Rafael Benitez was appointed as the club's interim manager in November 2012 following the departure of Roberto Di Matteo after a Champions League group game defeat at Juventus.

The remainder of the campaign was one packed with matches and although Chelsea were defeated in the final of the Club World Cup in Japan the following month, followed by semi-final defeats in the Capital One Cup and FA Cup, the season ended with silverware as Benitez and the team secured the Europa League trophy by beating Benfica in Amsterdam. 

The Spaniard also steered us to automatic Champions League qualification thanks to a third-place finish in the Barclays Premier League. Soon after the end of the 2012/13 season he was released from the remaining weeks of his contract to become the new manager of Napoli.