Basel 1 Chelsea 2: Benítez hails Luiz after Brazilian’s last-gasp winner
Basel 1 Chelsea 2: Rafael Benítez hails David Luiz after his last-gasp free-kick earns Blues victory in semi-final first leg
Rafael Benítez reserved special praise for David Luiz after the Brazilian’s free-kick at the death gave Chelsea the advantage in their Europa League semi-final against Basel.
The Blues took the lead in the 12th minute at St Jakob-Park when Victor Moses headed home Frank Lampard’s corner.
Chelsea had plenty of chances to double their lead in the first half but were unable to make another breakthrough.
And Basel drew level in the 87th minute when Fabian Schär scored from the spot after Cesar Azpilicueta was controversially adjudged to have fouled Valentin Stocker in the box.
But Luiz had the final say when he smashed home a low set-piece with the last kick of the game to give the Blues the lead in the tie ahead of next week’s return leg at Stamford Bridge.
“David Luiz was playing as a midfielder and did a great job,” said the Chelsea interim boss.
“We played against a good team. You could see that by the intensity and the pace of the game.
“We had enough chances to score another goal and the penalty was a surprise for everyone; it was a very strange decision.
“It’s always important to score an away goal but to score two and win is even better.
“I’m really pleased with the team in general because all of them were working very hard.”