The Independent, Sam Wallace: “The manager no-one wanted. The competition no-one cared about. The season that looked like it could be a train wreck in December, now delivers the fifth European final in the club’s history. It could yet end in more recriminations if Benitez does not deliver the club a top four finish and Champions League football next season but from where Chelsea stand right now the picture does not look too bad. It will potentially be the 11th major honour in ten years of the Roman Abramovich regime and an appropriately bonkers finale – although the final is not the last game of the season – to another madcap season at Stamford Bridge. No club has quite perfected the art of mining trophies from seasons of managerial sackings and general mid-term chaos, like Chelsea.”
The Guardian, Daniel Taylor: “By the end, it was a throwback to happier times for Chelsea. Their place in the Europa League final had been confirmed and, however much a downgrade it is compared with last season’s glories, they will cherish the opportunity to bring another trophy back to Stamford Bridge at the end of a difficult, sometimes chaotic season.”
The Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “Although lacking the lustre of last year’s climax in the Champions League, this final will still be special for Chelsea. For Ramires and Luiz, it will be an emotional occasion against their former Portuguese employers. Nemanja Matic will relish the chance to show Chelsea what they offloaded.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “The Blues secured a second successive European final with a ruthless second-half display which saw us overcome Basel 3-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate, ensuring we will contest the Europa League final in Amsterdam on 15 May against Benfica, who overcame Fenerbahce in the other semi-final.”
45′ Mohamed Salah 0-1
50′ Torres 1-1
52′ Moses 2-1
59′ David Luiz 3-1
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Good game and of course Crazy David is the special story! What a goal!
Queeee seram seram
We’re packing our tins of spam
And going to Aaaam-ster-daaaaam
Que seram seram
Although those of us with a not terribly loyal 66 loyalty points probably aren’t going to Amsterdam, but still, one can dream.
Good game, excellent result, and a nice final to look forward to. It’ll be relatively low-stress since even if we lose we can console ourselves with the thought that we won’t have to listen to Rafa blithering on about all the respect he deserves for winning the trophy.
And gosh, haven’t the last few days brought home a couple of indisputable truth about the return of José:
1) it’ll be utterly wonderful if it happens;
2) there’s no possible way it won’t end in tears.
The man’s a total loon. But glorious, glorious. As my avatar Mr Coleridge would have said, he’s not just different IN DEGREE from all other football managers, he’s different IN KIND. He’s just not on the same planet.
Win the europan league!
From now till Amsterdam final, I am wearing only my 1998 European Cup Winners Cup t-shirt. However, tonight we need another good results. Probably draw would be acceptable.
a review will be written lately for the MUFC game yesterday. When my hangover subsides. Plus its a nice day and I fancy being outside rather than computer bound
My mojo is returning so will look forward to your slant on yesterdays borefest Tony.
I will add I was shocked by Luiz and his reaction to being kicked, he could have killed Rafael with that smile.
Dive or no dive, the Mancs, all of them, were playing very very dirty throughout the entire match, and I was a bit shocked by our lack of a physical response. We were trying to pass around them without making contact while they resorted ti cynical fouls and surrounding Webb every time they didn’t like something. I wanted to respect MU but yesterday I couldn’t. Not a single player with class and dignity. The English game and the English champions shouldn’t be like this. They’re good enough to win without acting like Real or Barcelona. So whilst I do not condone what Luiz did, I was very disappointed with Manchester’s attitude yesterday. When I was a kid, watching the legendary MU team, neither I nor they could imagine them acting that way. I’m afraid even the EPL is getting contaminated by this bullshit of players playing not hard, but dirty. Give me a fair bone crushing tackle followed by a handshake any day.
I’m not sure how old you are, Gleb, but by the “legendary MU team” do you mean the one of Schmeichel, Cantona, Beckham, Scholes, Giggs, Keane? Because as I recall they pretty much invented the tactic of gathering in a posse and chasing the referee around after any/every decision which went against them, and despite the indisputable class of Giggs and Cantona they were anchored by that nice Mr Keane, who injured people for fun and then boasted about it in print.
They’ve always been a team made in Ferguson’s image: bullyingly convinced of their own superiority. It’s undeniably effective, and admirably consistent, but I think most neutrals in England have always found them pretty unattractive.