BLUE IS THE COLOUR! Amazing day. We will all remember May 15th, 2013 as the day Chelsea won their very first Europa League Championship! Chelsea beat Benfica 2-1 in the final today. This game wasn’t easy at first and in typical Chelsea style came down to the last minute, but was absolutely worth dealing with the stress for the outcome! Flashbacks were seen & new memories were made. Here’s how we won the title today:
I’m most definitely not a Rafa Benitez fan, but today the man was tolerable and kind of helped out too. Probably really wanted to win the trophy so he could get another job next season. He starts out today by having a decent lineup. No tricks like I had expected. Cech, Azpilicueta (Dave), Cole, Cahill, David Luiz, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, and Torres.
First half was the Petr Cech Show. You know, Petr Cech, our awesome goalie who we almost forgot at the hotel. He prevents so many Benfica shots from going in. Defending in the first half was decent because we blocked a lot of chances. Each time Benfica went to try to score I would begin yelling, “Defending, defending, defending!” It worked I suppose because we went into halftime, 0-0. Overall, Benfica had more possession of the ball though, which of course was worrisome at the time. The only real chance Chelsea then was during the 37th minute. Lamps almost gets goal 204, but the keeper had his hand on it and prevented it. I was able to read Lamps’s lips after his shot was blocked; we happened to say the same thing at the same time. Going into halftime all I could think was that Chelsea needed some chances to happen in the 2nd half ASAP.
Coming back from halftime, I found myself hoping that Benitez actually said something useful to the boys this time. He really must have because Chelsea came back so much better! We were creating more chances and had even possession with Benfica. 59th minute was incredible. Ball comes from Cech, goes to Mata who taps it to Torres who goes charging down the field, goes around the goalie (who goes out of the box) & scores. A la Barcelona Champions League Semifinal style, which was even better! Flashbacks! So proud of Torres, he always seems to score when it really matters! & his celebration was what I call Classic Torres, which made me even more excited. Juanando hug it out after he scores and we had the lead now. It was like Cloud Nine.
Well, until nine minutes later. Like I’ve said before, it wouldn’t be a Europa game without a penalty conceded. Fifth may I add. Dave gets a handball in the 68th minute. Game ties 1-1. Stays that way until stoppage time. With the game tied, I was getting even more flashbacks but from the Champions League final this time. I was nervous as it was, I didn’t want to deal with extra time and possibly penalty kicks! We get three extra minutes in stoppage time. My commentator notes about how Chelsea has won our last couple Europa games during this time. It didn’t fail this time either. 92nd minute, converted from Mata’s corner kick, the ball goes straight towards Branislav Ivanovic (who was wide open my I add) who gets the most outstanding header!! I went crazy. Such a perfect moment by someone who had to deal with Chompy just a month prior. Yay Brana!! I was shaking from excitement, it felt almost like the CL Final for me again because we beat the odds. When that final whistle blew, happy tears came down my face. We WON the Europa League, and we’re still Champions of Europe (We know what we are!)
Thinking back on this Europa season, it’s crazy to think it all began on Valentine’s Day, when Oscar was the only one to score. Look where we’ve come since then. Torres has been on fire in the competition, along with Moses. I can’t even complain about Benitez today, shockingly. Usually we do when he doesn’t make subs, but it’s a good thing he didn’t this time! Our boys definitely deserved this trophy. Now we’re back-to-back European trophy holders! How great is that! & we got to celebrate again, which is always a blast to watch and feel the excitement. This day is the most BLUE we’ve been all season. With the bad days come great days, which is why one should always stick with their team. This day was Chelsea’s and I am proud to be a fan. On to closing the season with the game against Everton! As always, KTBFFH! :)