Europa League: Ball in Chelsea's court

SportsAt Stamford Bridge, Victor Moses finds the net against FC Basel as Chelsea beat the visitors 5-2 on aggregate to secure a place in the Europa League final. reuters

Mike Collett

Chelsea's rollercoaster of a season could yet end with another night of European glory after they knocked FC Basel out of the semi-finals on Thursday to set up a Europa League final against Benfica.

Goals from Fernando Torres, Victor Moses and David Luiz in a nine-minute spell early in the second half gave Chelsea a 3-1 second-leg win over the Swiss champions at Stamford Bridge for a 5-2 aggregate success.

The reigning European champions, the first holders of the European Cup who failed to advance from the group stage of UEFA's elite club competition, could finish the campaign with the glorious consolation of lifting the Europa League trophy instead.

Interim coach Rafa Benitez, who has been unpopular with swathes of the Chelsea faithful after he replaced the sacked Champions League-winning coach Roberto Di Matteo in November, could leave the incoming manager with a trophy to admire.

That man looks increasingly likely to be former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho who dropped more hints about where he would like to be coaching next season after his Real Madrid team were knocked out of the Champions league semi-finals on Tuesday.

That place is Chelsea and there is no doubt the fans want him back.

As well as applauding their team's efforts on Thursday, they chanted Mourinho's name throughout the match which turned Chelsea's way after Basel went in at the break 1-0 ahead thanks to a goal scored by Mohamed Salah with the last kick of the half.

If Benitez had been worried about his team's chances at the time, he did not show it afterwards.

"To be fair we had two clear chances in the first half and we did not take them," he told ITV.

"We conceded a late goal at the end of the first half so all credit to the players because they had to come back. We got three goals, we were on top of them, we were attacking and we controlled the rest of the game."

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views, opinions and comments posted are your, and are not endorsed by this website. You shall be solely responsible for the comment posted here. The website reserves the right to delete, reject, or otherwise remove any views, opinions and comments posted or part thereof. You shall ensure that the comment is not inflammatory, abusive, derogatory, defamatory &/or obscene, or contain pornographic matter and/or does not constitute hate mail, or violate privacy of any person (s) or breach confidentiality or otherwise is illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. Nor should it contain anything infringing copyright &/or intellectual property rights of any person(s).
comments powered by Disqus