Blues heaven in Amsterdam as Chelsea win Europa League
The Serbian defender sent the London club's fans wild with delight when he climbed high at the far post to meet a Juan Mata corner and place a header back across helpless goalkeeper Artur into the net.
Benfica, smarting from Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Porto in their domestic title showdown, started the game the brighter of the two teams and Paraguayan sharpshooter Cardozo headed over from close range in the second minute.
Chelsea gradually began to string some passes together and Torres put them in front with a goal reminiscent of his wonder strike in last season's Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.
A flick in the centre circle from Mata sent the Spaniard streaking clear and he calmly rounded Artur before slotting the ball into an empty net from a tight angle.
Torres marked his goal by dropping to his knees and celebrating in Usain Bolt fashion by pointing his right arm skywards.
Cardozo levelled for Benfica, driving the ball straight down the middle of the goal from the penalty spot after Cesar Azpilicueta handled in the area.
Both teams drove forward in search of the winner and Ivanovic's goal made sure interim manager Rafa Benitez picked up his first trophy as Chelsea boss.