Match programme cover
|Event||2012-13 UEFA Europa League|
|Date||15 May 2013|
|Venue||Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam|
|Man of the Match||Branislav Ivanovi? (Chelsea)|
|Referee||Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)|
13 °C (55 °F)
The 2013 UEFA Europa League Final was the final match of the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League, the 42nd season of Europe's secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 4th season since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League. The match was played at the Amsterdam Arena in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on 15 May 2013, between Portuguese side Benfica and English side Chelsea. Chelsea won 2-1 to secure their first title in this competition.
Chelsea were the first UEFA Champions League title holders to play in the following season's Europa League, after becoming the first Champions League holders to be eliminated in the group stage. With this triumph, they became the first Champions League holders to win the Europa League, since the 2013 Champions League Final had not been played then. Chelsea also became the fourth club, and first in England, to win all three major UEFA club titles, having won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1971 and 1998, and still held the Champions League title won for the first time the previous year. Chelsea were also the first team since Manchester United in the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup Final to win a major European final without making any substitutions.
The Amsterdam Arena was announced as the venue of the 2013 UEFA Europa League final on 16 June 2011. The home stadium of Ajax since 1996, it staged the 1998 UEFA Champions League Final, where Real Madrid beat Juventus 1-0 for their seventh title, and was also one of the UEFA Euro 2000 venues, hosting five games including a semi-final.
The previous home for Ajax's European matches, the Olympisch Stadion, also played host to European finals. One-legged finals include the 1962 European Cup Final, where Benfica defeated Real Madrid 5-3, and the 1977 European Cup Winners' Cup Final, where Anderlecht were beaten 2-0 by Hamburg. It also hosted the second legs of the 1981 UEFA Cup Final, between AZ '67 and Ipswich Town, and of the 1992 UEFA Cup Final, between Ajax and Torino.
Benfica qualified for their ninth European final, the first in 23 years since their 1-0 loss to Milan in the 1990 European Cup Final. Previous appearances include back-to-back victories in the 1961 and 1962 European Cup finals (3-2 over Barcelona and 5-3 over Real Madrid, respectively) and unsuccessful presences in five other European Cup finals - 1963 (1-2 to Milan), 1965 (0-1 to Internazionale), 1968 (1-4 to Manchester United), 1988 (0-0, 5-6 on penalties to PSV Eindhoven) and 1990 (0-1 to Milan) - and one UEFA Cup final in 1983 (1-2 on aggregate to Anderlecht).
Before this season, Chelsea had never reached a final of the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League. They previously appeared in two UEFA Cup Winners' Cup finals in 1971 (2-1 win over Real Madrid) and 1998 (1-0 win over Stuttgart), and two UEFA Champions League finals in 2008 (1-1, lost 5-6 on penalties to Manchester United) and 2012 (1-1, won 4-3 on penalties over Bayern Munich).
The only previous meeting between Benfica and Chelsea in European competition was in the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, which the English won 3-1 on aggregate (1-0 in Lisbon and 2-1 in London) en route to the title. Both Benfica and Chelsea finished third in the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League group stage, and entered the 2012-13 Europa League in the round of 32. It was the fourth time in the tournament's history that both finalists featured in the Champions League group stage earlier in the season, after 2000, 2002 and 2009.
Note: In all results below, the score of the finalist is given first.
|Celtic||0-0 (A)||Matchday 1||Juventus||2-2 (H)|
|Barcelona||0-2 (H)||Matchday 2||Nordsjælland||4-0 (A)|
|Spartak Moscow||1-2 (A)||Matchday 3||Shakhtar Donetsk||1-2 (A)|
|Spartak Moscow||2-0 (H)||Matchday 4||Shakhtar Donetsk||3-2 (H)|
|Celtic||2-1 (H)||Matchday 5||Juventus||0-3 (A)|
|Barcelona||0-0 (A)||Matchday 6||Nordsjælland||6-1 (H)|
|Champions League Group G third place
|Final standings||Champions League Group E third place
|Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg||Europa League
|Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Bayer Leverkusen||3-1||1-0 (A)||2-1 (H)||Round of 32||Sparta Prague||2-1||1-0 (A)||1-1 (H)|
|Bordeaux||4-2||1-0 (H)||3-2 (A)||Round of 16||Steaua Bucure?ti||3-2||0-1 (A)||3-1 (H)|
|Newcastle United||4-2||3-1 (H)||1-1 (A)||Quarter-finals||Rubin Kazan||5-4||3-1 (H)||2-3 (A)|
|Fenerbahçe||3-2||0-1 (A)||3-1 (H)||Semi-finals||Basel||5-2||2-1 (A)||3-1 (H)|
The international ticket sales phase for the general public ran from 3 December 2012 to 18 January 2013. Tickets were available in four price categories: EUR135, EUR100, EUR70, and EUR45. Each finalist club was allocated 9,800 tickets.
Chelsea's Eden Hazard was ruled out of the final after not recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered in Chelsea's 2-1 Premier League victory against Aston Villa on 11 May. Chelsea captain and centre-back John Terry was also absent through injury. Three players faced their former clubs: Benfica's Nemanja Mati?, who was transferred from Chelsea, and Chelsea's David Luiz and Ramires, who were transferred from Benfica.
Fernando Torres put Chelsea ahead midway through the second half rounding the goalkeeper and clipping in after being put clean in on goal by Juan Mata. Óscar Cardozo equalised with a penalty eight minutes later awarded after Eduardo Salvio's header struck César Azpilicueta's hand. Branislav Ivanovi? scored in the final minute of stoppage time with a header into the far corner from a Mata corner from the right to clinch a 2-1 win for Chelsea and with it their first Europa League title.