Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again. May is always a beautiful month for Chelsea Football Club, as we stand out to be the Pride of London and put the other London clubs to shame. This is a throwback to last year’s Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal. A London Derby for the ages.
So it’s the moment we were all waiting for, the finale of the 2019 Europa League competition was upon us. This game meant everything for Arsenal as it was their last remaining chance to secure UCL football for the 2019/2020 season. On the other hand, Chelsea had achieved 3rd spot in the Premier League table, and in doing so, secured Champions League football for the next season. It was the perfect way to end the season and compound Arsenal’s as a miserable one.
Leading up to the game, there was a lot of Arsenal fans who were confident in their opinion that they were going to walk all over the Blues. There were apparent problems in the Chelsea camp the day before the final as clips of David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain having a bust-up during training, and Sarri looking furious as he threw his cap on the floor surfaced on the internet. It was not the scenes we wanted to see before such a big game. There were some concerns about Ngolo Kante missing the game through injury which only further heightened Arsenal fan’s excitement.
Kickoff was fast approaching and the lineups were announced. Sarri picked a solid starting eleven as Emerson was selected over Marcos Alonso. Ngolo Kante, who everyone believed to be injured, was primed to start, and Olivier Giroud was given the green light ahead of Higuain. It was considered the best possible line up. Now it was up to the blues to go out there and put in a terrific performance.
The game kicked off and Arsenal got us underway. The start of the game was quite dull as both teams looked quite lethargic. Arsenal started to come into the game and had a shout for a penalty, but it was quickly denied. Granit Xhaka almost gave the Gunners the lead but his tremendous effort just managed to clip the bar. Arsenal had the upper hand in the opening periods, but Chelsea slowly started to make their mark on the game. Emerson had an excellent chance for the blues but he was denied by Chelsea legend Petr Cech. Chelsea managed to play some beautiful football and was almost rewarded with a goal as a Giroud effort was saved by Petr Cech. The halftime whistle blew and both teams went into the interval with alot of work to do.
Nerves was high as the second half kicked off, but 3 minutes later they were diminished slightly as Emerson whipped in a beautiful ball to Oliver Giroud who guided his header past Cech to give Chelsea the lead. It was a tremendous header and so it was the former Arsenal man who drew first blood for the Blues in Baku. Arsenal tried to get back into the game but Chelsea’s defence was rock solid. A special shout out to Ngolo Kante who was having a terrific game whilst carrying an injury. Moments later, Chelsea doubled their lead through Pedro as he tucked his shot in the bottom right corner which gave Cech no chance. Hazard set the Spaniard up and Chelsea had a 2 goal cushion and you could see the wonderful scenes as the Chelsea fans started to celebrate. The Gunners hopes of Champions League football were coming to an end yet again by the hands of Chelsea. Things got from bad to worse for the Gunners as Chelsea were awarded a penalty. Maitland Niles brought Giroud down in the box and Chelsea had a chance to wrap this game up. The main man himself Eden Hazard stepped up, he managed to send Cech the wrong way and made it 3-0 to Chelsea on the night.
There was never a doubt as the Belgian stepped up. You could now see Arsenal fans starting to leave the stadium whilst some of them were in tears. All that confidence for nothing. Arsenal brought Alex Iwobi into the game and he made an immediate impact as he scored an absolute screamer which gave Kepa no chance. Out of nothing, Arsenal had some hope. But moments later Eden Hazard ran through the Arsenal defence, passed the ball to Giroud who subsequently lobbed the ball over the Arsenal defence straight into the path of Hazard who coolly slotted the ball into an exposed net as he made it 4-1 to the Blues. Towards the end of the game, Arsenal had a couple of good chances but Kepa made some terrific saves. The full-time whistle blew and Chelsea had done it yet again, they managed to embarrass the Gunners in a European final and ruined their chances of Champions League football for the second time in one season.
What a memorable performance it was from the Boys in Blue and they managed to prove they were indeed the Pride of London. Maurizio Sarri won his first trophy as a manager as well. Amongst all the celebrations there was a moment of disappointment as Eden hazard announced that he could be leaving the club after 7 years. “I think it’s a goodbye” made every Chelsea fan hearts sink. We all knew this story had to end eventually and thankfully it was done in the best possible manner – Chelsea winning another trophy and settling a London Derby in fine fashion.
UP THE CHELS!