Despite being the victim of a lot of hate from Chelsea supporters during his seven months in charge as manager of Chelsea, Rafa Benitez has overcome adversities from his own supporters to lift the Europa League trophy and end Chelsea's season on a high with the club's home game against Everton on Sunday, where the club needs just a draw to finish in third place.
It wasn't a classic and to be honest apart from a Frank Lampard belter, Chelsea weren't at the races in the first half! Chelsea turned the screw up a notch second half, got plenty of attacking possession and finally created decent chances. Thanks to Fernando Torres, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill, Chelsea lifted the Europa League and became the first club in history to hold both trophies at the same time!
I cannot help but feel that Chelsea dropped two important points tonight against Tottenham, sat back and allowed them to dominate the final twenty minutes of the game and to get their equaliser. If anything, they looked the more dangerous team after Rafa's substitutions left us scratching our heads once again.
It took us the half time interval to get our tempo going after conceding a goal just before half time but within 15 minutes or so from the re-start, this game was dead and buried and Chelsea head to Amsterdam to take on Benfica on Wednesday 15th May in the Europa League final!
It was always going to be one of those games tonight with Chelsea leading 2-1 after the first leg with two away goals scored.
Here's your first look at Chelsea's campaign for their new 2013/14 kit which will be available at the end of the season. Naturally, it has all the ingredients necessary to coax fans to spend exorbitant amounts on jerseys. What better way to do it than pulling at your emotional heartstrings?
Chelsea have unveiled the new home kit at the scene of a Smurf massacre. David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Fernando Torres and Oscar are all implicated in the vicious and sustained attack on the Smurfs, with the Stamford Bridge old guard are conspicuous in their absence from the main publicity photo for the new kit.
Chelsea face a potential defensive crisis this week with no first-team left back available after Ryan Bertrand has been struck down with a virus. Ashley Cole is still injured, so it may mean that Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez will give 18-year-old Nathan Ake a start against Rubin Kazan on Thursday in the Europa League quarter-final.
Chelsea defender Ashley Cole will miss up to two weeks of action for the Blues with a hamstring injury.
The English defender suffered this injury during Chelsea's FA Cup quarter-final replay match against Manchester United on Monday. The severity of the injury and the duration were confirmed by manager Rafa Benitez after the match.
Southampton's 3-1 win over Liverpool last time out had the air of one that could come to be regarded as a season defining victory. A potentially challenging opponent deservedly vanquished to secure a vital three points in their battle against relegation. With a four point gap between them and the bottom three, the Saints have a genuine chance of getting out of this.
As holders of the FA Cup, Chelsea travel to Manchester this afternoon to take on United in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup. Having won the competition in four of the last seven seasons, Chelsea need a big performance to progress. Team News
After another woeful and second rate performance from "Rafa's Chelsea" the likes of Victor Moses, Ramires, Juan Mata, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta, Demba Ba and Ashley Cole will all return to the starting eleven for this one.
Following Man City's 2-0 win over Chelsea last night, Gary Cahill has come out to say that the players at the club are exhausted and haven't had a proper break since their Super Cup loss to Atletico last year on August 31. That is harsh!
"Unfortunately, it does take its toll," the Chelsea defender said.
Wolfie Kutner was at Stamford Bridge last night as Chelsea advanced to the next round of the UEFA Europa League. Below he talks the strategies executed from both sides and hits on the particular dilemma surrounding Fernando Torres.
"Chelsea get out jail through a last minute goal from their Belgian super-sub.
1. Jack Wilshere, it's good to have you back. He showed drive, commitment and technical ability so often missing in England performances. 2. On the flip side, you do find yourself constantly thinking he's about to get injured. We don't know how you cope on a weekly basis, Arsenal fans. 3. Not gutting much joy [.
Demba Ba of Chelsea (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
When Chelsea completed their acquisition of Newcastle striker Demba Ba earlier this week, they hoped to have him ready to play in today's F.A. Cup 3rd Round fixture at Southampton. Ba was going to be looked at to provide finishing as too often this year Chelsea have lacked quality in the final third.
Chelsea need to pick themselves up yet again this season starting with a trip to Leeds on Wednesday night, just days after returning home from Japan. The question is, how will Chelsea manage the players with the Jet Lag from the different time zones and who will be ready to face Leeds?
Right now, as it stands, the League Cup is Chelsea's best chance of silverware this season and we need to take this game seriously.
Gary Cahill has criticized Corinthians midfielder Emerson for dramatically selling the tackle that will now see the Chelsea star miss the club's next match.
The Blues were beaten 1-0 after they failed to respond to a Paolo Guerrero goal and in addition to losing the match, last season's UEFA Champions League winners also lost Cahill for the League Cup quarterfinal against Leeds.
Corinthians beat Chelsea 1-0 to win the Club World Cup, becoming only the second club to win the tournament twice (Barcelona being the other) and the first non-European winner since 2006. Though the match was in Japan, it was like a home game for the Brazilians with their large traveling support filling most of the stadium.
