On Wednesday night in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Chelsea became UEFA Europa League champions after beating Benefica 2-1 with a spectacular second goal in the 93th-minute of extra-time.
The Europa League is a second-tier tournament, and for most of last night's match it lived up to that distinction. The match was not well attended neither. Leading up to the championship match, the UEFA governing body made it difficult to get tickets. However, there were a lot of empty seats at Amsterdam ArenA; needless to say, and the game wasn't very exciting as both teams seemed to be going through the motions. Throughout the match Chelsea looked disorganized and tired; Benefica on the other hand looked like the side that wanted it more (obvious from the half dozen chances they had) but it was not meant to be.
Fernando Torres scored the first goal of the match on a miscue when Juan Mata failed to control a ball thrown to him by the goalkeeper. Nine minutes later, Benefica equalized off a penalty kick by Cardozo. Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic scored the winning goal with a header late in the 93rd-minute of extra-time.
At the end of the match, Chelsea celebrated half-heartedly by parading around the cup on their end of the pitch. For the Blues, this was just another trophy. They are the reigning Champions League cup holder at least for another week. Chelsea is now just the fourth football club to have won all three European club titles, joining Juventus, Ajax, and Bayern Munich. For Benfica, winning the Europa would have meant everything, especially since the FC has not won a title cup in Europe in over 50 years.
So What's Next for Chelsea?
Football executives of the English Premier League (EPL) may have a possible headache this summer as Arsenal and Chelsea could end their seasons tied in points, and/or goal differential.
This scenario could result in a playoff match between the two clubs, if Arsenal beats Newcastle 2-1 and Chelsea gets a 0-0 draw at home verses Everton. This would have both clubs finishing the season tied in third place, and there would have to be a playoff for an automatic Champions League bid.
If this scenario happens, here is the headache the Premier League will have to work with as the league tries to schedule a playoff match—Chelsea have an end-of-season tour to the USA where they will play friendlies including one against Manchester City next week. The Blues also have friendlies back in England on May 29 against the Republic of Ireland and then has to travel to South America to play in Brazil on June 2.
Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea want their EPL seasons to extend into June but based on the Premiership rules if the above scenario plays out they may have to.
Follow me on Twitter:@Bigballashotta