiner met it, only for Cech to push it onto the post. A fine piece of goalkeeping at such an early stage in the game.
    Chelsea were under pressure but on eight minutes it was our turn to go very close to scoring. It was Oscar who broke shackles, embarking on a fine run through the middle and finding his way past two Juventus men before drawing the last defender and playing the perfect pass out to Hazard. The Belgian's shot was on target but Buffon, as he has done on so many occasions, came to the Italians rescue. He diverted the ball into the sidenetting with his knee. Chelsea wouldn't come as close to scoring again in the opening period.
    Juventus came back strongly and forced three corners in quick succession, the third leading to a Marchisio shot that was heading just inside the post until Cech saved one-handed.
    The Serie A side kept peppering the Chelsea goal with shots but nothing to test Cech on this form. Midway through the half, Ivanovic was judged to have fouled Vidal just outside the penalty area, a touch harshly, but Pirlo's free-kick disappointed the Juventus tifosi in the Curva Sud behind the goal. Cech again saved.
    Chelsea did mount an attack just before the half-hour, aided by good hold-up play from Hazard and then a mistake from PIrlo but Ramires's shot was always bending high and wide.
    There was a tremendous tackle from Cole soon after to dispossess the rapid Quagiarella who looked to be escaping David Luiz and heading for goal, before Hazard twisted onto his right foot inside the Juve area but had a shot charged down.
    The deadlock was finally broken on 37 minutes and when it came it was unlucky for Chelsea, Quagliarella's speculative shot taking deflection before beating Cech. It needed something like that to beat our keeper in this form.
    Suddenly there was much happening at both ends. Cole cleared off the Chelsea line after Juventus had bundled the goalwards inside a crowded six-yard box, and then we countered, only for Mata to make a poor connection as he stretched to meet Azpilicueta's cross.
    Five minutes before the break Bonucci became the game's first booked player for sticking out a leg to impede Hazard just inside the Juve half.
    Further Chelsea efforts to score were more in hope than expectation and the home side took a lead into the dressing room they deserved on balance of play, even if their own chances had been infrequent.
    Second halfJuventus were convinced they should have had a penalty four minutes into the half when an incisive move ended with Vucinic turning inside Cahill but the ref decided an arm briefly across the centre-forward's stomach was not enough for a foul.
    The Blues went straight up the other end and Mata was chopped down inside the 'D' on the edge of the penalty area. Unfortunately when he picked himself up and took the free-kick, he could do no more than plant it into the wall.
    Cech was again extended on 57 minutes to push a 20-yard shot wide and then he did well to keep Vucinic out wide after Juve had beaten the offside flag.
    Azpilicueta had done a good job of harassing the Juventus left-flank but with Chelsea in desperate need of some scoring chances, Di Matteo decided on 59 minutes it was time to replace him with Victor Moses.
    Before the Nigerian could have any impact on the game however, Juventus made it 2-0. Having worked space on our right, Asamoah was able to pick out Vidal on the edge of the area. Cech may well have dealt with the shot but this time Ramires was the unlucky player deflecting it in.
    It was hard to see how we were going to come back from this, a point emphasised when Buffon claimed a corner in commanding fashion.
    Torres was introduced for the final 20 minutes, Mikel the man taken off and Oscar asked to play deeper.
    Vucinic had the chance to totally kill the game but missed a sitter.
    Moses was then found inside the Juve penalty area by Hazard and managed to get a shot in but Barzaghi was in position to block. David Luiz then tried from distance but cleared the bar. Ramires also picked up a booking.
    There were just 10 minutes left to somehow find two goals. Torres showed vision to find Oscar in space but the chance to shoot disappeared as the Brazilian got his feet tangled, but the final punch was landed by Juve substitute Giovinco. He ran through onside after an counter-attack cut us open and with Cech doing all he could do in charging out of his goal, the ball was slipped past him to make it 3-0.
    We now need to win our final game and hope Shakhtar Donetsk beat Juventus when the Italians travel to Ukraine.

    Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech (c); Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Mikel (Torres 70); Azpilicueta (Moses 59), Oscar, Mata; Hazard.
    Unused subs Turnbull, Bertrand, Romeu, Marin, Piazon.
    Booked Ramires 75.
    Juventus (4-2-3-1): Buffon (c); Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner (Caceres 66), Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Quagliarella (Pogba 88), Vucinic (Giovinco 82).
    Unused subs Storari, Pepe, Giaccherini, Matri.Scorers Quagliarella 37. Vidal 60, Giovinco 90.
    Booked Bonucci 40, Marchisio 84.
    Referee Cüneyt Çakır from Turkey.
    Crowd
    39,670.

    Wed. Dec. 5th. 2012
    CL Matchday 6 
    Chelsea 6 v 1 FC Nordsjælland (H)


