Fernando Torres scored his first Barclays Premier League goal of 2013 as Chelsea sealed third place with a victory which saw David Moyes’ 11-year reign as Everton manager end in defeat.
Twelve months to the day since Chelsea’s Champions League win in Munich, Juan Mata put the hosts in front, only for Steven Naismith to swiftly equalise for Manchester United-bound Moyes’ visitors.
The Europa League winners were on top in the second half and sealed victory through £50million striker Torres’ first league goal since December 23 as Rafael Benitez’s seven-month spell ended with a 28th win from 48 matches.
Chelsea became the first side to hold the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League titles simultaneously as Branislav Ivanovic’s stoppage-time header earned a 2-1 victory over Benfica in Amsterdam.
Fernando Torres’ sixth goal in six Europa League games gave the Blues a lead which was cancelled out by a penalty from Oscar Cardozo, awarded for handball against Cesar Azpilicueta. Frank Lampard hit the bar in the 88th minute before the winner came from the most unlikely source as defender Ivanovic, who missed last May’s Champions League win through suspension, headed in a corner in the first minute of stoppage time.
Frank Lampard scored twice to become Chelsea‘s all-time leading goal scorer as the Blues rallied for a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday.
The England midfielder, restored to the starting XI ahead of Wednesday’s Europa League final, cancelled out Christian Benteke’s opener with a sweet left-footed effort just after the hour mark before sealing the points – and the record – with close-range effort three minutes from time.
That left him with 203 career goals for the Blues, a fitting landmark forged over 12 years at Stamford Bridge by Bobby Tambling.
Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez hailed a “massive” victory after his side tightened their grip on a Champions League place with a narrow win at Manchester United.
Juan Mata’s deflected strike three minutes from time gave the Blues a 1-0 win over a below-par United at Old Trafford and restored their advantage over Tottenham and Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League.
Benitez’s men, who have a healthy advantage on goal difference, can now effectively secure a top-four spot with victory over Spurs at Stamford Bridge in midweek.
The Blues’ interim manager said:
“It is massive for us.
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Rafa Benitez believes Chelsea are in ‘pole position’ to land a Champions League spot – but admits the Premier League fixture with Tottenham will be ‘crucial’ for their season.
The Blues secured a 2-0 victory against Swansea on Sunday afternoon to strengthen their grip on a top four place.
Arsenal, Tottenham and the west London club are all fighting it out for the final two places in the European Cup next season, and Benitez insists his side are in the strongest position.
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Rafa Post Match Reaction: Chelsea in ‘pole position’ to land Champions League spot
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Midfielder Frank Lampard scored his 201st Chelsea goal as the Blues moved closer to a return to the Champions League with victory over Swansea at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard, who began the game as a substitute, set up Oscar’s opener before converting a 45th-minute penalty to move him within one goal of the club record held by the watching Bobby Tambling.
Last season’s European champions were unable to add to their total in the second half as Rafael Benitez’s side moved three points clear of rivals Tottenham in the battle for a place in the Barclays Premier League top four and extended Swansea’s winless run to six games.
Chelsea were on course for the Europa League final after a last-gasp victory in Basle that left interim manager Rafael Benitez feeling relieved.
David Luiz was the hero of the semi-final at St Jakob-Park, scoring a driven free-kick with the last kick of an intense first leg.
Victor Moses had put the Blues ahead after 13 minutes but they were unable to add another in regulation time, with wayward finishing, fine goalkeeping and plain bad luck thwarting them.
Chelsea’s evening worsened three minutes from time when referee Pavel Kralovec awarded a soft penalty against Cesar Azpilicueta, allowing Fabian Schar to slot home the equaliser.
David Luiz’s last-gasp free-kick earned Chelsea a narrow victory over Basel in the UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg at St Jakob Park.
Last season’s UEFA Champions League winners went in front when Branislav Ivanovic won a header which went in off Victor Moses, who claimed his third goal in as many Europa League games.
The visitors should have scored again prior to Fernando Torres striking the post before Cesar Azpilicueta was adjudged to have fouled Valentin Stocker and Fabian Schar converted an 87th-minute penalty. However, Chelsea responded and Luiz’s late intervention earned the advantage ahead of next week’s return at Stamford Bridge.
A spirited second-half fight back could not prevent us being eliminated from the FA Cup at the semi-final stage.
It brings to an end our run of 29 games unbeaten in open play in this competition, on a day when the side’s recent punishing schedule eventually caught up with us, with our opponents starting the stronger and forcing their way into a two-goal lead.
Samir Nasri struck the opener after 34 minutes, lashing home from inside the area at the end of a period where Petr Cech had been the outstanding performer, saving excellently early on as Chelsea struggled to get onto the front foot.
A spectacular strike from Demba Ba saw FA Cup holders Chelsea to a 1-0 win over Manchester United in their quarter-final replay.
The Blues, who have lifted the trophy in four of the last six seasons, will now face Manchester City at Wembley in the semi-finals – with another fixture added to an already hectic April schedule for Rafa Benitez’s side.
This game took a while to warm up and it took over half an hour for the first meaningful effort on goal to be mustered, with Ba forcing David de Gea into a low stop with his feet.
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Chelsea Beat United To Set Up FA Cup Semi Final Showdown With City
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