Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 14th 2013 Contents A53
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coach Juergen Klopp says his team
won't be swept away by Bayern
Munich in the Champions League Final
like Juventus and Barcelona were in
the previous rounds.
Klopp says he expects a close final
May 25 in Wembley. Bayern beat
Juventus 4-0 on aggregate and
Klopp tells Kicker magazine "we
know how good we are."
Klopp said that while Bayern beat
Juventus and Barcelona so bad "that
they could hardly find the way out of
the stadium, that is not possible with
Two Bundesliga teams are
contesting the Champions League final
for the first time. Bayern is seeking a
unique treble. After winning the
Bundesliga title from Dortmund, it can
also clinch the German Cup on June 1.
Dortmund coach Klopp expects close Wembley final
MANCHESTER---After humiliation in
the Champions League comes potential
salvation in the Europa League for
Chelsea, with tomorrow s final against
Benfica offering the English team an
eighth and final chance for silverware
from a turbulent and grueling campaign.
Chelsea has turned its season around
after a turbulent end to 2012, when it
became the first reigning champion to
exit the Champions League at the group
stage, Roberto Di Matteo was fired as
manager and the team lost the final of
the Club World Cup to Corinthians.
Rafa Benitez came in as a controversial
interim replacement and was tasked with
qualifying the team for next season s
Champions League and winning a trophy.
With the first objective virtually guaran-
teed, the second will be decided in Ams-
terdam in Chelsea s 68th game of the sea-
"All the season has been difficult, but
now is almost the end and we have to do
everything to finish the job off," Chelsea
defender Branislav Ivanovic said. "It was
very disappointing for us to go out of the
"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 tro-
Whereas Chelsea is approaching the
final in a positive frame of mind after an
unbeaten run of eight games in all com-
petitions, the same cannot be said of Ben-
The Portuguese team surrendered the
lead in its domestic league by losing 2-
1 to fierce rival Porto after conceding a
stoppage-time goal that saw Benfica coach
Jorge Jesus drop to his knees in agony. It
was Benfica s first league loss of the season
and is likely to see the team pipped to the
title by Porto.
Some of Benfica s key players look
exhausted and there s suddenly a lot of
fear they ll finish the season empty-hand-
ed, having been on for the league-Europa
League-Portuguese Cup treble.
"It knocked us sideways. It really hurts
to lose like that," Jesus said of the Porto
loss. "Football s unpredictable. Sometimes
goals come when you least expect them."
Benfica s glory days came more than
50 years ago, when it won successive
European Cups in 1961 and 62.
The team has lost its last six European
finals---five in the European Cup and one
in the old UEFA Cup between 1963 and
With the Portuguese league lacking
profile and as much a breeding ground
for young, hungry south American players
as anything else, Benfica has found it hard
to stay competitive in Europe s elite over
the last two decades.
"Winning the Europa League would be
a very important moment in the club s
history, and for the players and staff,"
Jesus said. "Getting to the final is a great
achievement in itself but coming away
victorious would be even greater. "I know
that Benfica s great moment in sporting
history was in the 1960s.
"I was born in 1954, but I know the
history of the club because I have read
about it and it is illustrated in photos at
the training ground."
In contrast, Chelsea has only turned
into a major European force since the era
of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich
began in 2003, with last year s Champions
League title ending a run of near misses
in the continent s top competition.
The players have acknowledged that
they ve struggled to adapt to life in the
Europa League. Yet with a trophy on offer
and the chance to become only the fourth
club to have won all three major European
titles, they aren t complaining now.
Chelsea is likely to be without winger
Eden Hazard and captain John Terry, who
were hurt in Saturday s 2-1 win at Aston
Villa that all but secured Champions
League football for next season. It is a
particularly cruel blow for Terry, who was
forced to sit out last season s Champions
League final through suspension.
"Whatever we do it s as a club and as
long as John s here, he s part of it," Chelsea
midfielder Frank Lampard said. "(But) it
won t soften the blow for him.
"Knowing John, he will be there and
he ll be with the lads. Of course we ll miss
his influence---in the modern day, you
can t think of many captains that have
surpassed what he s done in terms of what
he s won."
Former Benfica players David Luiz and
Ramires should be in Chelsea s team while
the Portuguese side will start defensive
midfielder Nemanja Matic, who joined
from Chelsea in 2011 and has grown into
an impressive player at Benfica. (AP)
Chelsea's Petr Cech lifts Frank Lampard as he acknowledges the fans after their English Premier League
football match against Aston Villa at Villa Park, Birmingham, England on Saturday. Chelsea won the match 2-
1. Lampard, who broke the club's scoring record after netting his 202nd and 203rd career goals against Aston
Villa, will be looking to lead Chelsea past Benfica in the Europa League final. AP PHOTO
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