Chelsea to face Benfica in Europa League final tonight

Juan Mata hopes Chelsea can emulate Jose Mourinho’s Porto by winning back-to-back European trophies this week. Mourinho led Porto to the Europa League title in 2003 and the Champions League crown a year later before moving to Stamford Bridge.

Juan Mata
Juan Mata

Chelsea, having won the European Cup in Munich 12 months ago, are seeking to do the reverse with victory over Benfica in Amsterdam tonight and hold both titles at the same time, albeit for a period of 10 days until this year’s Champions League winners are confirmed.

“We have now the chance to win two European trophies in a row, which is not easy for any club and we will try to do it,” Mata said. “It would be very, very nice. After winning the Champions League and FA Cup, it would be really nice and I would be really pleased to win another trophy with Chelsea.”

Mata’s season began as part of Spain’s victorious Euro 2012 squad, then he played in the Olympics. He has featured in more than 60 games for Chelsea, whose 68th and penultimate game of the campaign comes at the Amsterdam Arena.

“It’s been a long season in terms of the amount of games, but I think it’s good,” Mata said. “I’m really happy with the season personally, but it’s not finished yet. It can be even better, if we win the title.”

Mata praised the influence of compatriot Rafael Benitez, the interim boss who is expected to be succeeded by Real Madrid head coach Mourinho this summer.

“The manager’s trying to rotate the players, we’re resting,” Mata said.  “It’s been a pleasure for me. He’s a top manager, he’s tried his best. If we win the trophy it will be great for him and the team.” 

Live tonight: Benfica vs Chelsea: 00:15, Ten Sports and Ten Action

Roadto the final

The Amsterdam Arena which will host tonight’s Europa League final. PIC/AFP

Chelsea (England)
Round of 32
Sparta Prague 0-1 Chelsea; Chelsea 1-1 Sparta Prague
Chelsea win 2-1 on aggregate

Round of 16
Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea; Chelsea 3-1 Steaua Bucharest
Chelsea win 3-2 on aggregate

Chelsea 3-1 Rubin Kazan; Rubin Kazan 3-2 Chelsea
Chelsea win 5-4 on aggregate

Basel 1-2 Chelsea; Chelsea 3-1 Basel
Chelsea win 5-2 on aggregate

Benfica (Portugal)
Round of 32
Bayer Leverkusen 0-1 Benfica; Benfica 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Benfica win 3-1 on aggregate

Round of 16
Benfica 1-0 Bordeaux; Bordeaux 2-3 Benfica
Benfica win 4-2 on aggregate

Benfica 3-1 Newcastle United; Newcastle United 1-1 Benfica
Benfica win 4-2 on aggregate

Fenerbahce 1-0 Benfica; Benfica 3-1 Fenerbahce
Benfica win 3-2 on aggregate 

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