Chelsea 6-1Nordsjaelland Champions League 5th December 2012
Poor old Rafa Benitez, even when he finally oversees his first win in charge at Chelsea, his side are still knocked out of the Champions League.
Chelsea mauled Danish sideNordsjaelland on a chilly night in west London, but with Juventus winning against Shakhtar Donetsk in the other Group E game, the Blues' win was in vain, with the Italian and Ukrainian sides making it through to the last 16.
After taking the piss all Summer out of Tottenham being demoted to "Thursday Night Football", Chelsea are now taking part in it after Juventus beat Shakhtar Donetsk to qualify as group winners in the Champions League. The Ukrainian side qualify in second place.
This whole situation was never in our hands even though we put on a professional performance to beat Nordsjaelland 6-1 tonight with goals from Luiz (pen), Torres (2), Cahill, Mata and Oscar.
A little under an hour, Rafa Benitez takes charge of his third game as Chelsea manager. After two goalless draws against Manchester City and Fulham in the week, he will be keen to build on the solidity we have shown at the back and to create more goal scoring opportunities today.
Chelsea have been better at the back and that is without question.
I was casually scrolling through twitter on Tuesday trying to find a reason to avoid work for a little longer, and I found a great one! One football account was tweeting the wages of some of the premier league's bigger teams. It was interesting to see what each player at each club was getting paid, none more so than Chelsea(obviously).
The England squad for next Wednesday's friendly against Sweden in Stockholm, with a few noteworthy call-ups to take heed of; namely for Jack Wilshere, Raheem Sterling and Everton's in-form midfielder livewire Leon Osman, who gets his first tip for the national side aged 31.
The Chelsea team has been confirmed. John Terry starts on the bench as Gary Cahill continues next to David Luiz. Fernando Torres keeps his place and Juan Mata makes a return to the attacking midfield next to Oscar and Eden Hazard.
John Terry returns to the Chelsea side after serving his four game ban and for me it couldn't have come at a better time. Chelsea have been conceding goals in recent games and we need the Captain back to get in there and organise.
We have seen the combination of Gary Cahill and David Luiz together and last Saturday a new pairing of Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill but for me JT is still the best centre back we have at this club.
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has spoken out regarding the recent racism rows emerging from Stamford Bridge. Referee Mark Clattenburg is currently under review for allegedly making racist comments during Chelsea's Premier League match against Manchester United, which comes after captain John Terry was charged by the FA for making racist comments towards Anton Ferdinand.
Chelsea advanced to the quarter finals of the Capital One Cup after a pulsating game at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard scored an injury time equaliser for the Blues to take the tie to extra time after a David Luiz penalty and a Gary Cahill header brought the home side level twice after goals from Ryan Giggs, Javier Hernandez and Nani had put United ahead.
Chelsea played Manchester United on Wednesday evening for a spot in the Capital One Cup Quarterfinals, and the match did anything but disappoint. United had the lead three times throughout the match, and Chelsea were only able to take the lead in the 97th minute once they forced extra time. The match ended 5-4 in Chelsea's favor and provided soccer fans worldwide with 120 minutes of non-stop entertainment.
Chelsea came from behind on three different occasions en route to a dramatic 5-4 League Cup win over bitter rivals Manchester United, who had controversially won the Premier League fixture between the two teams just three days ago.
Sunday's ill-tempered 3-2 win for United saw Chelsea's Fernando Torres sent off harshly before a decisive Javier Hernandez goal was let to stand despite being scored from an off-side position.
Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Chelsea has announced the official first team for tonight's match against Manchester United. Daniel Sturridge makes his first start of the season in any competition. The central defensive unit of David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Petr Cech remains the same, but youngsters Cesar Azpilicueta and Ryan Bertrand are the difference on the sides.
Former England manager Fabio Capello turned down the chance to watch Newcastle's Steven Taylor claiming he was "all right for midfielders", the player has claimed. The centre-back has been called up to the England squad as a late replacement for the injured Gary Cahill. But an international career seemed an entirely remote prospect last season [.
Breaking news that Newcastle United center-back Steven Taylor has been called into the England squad for Friday's World Cup qualifier against San Marino, after Chelsea's Gary Cahill was ruled out of the match. Steven Taylor called up by England Gary is not available for the game on Friday, but he is will be looked at [.
Arsenal's Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere were arguably the best two players for England at Wembley on Wednesday Feb. 6 when the Three Lions managed to pull off an impressive 2-1 win, their first over the South Americans in the past 23 years. Man of the match Wilshere was easily the best player on the pitch in the first 45 minutes as he was determined to be the driving force on the team.
John Terry AND Rafa Benitez have both spoken out this week stating that the Europa League is as important as the Premier League and FA Cup to Chelsea this season and we have to do all we can to win it. As a result, it will be interesting to see how we approach the game in Prague tomorrow evening.
Aston Villa have announced a loss of £17.7m for the year to 31 May 2012 compared with a £54m loss in 2011.
Since Martin O'Neill left, Villa have been furiously trying to slash expenses, through lower wages and the sale of their best players. Last year Villa reported a profit of £26m from the sale of players.