Conte: I will stay at JuventusPrevious Article
Mallorca vs Betis Free Betting Tip & PreviewNext Article
Breaking News
  • Cologne vs Hamburg Prediction & Betting TipCologne vs Hamburg predictions for Sunday’s late kick off in the Bundesliga. Cologne vs Hamburg When: 30th October, 16:30 Where: RheinEnergieStadion Prediction: Cologne to Win to Nil at 6/4 with bet365 Correct Score Prediction: Cologne [...]
  • Hoffenheim vs Hertha BSC Prediction & Betting TipHoffenheim vs Hertha BSC predictions for Sunday’s afternoon kick off in the Bundesliga. Hoffenheim vs Hertha BSC When: 30th October, 14:30 Where: WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams to Score at [...]
  • Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke Prediction & Betting TipBorussia Dortmund vs Schalke predictions for Saturday’s evening kick off in the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke 04 When: 29th October, 17:30 Where: Signal-Iduna-Park Prediction: Draw or Schalke at 8/5 with bet365 Correct Score [...]

Benfica 1-2 Chelsea: Ivanovic heads dramatic winner to seal Europa League glory

Article   0 Comments
Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print This Article
Benfica 1-2 Chelsea: Ivanovic heads dramatic winner to seal Europa League glory

Branislav Ivanovic scored a dramatic late winner as Chelsea saw off Benfica 2-1 to win the Europa League and claim its second continental title in two seasons in Amsterdam.

Fernando Torres coolly finished off a swift counterattack to give the Blues the lead against the run of play shortly before the hour mark.

Oscar Cardozo soon equalized from the penalty spot after Cesar Azplicueta\’s handball but Ivanovic struck in the 93rd minute to ensure Rafa Benitez\’s reign at Stamford Bridge ended with silverware.

Benfica, which suffered a dramatic defeat in its virtual title-decider against Porto at the weekend, was anchored by Chelsea youngster Nemanja Matic in central midfield, while Pablo Aimar, a Spanish league winner under Benitez at Valencia, was on the bench.

Eden Hazard and John Terry were missing from the Chelsea squad due to injury so Oscar joined Juan Mata and Ramires in support of Torres, while Branislav Ivanovic partnered Gary Cahill at center back as David Luiz pushed into midfield.

If there was any despondency lingering in the Benfica ranks following its loss at the Estadio do Dragao, it did not show in the early stages.

Led by the towering presence of Matic, Cardozo, Nicolas Gaitan and Rodrigo all had chances in the opposition penalty area in the opening quarter of an hour but were denied by a combination of last-ditch Chelsea defending and a heavily watered and consequently slippery pitch.

Gradually, though, Benitez\’s team improved. Frank Lampard\’s swerving 25-yard effort seemed to have wrong-footed Artur, but after diving to his right the goalkeeper flung out his left arm to push the ball over the crossbar in spectacular style.

Bellowed on by manager Jorge Jesus, Benfica retook the initiative after halftime and Chelsea was saved by a correctly raised offside flag when Cardozo nodded home Gaitan\’s excellent cross from the right.

The Premier League club, though, was happy to go route one to take the lead. Petr Cech\’s long throw to the center circle was hooked on through the middle of the Benfica defense by Mata and Torres, after shaking off the company of Luisao, calmly rounded Artur and slotted home.

Jesus responded by reinforcing his attack with the introduction of Lima and Ola John and the change immediately paid dividends. After exchanging a one-two with Cardozo, Lima looked to flick the ball past Azpilicueta only to see the right back block with his hand.

Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Cardozo finished decisively from 12 yards.

The Paraguayan appeared to hurt himself in taking the spot-kick but was able to carry on and forced a fine tipped save from Cech with a 20-yard volley as the final entered its last 10 minutes of the regulation 90.

Lampard would go even closer, rattling the crossbar with a terrific drive from distance, but Chelsea did not rue the 34-year-old\’s miss. In the third and final minute of added time, Ivanovic rose at the back post and looped home a header with Artur rooted to the spot.

The Serbian\’s error gifted Cardozo a glorious chance to draw Benfica level for the second time with the last kick but Cahill heroically cleared the ball to safety and delivered the trophy.

Article   0 Comments

Europa League

Southampton vs Inter Milan Prediction & Betting Tip

Southampton vs Inter Milan Prediction & Betting Tip   0

Southampton vs Inter Milan predictions for gameweek four of the Europa League. Southampton look for revenge on Inter Milan when they visit St. Mary’s on Thursday. Southampton vs Inter Milan When: [...]