    MATCH REPORT: CHELSEA 6 FC NORDSJAELLAND 1

    SummaryA record Champions League victory, complete with some sparkling football, was not enough to see us through to this competition's knockout stages.
    The fact Juventus won at Shakhtar Donetsk means we finish third in Group E, and will now take part in the reformatted Europa League for the first time.
    It renders an impressive display at Stamford Bridge relatively meaningless, though we did for the first time score six in a Champions League fixture, with goals coming from a David Luiz penalty after both sides had already missed from the spot, two from Fernando Torres, who had not scored in a month, and one apiece from Gary Cahill (pictured below), Juan Mata and Oscar, following four goals in 20 second-half minutes after Nordsjaelland had pulled one back immediately from the kick-off.
    Chelsea v Nordsjaelland
    The result brings a first win for Rafael Benitez, but the night will be remembered as the one the previous season's Champions League winners bowed out for the first time at the group stage.
    Team news
    David Luiz, suspended for the weekend defeat at West Ham, returned to central defence alongside Cahill, as Branislav Ivanovic switched to right-back.
    That meant no place for Cesar Azpilicueta, who was on the bench, while Oriol Romeu replaced John Mikel Obi in midfield. The front four was unchanged, with Victor Moses keeping his place ahead of Oscar.
    Ashley Cole was playing the 100th Champions League game of his career.
    First halfAs much as we needed the result in Donetsk to go our way, there was a job to be done at home too. Failure to qualify for the knockout stages would be one thing, but failure to beat the group's weakest side at the Bridge quite another.
    The early stages were interrupted with an injury to Nordsjaelland's Ivan Runje, but when it resumed Chelsea looked dangerous, first when Moses's powerful volley was saved at the near post by the visiting keper Jesper Hansen, and then after Fernando Torres had burst into the box and fired hard and low.
    Hansen then saved from David Luiz before the defender was forced to divert the ball behind at the other end, only for the Blues to break as Torres brought the ball forward and played in Juan Mata, whose square ball was diverted goalwards by Eden Hazard, the goalkeeper once again able to save.
    It was certainly entertaining as Chelsea sought to bring some warmth to a bitterly cold London evening.
    Romeu, Hazard and Mata all combined and almost played in Torres, before Moses squared across goal and Nordsjaelland captain Nicolai Stokholm diverted over via his own crossbar.
    The away side were riding their luck, and they were given a huge boost on the half-hour when Cahill was adjudged to have handled inside the area. There was little the defender could do, though his arm was raised, yet repays showed he had been outside the penalty area.
    Stokholm stepped up, and sent the kick to Petr Cech's right, but not many spot kicks seem to beat our number one these days, and he pushed it away to safety.
    Chelsea v Nordsjaelland
    Three minutes later and we had a penalty of our own, Cahill winning it this time as sub Mikkel Beckmann was penalised for handball. Hazard claimed the ball, and confidently placed it low to the keeper's left, but Hansen guessed right and was able to save.
    Staggeringly, five minutes later we were awarded another penalty as Beckmann blocked Mata's drive with his hand, and this time David Luiz took responsibility, and fired high into the top corner of the net.
    For all the showmanship and enterprising play of the first half, it had taken a penalty to put us ahead.
    The wait for a second would not be a long one, coming in first-half injury time as Moses threaded Torres through, and the striker tapped into an empty net after Hansen had saved his initial effort.
    Chelsea looked well in control, but Shakhtar and Juventus were still level out in Ukraine.
    Second halfNobody in west London would have predicted what happened at the start of the second period, as within 20 seconds Nordsjaelland struck back, left-winger Joshua John latching on to Kasper Lorentzen's lofted pass to clip over Cech and into the net.
    The goalkeeper will be frustrated at losing his clean sheet but concern for the result did not last long, as Cahill leapt high to head an inswinging Mata free-kick into the corner of the net just moments later, restoring the two-goal lead.
    The goals kept coming.
    Chelsea v Nordsjaelland
    The lead became three five minutes later, as Hazard progressed down the left, as he had done numerous times already, and got to the bye-line, squaring for Torres to prod home a fourth of the night, and a second for himself.
    Then Ramires won possession as Nordsjaelland tried to break, and with the Danes low on numbers at the back, the Brazilian fed Mata who drove forward, exchanged passes with Hazard and shot, seeing his first effort hit Hansen's leg before firing in the rebound. If the Blues were going out, we were going to do so with a show.
    Mata was gifted possession midway inside the away side's half, and he was able to instinctively pick out substitute Oscar's run, and the Brazilian made no mistake as he side-footed past the keeper and into the bottom corner. Celebrations, however, were subdued, with the news having filtered through that Juventus had taken the lead in Donetsk.
    Chelsea v Nordsjaelland
    Mata was brought off to rapturous applause after another night of playmaking perfection, and the change saw Paulo Ferreira introduced, with perhaps more interestingly David Luiz pushed forward into midfield alongside Romeu, who had been faultless all evening.
    Torres might have had a penalty after being bundled over inside the area while Oscar's drive was tipped over by Hansen and David Luiz looped a free-kick just too high as Chelsea looked for more. Already we had scored a club record number of Champions League goals in one night.
    Torres and Mata combined with a rabona and a back flick to work Hansen some more, but that was the end of the excitement, and a fine display was met with applause, but an overall feeling of disappointment at the final whistle.
    Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech (c); Ivanovic, David Luiz, Cahill, Cole (Bertrand 59); Romeu, Ramires (Oscar 64); Hazard, Mata (Ferreira 73), Moses; Torres.
    Unused subs Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Mikel, Marin.
    Goals David Luiz (pen) 37, Torres 45+1, 55, Cahill 50, Mata 62, Oscar 70
    Booked David Luiz
    Nordsjaelland (4-4-2): Hansen; Ticinovic (Issah 64), Parkhurst, Runje (Beckmann 9), Mtiliga; Stockholm (c)Adu, Christiansen (Kildentoft 60); Gundelach, Lorentzen, John;
    Unused subs Jensen, Maxso, Laudrup, Lindberg.
    Goal John 46
    Booked Parkhurst,Mtiliga
    Referee Bas Nijhuis from Holland
    Attendance 40,084

