Chelsea have lifted their second UEFA Champions League trophy after a 2-1 win over ten-man Tottenham Hotspur in Istanbul tonight, their second success in four seasons.
After a goalless and largely uninspiring first-half, the game exploded into life after the break with Romelu Lukaku having a shot cleared off the line within a minute of the restart, before Oriol Romeu fired inches wide of giving Chelsea the lead.
The deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute when Ashley Cole brought down Lucas Leiva out wide. Antonio Valencia curled in the free-kick, and Sandro beat Cole to the cross and headed past Petr Cech.
Chelsea responded immediately by bringing on Kevin De Bruyne, and thirteen minutes later his wonderful strike drew them level as he cut in from the right wing, and as the Spurs defenders backed-off, he curled the equaliser into the top corner. A flurry of yellow cards followed as Chelsea pushed for a winner, but extra-time beckoned.
After his second-half high, Sandro’s night was going to turn sour after he picked up his second booking of the game when he tripped Eden Hazard and saw red mid-way through the first period of extra-time.
With just three minutes to play, De Bruyne whipped in a cross for Juan Mata who was steaming in towards the six-yard box. Having just been named man-of-the-match by the PA system, WorldSoccer’s Footballer of the Year Lucas Leiva challenged Mata for the ball and inadvertently diverted it past his own ‘keeper to give Chelsea victory.
It’s the first time in over thirty years that English clubs have won the top two continental trophies in the same season, following Manchester City’s victory over Olympiakos last week. Liverpool lifted the European Cup, while Spurs won the UEFA Cup in 1984.