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Ivanovic hopes for happy ending

Branislav Ivanovic is hoping for a silver lining for Chelsea in the Europa League final with Benfica after a tumultuous season.

Last Updated: 12/05/13 at 17:39 Post Comment

Branislav Ivanovic: Hoping for a silver lining

Branislav Ivanovic: Hoping for a silver lining

Branislav Ivanovic is hoping for a silver lining for Chelsea in the Europa League final with Benfica after another tumultuous season.

After suffering the ignominy of becoming the first holders to exit the Champions League before Christmas, the Blues will bid to end the campaign with a European trophy for a second successive season.

Chelsea began the season in contention for seven trophies; the Europa League is the unexpected eighth and Wednesday night in Amsterdam is the Blues' final chance of silverware this term.

"All the season has been difficult, but now is almost the end of the season and we have to do everything to finish the job off," said Ivanovic, ahead of Chelsea's 68th game of the campaign.

"It was very disappointing for us to go out of the Champions League.

"We tried to motivate ourselves to do our best in the Europa League.

"We're in the final and we're happy about that. We will do everything to try to win the trophy.

"It's going to be very hard. We will play against Benfica, a very good team.

"It's very important, another final for the club and another chance to win a trophy.

"It's very important for us as a group to get the chance to finish the season with a trophy."

Champions League-winning boss Roberto Di Matteo paid the price for Chelsea's failings in the competition and the transition through the Europa League under interim boss Rafael Benitez has been a bumpy one.

Yet now they are in the final, the Blues will bid to claim a one-off win over Benfica, a side they defeated in the Champions League quarter-finals last term.

Ivanovic added: "All of us remember how tough it was. We expect the same.

"The final is something different, something special. It's only one game and we have to be ready."

Ivanovic was a key figure in the run to Munich last year, but missed the final through suspension.

Now is a chance for him to play in a European final, but his focus is on collective success.

He said: "This is, for us, as a group, a great chance to try to finish the season with a trophy, which is very important for us, for the club, for the supporters. We're looking forward to that.

"You have to be just focused for this game. Finals are special games and we play against Benfica which is a very tough team. We have to be ready for it."


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