    UEFA Champions League Table Group E                                          

       Final Table



    Team P GD Pts


    Juventus 6     8 12

    Shakhtar Donetsk 6   4 10

    Chelsea 6   6 10

    Nordsjaelland 6-18  1
    Europa Cup 
    Rounds of 32 & 16




















































     
    The draw for the round of 32 included the top two teams from each of the 12 groups along with the eight sides transferring from the UEFA Champions League after finishing third in their pools.
    Draw 2 pm. CET, 20 December, Nyon
    The draw for the round of 32 includes the top two teams from each of the 12 groups along with the eight sides transferring from the UEFA Champions League after finishing third in their pools.
    The UEFA Europa League group winners are all seeded, along with the four UEFA Champions League qualifiers with the best record in their section. The other four sides transferring from the elite competition and the UEFA Europa League group runners-up are in the unseeded pot and are drawn first, meaning they are drawn to play the first-leg matches at home. They cannot be paired with either the winners from their section or clubs from the same association.
    The draw for the round of 16, which will be played on 7 and 14 March, follows and there are no seeded teams. The 16 balls containing slips of paper for 'Winners of match 1' to 'Winners of match 16' are placed in one bowl and shuffled. The first team drawn are to play their first match at home against the second team drawn and the same procedure is then repeated for the other matches. There are no restrictions on the round of 16 draw.


    Round of 32 1st. Leg Sparta PrahaSparta Praha 0 v 1 ChelseaChelsea


















    Sparta v Chelsea
















    Thursday 4th. April
    ChelseaChelsea 3 v 1 Rubin Kazan (H) 1st. leg
    Fernando Torres

    MATCH REPORT: CHELSEA 3 RUBIN KAZAN 1

    Summary Fernando Torres scored his 17th and 18th goals of the season with Victor Moses netting his seventh to give the Blues a lead to take to Russia next week.
    The Spaniard opened the scoring, scrambling the ball in from close range and headed in the third goal in the second half after a good move. Moses had made it 2-0 in the opening period with the goal of the night but Rubin Kazan pulled one back from the penalty spot before the interval. For most of the game though, it had been a solid Chelsea defence with the Blues on top across the park.
    Team news There were six changes to the side that began the win over Man United with John Terry and Ryan Bertrand coming into defence, Frank Lampard back in midfield and Fernando Torres in attack with Demba Ba cup-tied.
    Yossi Benayoun began wide of Juan Mata with Victor Moses another player returning to the starting line-up on the other flank. David Luiz played the 50th European game of his career.
    Rubin Kazan changed their shape from their last-round win over Levante, from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-1-1 -Roman Eremenko supporting centre-forward Vladmir Dyadyun.

    First half
    The message had been clear before the game, Chelsea wanted goals and a good lead to take into a never-easy second leg in Moscow.

    Benayoun, in his start since the first leg away in Bucharest last round, was the first to show enterprise but his dribble into the box came to a halt before any end product.

    Mata showed similar good control on 10 minutes to get through a crowd inside the area but when he squared, a flick off a Rubin shin diverted the ball from danger. Torres turned his marker soon after as he chested a Lampard pass from halfway but bobbled a shot wide.
    The quick long pass up front appeared to be a clear tactic tonight, testing the Rubin central defence regularly, and 15 minutes Torres made them pay.
    David Luiz sent the missile forward and although Torres's initial control left him, the ball and the defender together on the floor, it was the Spaniard who reacted quicker to stab the ball home from just a couple of yards out.
    Chelsea v Rubin
    Cech made his first save, from a speculative strike from Natcho, before Chelsea attacked again and this time it was Bertrand who from his own half snaked his way through. It was a thrilling run but the left-back's angled shot was cleared inside the six-yard area.
    The game was steadily becoming one of constant Chelsea pressure and it was a sustained attack just past the half-hour mark that led to Moses doubling the lead.
    The Russians had more than one chance to clear properly but they failed to do so. Azpilicueta 's cross led to a blocked Torres shot that spun up to Moses. His bouncing header was clawed wide by the keeper but a Torres cross was deflected back into Moses's path on the edge if the area. He fired into the top corner in style.
    Chelsea v Rubin
    Rubin pulled a goal back five minutes before half-time and given the balance of the game at that stage, from possibly the only route available to them. Ansaldi fired the ball in the direction of the goal and it hit the arm of Terry which was pretty much down by his side. That was enough for the referee to point to the spot and book our skipper. Natcho converted the penalty.
    The 30 or so Rubin Kazan fans present were very pleased with that away strike, as they would have been with the single-goal deficit at half-time given Chelsea's superiority.
    Second halfRubin Kazan swapped centre-forwards for the restart - the tall Venezuelan Jose Rondon replacing Dyadyun.

    With four minutes of the half gone, it needed a full-stretch save from the keeper to keep out Moses's shot, a quick switch of play having created space. Moses touched the ball into the Chelsea topscorer's path after a David Luiz cross. The ball ran loose after the save but it was cleared before Terry could snap it up.
    There was a rare moment when Cech went for but didn't claim a corner which served to emphasise the need for more goals.
    Just before the hour Torres hit a good cross to the far post which won a corner. Mata was not far from serving that up perfectly for Terry but the header cleared the bar.
    The next chance worryingly was Rubin's and had Rondon not hit it straight at Cech then we would have been in trouble. Benitez brought on Hazard for Moses soon after.
    The reassuring third goal came from a swift counter-attack down the left. Benayoun released Torres and although the striker was initially held up by a group of defenders, he involved Lampard in the move who in turn found Mata peeling away to the flank. The cross was floated in and Torres made no mistake with his head. There were 69 minutes played.
    Chelsea v Rubin
    Benayoun was booked for sliding in on Ansaldi moments before the second Chelsea substitution. It was time for Mata to rest, Oscar coming on. Marin then followed for Benayoun who came off to good applause. It had been his third start of the season.

