Chelsea have taken the Europa League twice in their history, a great improvement on when the tournament was known as the UEFA Cup in which the Blues enjoyed precious little success.
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Chelsea Europa League Wins
Chelsea staged pretty strong, if ultimately unsuccessful campaigns in the other competitions in 2018/19, but it was their second Europa League success that defined the season under Maurizio Sarri. Winning five of their six group matches, Chelsea immediately became one of the favourites and solidified that position with a comfortable 5-1 aggregate win against Malmo in the round of 32.
An even easier 8-0 two-leg win against Dynamo Kiev followed before an entertaining 5-3 quarter-final aggregate success against Slavia Prague. A very nervy semi-final led to both matches being drawn 1-1, Chelsea winning on penalties against Eintracht Frankfurt, before a final date with Arsenal at the controversial Olympic Stadium in Baku.
The surroundings weren’t great for a final by any means, but the Blues didn’t care much as they produced an excellent performance to hammer Arsenal 4-1 and take the trophy in a year when all four major European club finalists came from the Premier League.
Having won the Champions League in 2012, Chelsea were left gutted by their performance the following season as they crashed out in the group stages. In all fairness, they did so with three wins and 10 points which is why it probably wasn’t such a surprise to see them go so far when dropping into the Europa League under the tutelage of Rafael Benitez.
Only one goal separated Chelsea on aggregate from Sparta Prague, Steau Bucharest and Rubin Kazan as they made the semi-finals where they took care of Basel in good style, winning through 5-2 over two legs.
The final was played in Amsterdam against Benfica and it was to have a tremendous ending. With the game locked at 1-1, Chelsea got a corner with 3 minutes of injury time gone after which Branislav Ivanovic headed in to secure a 2-1 win and the club’s second major European success in twelve months.
As the UEFA Cup this is not a competition that had been particularly kind to Chelsea. First round knock-outs in both 2001 and 2003 were probably the club’s lowlights in this cup, certainly in the Premier League era.