Fernando Torres scored the winner during the second half, it was his first goal in the league since the 8-0 win over Aston Villa in December and helped Rafael Benitez to sign off his difficult tenure with a win.
The Blues drew first first blood when Juan Mata capitalised on Tim Howard spilling Demba Ba’s shot and fired home in the seventh minute, only for Steven Naismith to restore parity several minutes later. David Moyes’ side almost took the lead when his side were causing Chelsea problems but Darron Gibson’s shot deflected off Nathan Ake first, then hit the post, hit Petr Cech in the head before bouncing off the post once again.
Ba put in a frustrating performance and wasted a load of chances but Chelsea seemed to improve after he was taken off for Victor Moses and really took the game to their opponents in the second half. Both Frank Lampard and Ake had a far better control towards the end but things could have been different if Nikica Jelavic hadn’t fluffed three good chances. Torres banged home the goal that the home side deserved in the 76 minute.
There was a few farewells today as it was Benitez’s last game in charge and a few of the players will be out of contract in the summer, but Paulo Ferreira was a little choked up as he said thank you and goodbye to the fans and he will be missed as he has been a loyal servant since he arrived in 2004. He hasn’t been in the team much over recent years but has a good relationship with everyone at the club and as Jose Mourinho’s first signing, I’d would love to see him stay on in some capacity as coach.
Lampard also addressed the Chelsea support and described them as “the best fans in the world” for the backing they have given him and the team. He was also presented with a golden boot by Bobby Tambling before the match which was a great touch as one legend handed over the all-time top scorer mantle to another.
It may not have been the best season for the club but a third placed finish and Europa League trophy is something to smile about. All we await now is news on our future manager and signings…oh, and we have a fairly pointless post-season tour in the US to negotiate.