    The final shot was a long-range dig from Ramires which was a worthy effort, the Brazilian having just been fouled to earn Orbiaz a booking. Marin also received a late yellow card.
    Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Terry (c), Bertrand; Ramires, Lampard; Moses (Hazard 65), Mata (Oscar 77), Benayoun (Marin 82); Torres.
    Unused subs Turnbull, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Mikel.
    Scorers Torres 16, 69, Moses 32.
    Booked
    Terry 40, Benayoun 77, Marin 90+2.

    Rubin Kazan
    (4-4-1-1): Ryzhikov; Kaleshin, Sharonov (c), Navas, Ansaldi; Kuzmin (Kasaev 82), Orbaiz, Natcho, Karadeniz; Eremenko; Dyadyun (Rondón h-t).
    Unused subs: Arlauskis, Marcano, Ryazantsev, Kislyak, Tore.
    Scorer Natcho 41 pen.
    Booked Orbaiz 86.
    Referee Gianluca Rocchi from Italy.
    Crowd
    32,994.

    Thursday 11th. April
    ChelseaChelsea 2 v 3 Rubin Kazan (A) 2nd. leg
     Fernando Torres

    MATCH REPORT: RUBIN KAZAN 3 CHELSEA 2 (AGG 4-5)

    Summary
    Chelsea are into the Europa League semi-finals despite being narrowly beaten in Russia.
    An early goal should have made things comfortable, but a second-half fight back from Rubin made for a harder night's work than many would have predicted when Fernando Torres put us in front after four minutes.
    An early scare was quickly forgotten once the Spaniard lifted us into the lead, seemingly putting us out of reach of our hosts, who took until the last minute of the first half to really stretch Petr Cech, who was forced to save well from Rubin captain Gokdeniz Karadeniz.
    Ivan Marcano then headed level five minutes into the second half, only for Victor Moses to quickly restore our three-goal aggregate cushion. That should have been that but Karadeniz was then allowed a free header to level, before Bebras Natcho converted a penalty after a foul by Cesar Azpilicueta inside the area.
    It made for a potentially nervy final 15 minutes, but Cech was called into action only once, and we take our place in the last four, two games away from a trip to Amsterdam for May's final.
    Team news
    The major headline in Rafael Benitez's selection was the decision to start Nathan Ake in deep midfield alongside Frank Lampard, meaning a European debut for the 18-year-old. He had been touted as a potential stand-in left-back with both Ryan Bertrand and Ashley Cole missing, but that role was given to the ever dependable Paulo Ferreira, who had featured just five times previously this season, the last time in February. This was the sixth competition he had played in this season.
    John Terry started his 100thEuropean game for the Blues, while in making his 421st appearance for the club, Cech drew level with Steve Clarke as our joint-seventh highest appearance maker of all time.
    Torres, impressive at the weekend against Sunderland, came in for the cup-tied Demba Ba in attack, with support coming from Ramires on the right, Yossi Benayoun and Moses. Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar were all among the substitutes.
    First half
    An eerie quiet fell over the Luzhniki Stadium just before kick-off, the few thousand supporters struggling to make themselves heard in an arena capable of holding many times more the number inside for this game.
    The home fans, you consider, might have burst to life had Cesar Azpilicueta made a vital block inside the area from Roman Eremenko's shot goalbound shot after just three minutes, but 60 seconds later they were silenced by Torres.
    Lampard sent a long ball over the top of the Rubin defence and goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov committed himself to getting there first, but did not allow for the synthetic surface slowing the ball's progress, and Torres, quicker over 20 yards than his opponents, arrived first to lift it up and into the empty net from around 30 yards.
    Fernando Torres after scoring against Rubin
    It was a major blow for the tie, cancelling out Rubin's away goal and gifting the Blues a three-goal cushion that the Russian side rarely looked like overturning in a stale first half.
    Moses brought a save from Ryzhikov while Natcho shot wide and Eremenko worked Cech low to his left for the hosts, but excitement was at a premium.
    John Terry in action against Rubin
    Just before the break came Rubin's best opportunity, a floated ball into space behind the defence latched upon by Karadeniz, but Cech showed why he is among the best around with a fine outstretched save to his right. Chelsea had one foot in the last four.
    Second half
    Five minutes after the restart, the hosts gave themselves a lifeline when Pablo Orbaiz crossed from the right and defender Marcano rose above Ramires to head home. It was a goal spookily reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo's effort five years earlier in the Champions League final.
    Chelsea's next attack saw us restore the lead on the night. Lampard supplied a pass to Moses on the edge of the area, and the Nigerian exchanged passes with Ramires before guiding the ball past Ryzhikov into the far corner to make it 2-1 on the night. Rubin now needed four, with the Blues boasting an extra away goal.
    Victor Moses scores against Rubin
    John Mikel Obi replaced Ramires to add an extra layer of steel, and give the Brazilian a rest, but Rubin quickly equalised once more, Karadeniz, the smallest player on the pitch, rising highest in the area to head home a left-wing cross, with Cech unable to beat it out despite getting hands to it.
    Rubin score against Chelsea
    Marcano then headed against the outside of the post as the home side finally applied some sustained pressure, and they were rewarded with a penalty when Azpilicueta was adjudged to have bundled over substitute Aleksandr Ryazantsev in the box. Natcho coolly despatched the kick into the top corner.
    Jose Rondon then headed straight at Cech with 10 minutes to go. A goal then would have given Chelsea real trouble, but the striker's failure to convert signalled the beginning of the end for Rubin, and they created little else in the remaining time, Chelsea sub Oscar having the game's final opportunity with a curling effort comfortably saved by Ryzhikov.
    Narrowly beaten on the night, Chelsea progress to the semi-finals regardless. The draw is on Friday morning.

