Hazard stars as Chelsea spank Arsenal to win Europa League trophy

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Chelsea hammered Arsenal 4-1 to end the  season with an Europa League trophy. Two goals from Eden Hazard after strikes from Olivier Giroud and Pedro put Chelsea in command in Baku, Azerbaijan, with the Blues winning the Europa League final after a goal-filled second half.

Alex Iwobi managed to grab a consolation, but Chelsea had evidently recovered from whatever spat saw Maurizio Sarri storm out of training on Tuesday night.

For Arsenal, it is another year of promising , but never really delivering. For Chelsea, this is a game that could mark Hazard’s exit with triumph, and may even save Sarri’s job.

Arsenal, had been hoping to win in order to qualify for next season’s Champions League after a fifth-place finish in England,  but will instead find itself back in the Europa League next season.

Chelsea, meanwhile, claims its second Europa League crown in seven seasons, despite having the safety net of already qualifying for the UCL with a third-place run in the Premier League.

Hazard, in what could well have been his last match with Chelsea as reports of a move to Real Madrid swirl, was sensational on the night, and if he does exit the club, he’ll do so with a European title.

 

Anthony Nlebem

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The battle of Baku as Chelsea tackle Arsenal in Europa League final

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Two English teams; Arsenal and Chelsea have qualified for this year’s Europa League final, completing an historic week with European football’s two major finals now featuring Premier League teams.

The London clubs will face one another in Baku on 29 May while Liverpool will take on Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid on 1 June.

Arsenal defeated Valencia 4-2 to win their semi-final in a 7-3 aggregate,  while Chelsea sealed their place in the final by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 4-3 on penalties after the match finished 1-1 after extra time, with the aggregate score 2-2.

It will be the first time in the history of European football that one country has monopolised the two finals and means that both trophies will head to England.

“Here the level is very high,” said Chelsea’s Italian manager Maurizio Sarri. “If you think that, to get to the final of the League Cup, we had to play against Liverpool, against Tottenham – the finalists of the Champions League – and then we played against, in my opinion, the best team in Europe in the final, Manchester City, you can understand the level here is very high.

“At this moment, the Premier League is the best championship in Europe and, as a consequence, in the world. But it’s not easy for an English team to arrive in the last month in a very good condition, physically, because here we play more than in the other countries.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored a hat-trick for Arsenal, was asked what reaching the final meant to Arsenal. He said: “It means a lot. I think we have learned from last season [when they were eliminated in the semi-finals]. This year we didn’t make the same mistakes, so now we are through to … Read More...