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Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 18:30

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Rafa eyes Europa League glory

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez has urged his side to take their last opportunity to claim a trophy after reaching the Europa League final.

Last Updated: 03/05/13 at 13:09 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez: Hopes his side can go on to lift the Europa League

Rafa Benitez: Hopes his side can go on to lift the Europa League

The Blues battled back from a goal behind to beat Swiss side FC Basel 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on Thursday and seal a 5-2 aggregate victory.

The London club will now face Portuguese side Benfica in the final at the Amsterdam Arena on May 15, their second successive European final.

After defeats in the Club World Cup final, Community Shield and Super Cup this season, Benitez hopes his players can take their last chance to win silverware this campaign.

"We have one more opportunity to win a big title," he told ITV. "We have lost three finals this season.

"I am really pleased for them and everyone here. I think we have had a good atmosphere in the side. The players are working hard.

"To be fair we had two clear chances first half and we failed to take them. They then score and we had to react. Credit to the players in the second half. They were on top of them and we scored three goals. We controlled the game.

"At half-time we agreed about that. We showed the concentration and mentality at the start of the half. We killed off the game. We have to think of that for the future."

Looking towards the final, Benitez said: "It'll be tough because Benfica are a very, very dangerous team and hard to play against, but at least we are there.

"With the commitment and the quality, we'll have a chance for sure."

John Terry did not start the second-leg and Benitez would not be drawn on whether the defender would be in the starting line-up for the final, having been suspended for the Champions League decider in Munich last year.

"I don't know because we have too many games to play before," said Benitez.

"The main thing for me is to enjoy today and be ready for the challenge of Manchester United, and then Tottenham.

"One game at a time, and concentrate on the job in hand."

Basel boss Murat Yakin was impressed by Chelsea and thinks they can go on and win the final.

"They have the team," he said. "They're really clever, experienced, they know how to win things.

"I hope my team have given them really good preparation to go into that final and, hopefully, win it.

"Chelsea showed how clever they are, and it's the little details that catch you out.

"We need that bit more experience to make the step up. The little details make the difference."

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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