    Chelsea (4-1-4-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Terry (c), David Luiz, Ferreira; Ake; Benayoun (Oscar 76), Lampard (Ivanovic 90), Ramires (Mikel 59), Moses; Torres.
    Unused substitutes: Turnbull, Mata, Marin, Hazard.
    Goals Torres 4, Moses 55
    Booked Oscar 90
    Rubin Kazan (4-2-3-1): Ryzhikov; Kuzmin (Kaleshin h-t), Marcano, Navas, Ansaldi; Natcho, Orbaiz (Dyadyun 65); Karadeniz (c), Eremenko, Kasaev (Ryazantsev 71); Rondon.
    Unused substitutes: Arlauskis, Kislyak, Tore, Sharonov.
    Goals Marcano 50, Karadeniz 62, Natcho 74 pen
    Booked
    Marcano 86
    Crowd Referee Firat Aydinus from Turkey
    Thursday 25th. April
    Europa League Semi Final 1st. Leg
    Basle v Chelsea
    Basel v Chelsea

    MATCH REPORT: BASEL 1 CHELSEA 2

    Summary We take a lead into next week's semi-final second leg thanks to David Luiz finding the net with the last kick of the game in Switzerland.
    Victor Moses had given the visitors the lead early in the game and it was an advantage we held into the final five minutes. Then Basel were awarded and scored a penalty, but the Blues deserve great credit for not settling for what would have been a healthy result at that stage. We had other chances for a late winner before the Brazilian scored our second.
    The home team had looked capable of goals during the game, Chelsea even more so, and both sides hit woodwork early in the second half. It should be a cracking deciding 90 minutes back in London.
    Team news Ashley Cole played his first game since 1 April having recovered from a hamstring injury and John Terry returned to the central defence to partner Branislav Ivanovic.
    Frank Lampard was back in midfield alongside David Luiz. Ramires on this occasion played wide on right, flanking Eden Hazard with Victor Moses on the left. Fernando Torres spearheaded the attack.
    Basel named the same side that had begun their quarter-final second against Tottenham.

    First halfUrged on by a vocal support, the early pressure was from the home side, with Cech sent back-peddling as one over-hit cross landed on the roof of his net.
    There were signs of nerves in the Swiss side however, playing in their first European semi-final, with misplaced passes in dangerous regions. Hazard showed signs of being able to give their defence problems, and David Luiz almost set something up for Torres after one particularly bad pass by the Basel.
    Basel v Chelsea
    On 11 minutes Chelsea sprang into life properly when a quick combination down the right by Hazard and Azpilicueta gave Lampard the chance to volley the full-back's cross at the near post. Yann Sommer in the Basel goal did well to push the ball wide for a corner. It was only a temporary reprieve.
    Lampard sent the ball over into the mix where Ivanovic appeared to get the first touch. As it dropped down, Moses was able to divert it in from a yard or two out. It was his fifth European goal this season.
    Basel v Chelsea
    Now the Basel temperament was under examination and they responded to conceding that early away goal with some purpose. A free-kick save by Cech from Fabian Schar was made all the better by the fact it took a slight deflection off the Chelsea player charging it down. Terry rose high to head clear Basel's third corner of the game midway through the half.
    It was down Basel's right that they looked the sharpest, and some nippy passing there inside our penalty area ended with Schar hitting the outside of the post from an acute with Cech in place and covering the net.
    On the half-hour, Torres was released in a wide position. He cut back inside and shot but Basel had enough defenders back for an adequate block to be in place. Our number nine tired his luck from 25 yards out soon after but Sommer was looking sure-handed so far, having claimed a couple of corners well.
    He was called upon to dive full-length to prevent Ramires making it 2-0 on 35 minutes. Moses had shown Basel a clean pair of heels down the left but his pull-back was slightly miss-directed. Lampard kept the attack alive with a pass to the Brazilian whose poke at goal needed a good save.
    In the two minutes before the break the lead could, and probably should, have been doubled.
    Torres was sent racing away just inside the Basel half and although he initially overran the ball, that lost his chaser and allowed him to pass wide. Torres then attempted to acrobatically convert the cross but didn't make proper contact. Hazard instead blazed over.
    Basel v Chelsea
    Moments later it was Hazard again with the chance, this time created by Moses, but with only the keeper to beat, he shot well wide.
    Second halfTwo minutes into the half Basel hit the post and this time Cech had been bypassed. Stocker, the Swiss side's wide-left player, made a darting run into the area and although initially held up by David Luiz, he was able to continue his run. His low shot had enough power to beat the Chelsea keeper, but thankfully lacked the direction - just!
    Six minutes later it was our turn to rattle the woodwork. Hazard somehow stayed upright after being clattered on the run just outside the penalty area, and excelled in making the byline and picking out a team-mate, but from 10 yards out, Torres smashed a first-time strike against the post.
    Basel could have made the Blues pay when Cech couldn't reach a high-flighted corner but their hefty centre-forward Marco Streller couldn't capitalise at the far post. Fabian Frei was not very far away with a long-range shot soon after. The Blues could not relax in this tie.
    On 68 minutes Cole picked up the game's first booking for taking too long with a throw-in and it was a significant card. It rules the returning left-back out of the second leg. Basel centre-back Aleksandar Dragovic was also booked a minute later, much to the home fans' annoyance and he too will be suspended at the Bridge.
    Basel were wasteful with quarter-of-an-hour to go. Schar played a ball behind Cole who couldn't catch Mohamed Salah but the winger took a strong touch and Cech was able to win the race for the ball.
    Two more players were shown yellow soon after - neither facing a ban. They were substitute David Degen and David Luiz. With the ball back in play, Cole was sharp and well-positioned to keep Basel at bay when we looked vulnerable.
    The Swiss side were turning the screw and kept the ball fizzing around our area. They were rewarded on 86 minutes when a nudge by Azpilicueta on Stocker was judged enough for a penalty, converted by Schar. It was 1-1.
    The final minutes saw Chelsea attack strongly. Torres couldn't get a shot in from close range and then Oscar fired just wide. David Luiz swung a free-kick only a yard wide and then Terry had a header inside the six-yard box saved..
    There was still time for one more free-kick and after the sickening feeling of Suarez's equaliser at Anfield just four days ago, it was a sweet moment when David Luiz's low strike found its way past the wall and past the previously impressive Sommer, who will not be pleased with his attempt to keep it out.

