Injuries cloud Chelsea's Europa build-up

Updated: 12 May 2013 08:03 IST

Hazard and Chelsea captain Terry both suffered injuries during Saturday's 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, secured thanks to a Frank Lampard double which saw the England midfielder overtake Bobby Tambling's previous all-time club record of 202 goals.

Injuries cloud Chelsea's Europa build-up

Chelsea are facing an anxious wait to discover if Eden Hazard and John Terry will be fit for Wednesday's Europa League final against Benfica.


Hazard and Chelsea captain Terry both suffered injuries during Saturday's 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, secured thanks to a Frank Lampard double which saw the England midfielder overtake Bobby Tambling's previous all-time club record of 202 goals.

Terry was carried off on a stretcher after a collision with Ron Vlaar, while Hazard pulled up in added time following a challenge by Eric Lichaj.

Both players are now set to undergo scans to determine the extent of their problems.

"The injuries are the bad news, we have to wait and see how they are," said interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez.

"John Terry has twisted his ankle and we have to wait for a scan on Hazard who hurt his ankle. We will have to wait and see."

Benitez paid tribute to Lampard after his 88th-minute winner saw him make Chelsea history and insisted the 34-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer, can continue to play at the top level.

"I think it's great news for everyone, he's a great player and he has been working so hard to be there," Benitez said.

"To achieve what he's achieved is amazing, he's a very good professional and I'm really pleased for him because he scored two goals and he won the game. I said before that it's not my decision. He's a great professional and he is working so hard, he is giving everything for the team," the Spaniard added.

"All the information we have, the data is good. You can see he can play games.

"I think he is a great professional, he is very intelligent, so I think he can play in a very good team for a while. How long, you never know."

This victory effectively secured Chelsea's place in the Champions League next season -- one of the key tasks that confronted Benitez following his controversial appointment in November following the sacking of fans' favourite Roberto di Matteo.

"I think it was important for us," said former Liverpool manager Benitez.

"Since I came everyone was talking about how I had to qualify the team for the Champions League. It's nearly done, top four guaranteed. We will see if we can finish in the top three. But at least we are in a position we wanted to be."

Asked whether he regarded the season as a success, Benitez replied: "100 percent, we have achieved what we wanted to achieve."

He added: "I always concentrated on my job from the beginning -- it was clear to me having been the Liverpool man was not ideal for some of the fans.

"But I can say I have had a lot of fans tell me that we are doing a good job and congratulating me for my start here.

"You cannot convince everyone but I am sure a lot of them will be pleased with the job we have done.

"Has it damaged my reputation? To win here, be in a final and make two semi-finals, I don't think so."

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert bemoaned the result after his team had led via a Christian Benteke goal.

He said the striker's second-half sending off, which followed a red card for Chelsea's Ramires on the stroke of half-time, was the turning point of the match.

"It was huge. It gave Chelsea a bit of a lift, up until then we looked great."

The defeat meant Villa are still not yet mathematically safe from relegation but an Arsenal victory over FA Cup winners Wigan on Tuesday will secure their top-flight status.

However, a Latics victory would mean Villa head to the DW Stadium next Sunday with their future still up in the air -- and without the suspended Benteke.

Lambert said: "I'll be watching events at the Emirates but we can't influence anything. We've put ourselves in a position to put pressure on other teams."

"The way we've been playing I'm not going to change -- the lads have given us everything."



Topics : Football Aston Villa Chelsea Gary Cahill John Terry
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