Chelsea were set to play against Arsenal in the Europa league final that was held in Baku. Both the teams had a lot to play for. Arsenal needed to win in order to qualify for the Champions league. Although Chelsea had qualified for the Champions league, they would have loved to end the season with a European trophy after all the negativity that has surrounded the club.

Starting it off with the lineup, it shocked everyone that N’Golo Kante was starting the game, after all the rumours about him being injured. It was a big positive for Chelsea. Sarri got the lineup perfect in my opinion. Players like Emerson and Oliver Giroud started the game. The first half was a bit dull and in the opening 30 minutes Arsenal came out strong and Chelsea defended very well. Aubameyang missed a glorious chance in the first half, as his shot was poorly struck after a poor punch from Kepa. Emerson was denied by Petr Cech as he made a terrific save to keep the game at 0-0. The HT whistle blew and it was 0-0, it was still all to play for in the second half. Chelsea fans were nervous as they didn’t know how the team would show up in the second half.

The second half started and Chelsea came out all guns blazing. And it was a former Arsenal player, Olivier Giroud who broke the deadlock as he gave Chelsea the lead by scoring a brilliant header. Chelsea took full control of game and Pedro doubled Chelsea’s lead as Eden Hazard provided him with the assist. 4 minutes later Chelsea were awarded with a penalty as Maitland-Niles brought Olivier Giroud down. And with no doubt Hazard converted his penalty and made it 3-0 as Cech dived the wrong way.

Alex Iwobi was introduced into game and scored a brilliant goal to give the Gunners some hope of turning the tie around. But then again the man himself Eden Hazard wrapped up the game by scoring the 4th goal. Olivier Giroud provided the assist. It was certain that Chelsea were going to win another European trophy. The full time whistle blew and Chelsea had done it yet again. A brilliant performance by the Blues as they defeated the Gunners by four goals to one and destroyed their dreams of being in the Champions league for next season. It was proud moment for Maurizio Sarri as well as he won his first trophy in his career with his first season in charge at Chelsea.

Stats

  • Chelsea registered their fifth major European competition final victory, with only Liverpool winning more among English clubs (eight).
  • Arsenal conceded four goals in a European match for the first time since a 1-5 loss to Bayern Munich in March 2017 and were the first team to do so in a UEFA Cup/Europa League final since Middlesbrough lost 4-0 to Sevilla in the 2006 UEFA Cup final.
  • Chelsea became the first team to win a major European title without losing a game during the campaign (W12 D3 L0) since Manchester United won the Champions League in 2007-08 without losing a game.
  • Arsenal have now lost five of their six major UEFA European finals, including each of their last four in a row (1995 Cup Winners’ Cup, 2000 UEFA Cup, 2006 Champions League, 2019 Europa League).
  • Olivier Giroud scored his 11th goal in the Europa League for Chelsea this season, becoming the first player to score 11 goals in major European competition for an English club since Alan Shearer scored 11 in 2004-05 for Newcastle United.
  • Olivier Giroud’s 11 goals for Chelsea in major European competition is a record by a French player in a single European season, breaking the record held by Nestor Combin in 1963-64 (Cup Winners’ Cup) and Just Fontaine in 1958-59 (European Cup) 
  • In his final match, Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech conceded four goals in a match for only the third time in major European competition, only conceding more in one game (five against Bayern Munich in November 2015).

Managers

It had been a tight and tense first 45 minutes in Baku. Arsenal started the more threatening but Sarri’s side grew into proceedings and finished the stronger.

I wanted my team to move the ball better, and the players did it very well in the second half. We played very good football against a very difficult opponent, who are dangerous in the offensive phase and from counter-attacks. We played very good football and the match was good also for the fans I think.’

I am very happy, but the front of the shirt is very important – the trophy is very important for the club.

Maurizio Sarri speaking post-match

Players Ratings

Kepa: 7
Azpilicueta: 8
Christensen: 8
David Luiz: 8
Emerson: 8
Jorginho: 7
Kante: 7
Kovacic: 7
Pedro: 8
Giroud: 9
Hazard: 9

Substitutes: 
Zappacosta: N/A
Willian: 6
Barkley: 6

What’s next for Chelsea ?

Chelsea ended their season on a high as they finished 3rd in the Premier League and beat their London rivals in a European final. Eden Hazard also announced that he wants to leave the club. He said: “I think it’s time to say Goodbye”. Thank you Eden Hazard for all memories that he gave us for the past 7 years and it has been a joy to watch him and he will be missed. As for Chelsea they can go out and relax in the summer as it has been a tough season but they will remember it as they have ended it with another European trophy. It is still to be confirmed if Chelsea will be serving a transfer ban, but if they do it’s time that they start using the youth players. And let’s hope Chelsea can improve next season.

UP THE CHELS!

One thought on “Europa League Final Review: Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal

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