    TBasel v Chelseahe St Jakob-Park stadium, which moments earlier had been rocking, fell very quiet apart from one corner containing the travelling support.
    Tickets for the second leg in a week's time are currently on sale to season ticket holders and members, maximum three per person.
    Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry (c), Cole; David Luiz, Lampard (Oscar 79); Ramires, Hazard (Mata 70), Moses; Torres.
    Unused subs Turnbull, Ivanovic, Cahill, Bertrand, Mikel, Benayoun.
    Scorers Moses 11, David Luiz 90+3.
    Booked
    Cole 68, David Luiz 82.

    Basel
    (4-3-2-1): Sommer; P Degen, Schär, Dragovic, Park Joo Ho; Elneny (Zoua 64), F Frei; Salah (D Degen 78), Serey Die (Marcelo Diaz 60), Stocker; Streller (c).
    Unused subs: Vailati, Sauro, Cabral, Steinhofer.
    Scorer Schar 86 pen.
    Booked Dragovic 69, D Degen 79, Schar 88.
    Referee Pavel Kralovec from Czech Republic.
    Crowd
    36,000

    Thursday 2nd. March
    Semi-Final 2nd. Leg
    Chelsea (5) v (2) Basle agg.

    MATCH REPORT: CHELSEA 3 BASEL 1 (5-2 ON AGG)

