Having first met in last season’s Champions League, Benfica and Chelsea will meet again in the Europa League final in two-weeks in Amsterdam on May 15.
In reaching the final, Chelsea are one game away from becoming only the fourth club to count all three of the European Cups; Champions League, Europa League and Cup Winners’ Cup. The other sides to have accomplished this are Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich.
Leading 2-1 from last week’s first leg in Switzerland, Chelsea risked elimination after Mohamed Salah’s well-taken goal in first-half injury time put the visitors 1-0 up on the night. But goals from Fernando Torres and Victor Moses and a David Luiz stunner early in the second half gave last season’s Champions League winners a 5-2 aggregate victory that sets up a meeting with Luiz’s old side Benfica.
It was a case of third time lucky for Chelsea, who lost in the semi-finals in both the League Cup and the FA Cup this season.
Meanwhile Oscar Cardozo scored twice as Benfica overturned a first-leg deficit to reach the Europa League final at the expense of Fenerbahce, winning 3-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Turkey, the hosts got off to the perfect start at the Estadio da Luz when Nicolas Gaitan put them ahead on the night and level overall within nine minutes. They were pegged back by a Dirk Kuyt penalty against the run of play soon after, but Cardozo’s slick finish restored Benfica’s lead before the break and the Paraguay striker was in the right place again midway through the second half to slam home the crucial third goal and send them to Amsterdam.