Thursday, May 16, 2013

UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea win Europa Cup

Chelsea put a very calculative and spirited performance to write history books - being simultaneous European title holders. The UEFA Champions league holders snatched the Europa title from Benfica with seconds on the clock remaining. Ivanovic headed in a corner kick at a time when everyone was preparing for extra time.

Having the titles at the same time, at least for a week is a feat never achieved. The Chelsea victory was an icing on the cake for Rafa Benitez, 'The Interim One' as he leaves his hostile environment in style. Benitez came to Stanford Bridge amid near riot scenes for his relationship with the fans related to his 'statements' while he coached Liverpool.

Besides the unwanted and the departing, another black ship, Frank Lampard captained the side in the absence of the injured John Terry. Lampard seems to be fast disappearing off the Chelsea radar despite his vintage performances and his role as the architect of the glory of Chelsea in Europe and the league where they are likely to finish 3rd.

Lampard entered the record books last week by his double which took his all-time record tall to 203, a club record despite being a midfielder. However, there seems to be no respite as he has not been offered a new contract, something the successor of Benitez will have to deal with. Whether the evergreen maestro is lukewarm concerning the matter, it is not clear there is anyone who can convince the club to consider otherwise.

Lampard was denied by the woodwork with scores tied at 1-1 and the man Sir Alex Ferguson loved not to love, Benitez had the last laugh and what a way to sign off. After what can be described a turbulent season, The Blues got moments to savour following 'near yet so far' loses in the league and FA Cup where they came reasonably close. Congratulations to Rafa Benitez and Chelsea.