    SummaryThe Blues secured a second successive European final with a ruthless second-half display which saw us overcome Basel 3-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate, ensuring we will contest the Europa League final in Amsterdam on 15 May against Benfica, who overcame Fenerbahce in the other semi-final.
    Our progression had looked in the balance when Basel took the lead with virtually the last action of the first half, Mohamed Salah firing past Cech having been denied by the Blues goalkeeper moments earlier.
    The outcome of the tie, however, was shaped by a 10-minute spell early in the second half when three Chelsea goals all but booked our passage to the final.
    Fernando Torres levelled on the night with his 20th goal of the season from close-range, before Victor Moses scored in similar fashion to give us the lead.
    If the first two goals were defined by their importance, the third will be remembered for its pure quality, as David Luiz - whose free-kick won us the first leg right at the death - curled a magnificent left-footed strike beyond Yann Sommer.
    We can now look forward to what will hopefully be another memorable European occasion in just under a fortnight's time, but immediate attention now turns to a huge Barclays Premier League game against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
    Team newsRafael Benitez made five changes to the team which beat Swansea 2-0 on Sunday. Ryan Bertrand came in for the suspended Ashley Cole at left-back, while in the centre of defence Branislav Ivanovic replaced John Terry. Frank Lampard skippered the team alongside David Luiz in midfield, while Ramires, who limped off at the weekend, pushed further forward. Victor Moses and Fernando Torres were also given the nod, ahead of Juan Mata and the ineligible Demba Ba respectively. John Mikel Obi missed out after picking up a hip injury in training.
    First halfThe Blues went into the game looking for an eighth successive home win, but we were fortunate not to fall behind inside the opening minute. A header out from the back by Markus Steinhofer evaded the whole Chelsea backline, and a huge collective sigh of relief was breathed when Basel striker Marco Streller dragged his shot wide of Petr Cech's left-hand post.
    The visitors were certainly up for a physical battle, with Bertrand feeling the full force of a nasty lunge by Serey Die early on, although the midfielder somehow managed to escape caution.
    It was a frenetic opening to the contest, and as the 10-minute mark approached we should have taken the lead. Ramires and Torres combined to release Lampard, but as the ball failed to come down quick enough he was forced into a snap-shot and was denied what would have been a landmark goal by the post.
    Chelsea v Basel
    After the early warning we began to settle, and Torres was next to threaten, bringing a smart save out of Sommer after exchanging passes with Ramires on the edge of the penalty area.
    Scoring goals hadn't been a problem for Basel on their travels in the competition, and while it was Chelsea dominating possession, Murat Yakin's side looked dangerous on the break.
    Streller, who had been guilty of profligacy early in the game, almost atoned for his miss in emphatic fashion 25 minutes into the game, arriving at the far post to meet a Fabian Schar cross on the volley. The power in the strike was such that Cech stood no chance, but thankfully it flew inches wide.
    Four minutes later another chance went begging at the other end; Moses pulled it across the face of the goal into the path of Ramires, but the Brazilian, who was on the floor and under pressure, struggled to get enough power behind his shot and saw Sommer make the save.
    After a dominant Chelsea spell, the visitors sprang into life as half-time approached. A quick, incisive move yielded the best opportunity of the game as Salah was put through on goal, with the attacker only thwarted by the quick thinking of Cech, who raced off his line to make the save.
    Basel were appealing for a penalty when Valentin Stocker's shot cannoned against Bertrand as the ball bounced around in the Blues' box from the rebound, and while that particular decision went in our favour, right on half-time the Swiss side took the lead.
    Stocker was again involved, this time as the orchestrator, and it was his pass that Salah latched on to, taking time to open his body up and stroking it past Cech, levelling the tie on aggregate.
    Second halfWith Basel having gone in at the break with their tails up, a positive Chelsea response was imperative, and it came quicker than anybody would have expected.
    Hazard, who had been a peripheral figure for much of the first half, set the tone with a brilliant solo run, and as the Belgian was crowded out Lampard took control and drove at the Basel defence. The midfielder fired towards goal and as Sommer made the save low down to his left, Torres was on hand to fire into the roof of the net and restore our aggregate advantage.
    Three minutes later the game was turned well and truly on its head when we took the lead on the night. Buoyed by the equaliser, our movement was proving difficult for the away side to deal with, and as the blue shirts poured forward Torres' strike deflected into the path of Moses. The Nigerian's first effort was blocked, but the rebound fell kindly for him and he rolled the ball into an empty net to spark jubilant scenes.
    Chelsea v Basel
    It had been an electric start to the second half by Rafael Benitez's side, and one which would get even better just before the hour.
    Lampard rolled the ball into the path of David Luiz, and the Brazilian curled an absolutely exquisite strike into the top corner with his left foot.
    The defender has developed a penchant for spectacular goals of late, and this was another to add to his collection.
    Perhaps more importantly, it was a goal which put us 5-2 ahead on aggregate and firmly in the ascendancy.
    Chelsea v Basel
    The game itself was developing into a thrilling encounter, and Basel deserved credit for the manner in which they attempted to play their way back into the game.
    Our two-goal advantage on the night was almost reduced when Fabian Frei crashed a powerful effort against the bar, while Cech then saved well from Die.
    Hazard, meanwhile, tried his luck with a delicate chip that Sommer managed to hold on to, and it was his last involvement as shortly after he was replaced by Juan Mata. Our first substitution had seen Ramires withdrawn for Oscar.
    Nine minutes from time Nathan Ake was given his first taste of the big occasion when he replaced David Luiz, with the Brazilian receiving a wonderful ovation from the Stamford Bridge faithful as he departed.
    The damage had been done by the three goals and we were able to see the game out in comfortable fashion, although Torres forced a save from Sommer on the break in the closing stages.
    Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Bertrand; David Luiz (Ake 81), Lampard (c); Ramires (Oscar 65), Hazard (Mata 73), Moses; Torres.
    Unused substitutes: Turnbull, Ferreira, Terry, Benayoun.
    Scorers Torres 49, Moses 52, David Luiz 59
    Booked Azpilicueta 56
    Basel (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Steinhofer, Schar, Sauro, Voser; Elneny, F Frei (Diaz 73); Salah, Serey Die, Stocker (Degen 60); Streller (c) (Zoua 60).
    Unused substitutes: Vailati , Marcelo Diaz, Ajeti , Park Joo Ho, Cabral.
    Scorer Salah 45+1
    Booked
    Schar 67, Steinhofer 69, Die 87
    Referee Jonas Eriksson from Sweden
    Crowd
    39,403

          UEFA Europa Final 
    Wednesday 15th. May (Amsterdam)
    Chelsea v Benfica
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gP2D-R3yn_4/UUpeGPGrnLI/AAAAAAAACU0/JLSSdAOA5fA/s1600/th_chelsea.gif



    Benfica v Chelsea

    EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL REPORT: 

