Chelsea wins 2012-13 Europa League Championship
On May 15, 2013 in Amsterdam Arena in Amsterdam, Netherlands Chelsea defeated Benfica 2-1 to win the title. It was Chelsea's first ever Europa League title. One year after winning the Champions League trophy and being the best club in football they were eliminated in the group stage of this years Champions League tourney. Both clubs did not enter the Europa League tourney until the round of 32.
On July 5, 2012 the First Qualifying Round kicked off the tourney. Over 193 clubs played in this tourney which is ranked as the second best tourney in the world behind the Champions League. Libor Kozak of Lazio scored ten goals throughout the tourney to be the leading scorer this season. Lazio was eliminated in the final eight.
Benfica from Portugal had a great run to the finals beating clubs from some of top leagues in football. In the round of 32 they defeated Bayer Leverkusen of Germany 3-1 on aggregate. The round of 16 brought Bordeaux from France. They defeated them 4-2 on aggregate. In the Qtr finals Benfica meet Barclays Premier League club Newcastle United and defeated them 4-2 on aggregate. In the semi-finals Turkey's Fenerbahce put a scare in them but ended up losing 3-2 on aggregate.
Chelsea looked to have an easier road to the trophy but they didn't make it easy for themselves. In round of 32 they meet Czech club Sparta Prague and defeated them 2-1 on aggregate. Up next was Romanian club Steava Bucuresti. After losing the first leg 1-0 Chelsea rebounded with a 3-1 win at home to win 3-2 on aggregate. In the qtr-finals Russian club Rubin Kazan came a calling. Chelsea won the first leg 3-1 but had to survive in second leg to win 5-4 on aggregate. In semi-finals Chelsea played there best two matches winning both legs in rout to a 5-2 aggregate win over Swiss club Basel.
Chelsea was lead by Fernando Torres who scored six goals throughout the Europa League tourney. Victor Moses added four goals for Chelsea. Oscar Cardozo led Benfica with seven goals.
There is no time to rest as the 2013-14 Europa League tourney will kick off on July 4, 2013 with the first qualifying round when 76 clubs kick off the tourney in 38 ties.