Chelsea cruised past Basel to set up yet another European final, this time against Portuguese side Benfica. Chelsea, if victorious, will become only the fourth club to win every format of European trophies. Who would have thought that Rafa Benitez could bring home a trophy in his short reign?
Chelsea eased through to the final with a devastating 10 minute burst, at the start of the second half, which killed off the Swiss challenge. To be fair Basel came out of the blocks with all guns blazing and played with a high intensity that Benitez surely expected. Both sides had chances in a very open and highly enjoyable encounter. The Swiss took the lead on the stoke of half time when Salah beat the off side trap and sent a curling effort wide of Cech which nestled in the home sides net. Game on!
I don’t know what Rafa said at halftime but Chelsea were a different team in the second half. Hazard produced a moment of brilliance to bamboozle two defenders to feed Lampard whose snapshot was turned away by Sommer, only for Zorres to clip in from close range. Chelsea were moving through the gears and the Swiss side imploded under the pressure. Two minutes later Chelsea put the tie to bed when Moses slotted home after his first effort was blocked. Luiz saved the best until last with yet another goal of the season contender. His fantastic, curling, left footed strike was stunning. Three one and cruising.
Chelsea now face Benfica in the final in Amsterdam on May 15th. Fortunately I have my hotel room booked because the beano to Amsterdam will be one to remember!