    BENFICA 1 CHELSEA 2

    Summary 
    A third European final in a row for Chelsea looked to be heading for extra-time after a Benfica penalty had levelled up Fernando Torres's second-half goal, but with stoppage time underway, Branislav Ivanovic's superb header won the Europa League.
    Both halves followed a similar pattern, more possession and territorial advantage for the Portuguese side but Frank Lampard came closest to scoring before the interval, and he hit woodwork late in the game too.
    Torres's strike, his sixth in this competition this season, came on the hour, the Spaniard expertly finishing off a counter-attack. The penalty, for handball soon after, was despatched by Benfica's leading scorer in the tournament, Oscar Cardozo. Ivanovic's decider was from a Juan Mata corner.
    The Blues have that winning feeling yet again.
    Team news
    With John Terry unable to recover from his ankle injury sufficiently, Branislav Ivanovic came into central defence alongside Gary Cahill.
    Both wingers were changed from the weekend win at Villa, Ramires moved to a wide-right position for this game with Oscar coming in. They replaced injured Eden Hazard and Victor Moses, who was on the bench.
    David Luiz played alongside captain-on-the-night Frank Lampard in midfield with Fernando Torres leading the attack.
    Benfica had one enforced change from the semi-final with right-back Maxi Pereira suspended. Andre Almeida moved across from left-back to replace him with Lorenzo Melgarjo coming in on the left. Nicolas Gaitan moved from midfield in the Fenerbahçe games to play as one of the front three.
    First half
    After an opening ceremony featuring plenty of giant tulips and windmills, it was time for the main event in the Dutch capital. The still-reigning European champions lined up against a club that had lost their previous six European finals.
    The first chance was for the Portuguese - and centre-forward Oscar Cardoza must have been unhappy not the head a cross from the right at least on-target with just two minutes played. Cesar Azpilicueta then had to get his chest in the way of a ball diverted towards the Chelsea goal by Ivanovic.
    There were words from the referee to Nemanja Matic five minutes in after he bundled Ramires to the turf on halfway, but no booking for the former Chelsea midfielder. Unfortunately Oscar couldn't control a well-weighted ball over the defence by Juan Mata with the offside flag staying down.
    Worryingly, Benfica were finding a fair amount of space in the 20 yards up to the edge of the Chelsea penalty area, giving them the chance to work the ball into the danger zone. Ivanovic blocked a shot from Cardozo, followed immediately by Cole blocking Salvio's effort. Then Gaitan skied a shot from inside the box and straight away held his head in hands. Other scrambles in front of Cech followed.
    Oscar was booked for illegally ending Perez's run through the middle.
    Around the midway point in the half the game became stop-start for a period, which suited Chelsea given the flow of the match so far. With one of several free-kicks awarded, Mata drew a double-fist save from the keeper from out wide, and Artur's handling wasn't the best when Oscar shot at him from the outside the area.
    On 30 minutes Ivanovic caught Perez 10 years outside the Chelsea area after Cole's clearance had fallen to the midfielder with the defence stretched. There was no booking however and danger soon passed when Garay's free-kick struck the wall. Soon Gaitan side-footed a shot over the bar. Benfica were gaining the upper hand once again.
    Finally, on 37 minutes, Chelsea truly tested Artur and Lampard brought the best out of the keeper too. Picking up the ball in prime territory, the 203-goal man let fly and the ball was swerving away from Artur when he somehow adjusted his movement mid-air and saved with one arm. Lampard's reaction was one of a man who knew most times he would have found the net with such a connection.
    Inside stoppage time, Torres and Ramires created momentary chaos in the Benfica rearguard, resulting in a deliberate tug on Oscar as he made a break through the middle. A yellow card was shown to Garay.
    Second half
    Chelsea were asked to defend stoutly in the opening minutes after the interval, with balls coming in from both flanks, but still Cech had yet to be asked to make a proper save. Azpilicueta tracked inside diligently and hacked the ball off the toes of Salvio in front of goal when Cardozo had turned inside Cahill and squared.
    Cardozo had the ball in the net on 50 minutes but he was offside.
    Steadily Chelsea began to gain a foothold in the half. There were moves in and around the Portuguese team's penalty area without openings found, but it was better from the men in blue.
    Then just before an hour was played, Cech launched a throw down the centre of the park. Mata may or may not have helped it on his way but he did enough to stop the Benfica midfield cutting it out.
    Suddenly it was at the feet of Torres and he had the strength to shrug off Benfica captain Luisao before sidestepping to the right of the keeper and making no mistake with the finish. It was a moment of vintage Torres striking.
    Luisao then picked up a booking for chopping down the Chelsea centre-forward in the next attack.
    Sadly, the lead lasted less than 10 minutes. Azpilicueta, so unfortunate with penalty decisions in this Europa League run, was judged to have handballed a flick off the head ofLima, one of two substitutes only just introduced. The Chelsea right-back had little time to react to the touch but his arm was raised.
    Unlike in Munich a year ago, Cech was unable to keep the penalty out. Cardozo scored it.
    Torres wanted a penalty at the other end with quarter of an hour left on the clock when he and Luisao came together again but the Dutch referee declined. There was a plenty of contact.
    On 81 minutes Cech was finally called upon to show his talent in open play when Cardozo launched a rocket that was heading under the bar. Big Pete tipped it over.
    Spaces, inevitably at this stage of the game and this stage of the season, were opening up at either end. Ramires charged into one but Luisao got across to tackle.
    With 87 minutes played, Lampard came within inches of winning the cup. Mata, who had not been heavily involved so far, worked some magic to push the ball out of a tight spot and our No.8 was running laterally when he thumped a shot from 25 yards out against the crossbar.
    Benfica forced Chelsea into some hurried clearing as the clock ticked towards the end of normal time, but then another tireless Ramires run won a corner inside stoppage time. Mata sent the ball over deep and Ivanovic, between two defenders rose sky high. His header arced beautifully over the grounded Artur before the Serbian slid joyously in front of the Chelsea fans at that end.
    What a moment for the man forced to sit out at Munich due to suspension.
    There was still time for one last Benfica attack - the ball running loose off Ivanovic's shin - but Cahill was in the right place for a superb double clearance. A new trophy was ours.
    Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole; David Luiz, Lampard (c); Ramires, Mata, Oscar; Torres.
    Unused subs Turnbull, Ferreira, Ake, Mikel, Benayoun, Marin Moses.
    Scorers Torres 59, Ivanovic 90+3.
    Booked
    Oscar 13.

    Benfica
    (4-2-3-1): Artur; Almeida, Luisão (c), Garay (Jardel 77), Melgarejo (John 65); Matić; Salvio, Rodrigo (Lima 65), Peréz; Gaitán, Cardozo.
    Unused subs: Paulo Lopes,, Urreta, André Gomes, Aimar.
    Scorer Cardozo 67 pen.
    Booked Garay 45, Luisao 60.
    Referee Björn Kuipers from the Netherlands.
    Crowd 46,163

    Torres and Ivanovic
    Two Goal Scorers Share the Moment
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     2012 Champions League