26th of April 2013 Author: Johnny Karp
David Luiz scored the winning goal during injury time to give Chelsea a solid lead from their Europa League semi-final first leg against Basel in Switzerland. Chelsea had taken the lead when Frank Lampard's corner hit Victor Moses and rolled into the net after 11 minutes but Fabian Schar equalised from the penalty spot with three minutes left after Cesar Azpilicueta was punished rather harshly for a challenge on Valentin Stocker. But Luiz powered in a low free-kick to hand Chelsea a vital victory.
Chelsea are on track to set a record, becoming the first team to win the Champions League and then the Europa League in successive years. However, they could have ended the first leg of the semi final with a much bigger advantage given the number of chances they had created. The first opportunity came after a good pass from Hazard for Azpilicueta who crossed for Lampard but the midfielder's shot was turned behind by goalkeeper Yann Sommer. The resulting corner kick led to the goal, Lampard delivered a powerful cross which hit Moses in the face before rolling past the line and into the net. Basel replied through Schar and Mohamed Salah, both denied by Petr Cech. Chelsea had another two great chances before half time but Ramires and Hazard were unable to find the back of the net.
Stocker came close for the home side after the break, his shot struck the post, while Torres hit the woodwork himself at the other end of the pitch. Chelsea were punished by the referee with three minutes left when Azpilicueta was judged to have pushed Stocker and Schar converted the penalty. Oscar squandered a good chance for Chelsea moments later before Sommer denied John Terry with a great save. Chelsea finally scored deep into stoppage time when Luiz blasted one of his trademark powerful free-kick shots that went into the bottom corner of the net.
Chelsea are strong favourites to qualify from this semi final, they are 1/16 to qualify at Bet365 while Basel are 9/1. The Blues are also favourites to win the trophy, they are 8/13 to bring the silverware home after the final.
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