Hazard sparkles as Chelsea outclass Arsenal in Baku


Chelsea clinched their second Europa League title following a resounding 4-1 victory over Arsenal in Baku. Arsenal’s failure to win this trophy means they won’t play in the Champions League next season. Bet on football here.

Chelsea produced a magnificent second-half display to thump London rivals Arsenal 4-1 to clinch the 2018/2019 Europa League trophy. A brace from Eden Hazard and goals from Olivier Giroud and Pedro also saw Maurizio Sarri earn his first trophy in management.

Off the pitch, matters had overshadowed the Europa League final and it was evident inside the Olympic Stadium which had an insipid atmosphere. The first half was tepid but the second half was a completely different story as both teams burst into life.

Former Arsenal striker Giroud put Chelsea ahead in the 49th minute with a powerful header from Emerson’s cross. Petr Cech, who was playing his last football match, couldn’t prevent his former team’s second. Hazard’s cross was met by Pedro who had acres of space to tap in the second.

Just over the hour mark, Ainsley Maitland-Niles fouled Giroud in the box and Hazard stepped up and converted the resulting penalty.

Substitute Alex Iwobi briefly gave the Gunners hope with a stunning first-time volley just moments after coming on.

However, Hazard, who had a phenomenal game, broke the hearts of Arsenal fans after playing a quick one-two with Giroud to score past the hapless Cech to put the result beyond doubt.

This was Chelsea’s fifth European title and their first since they won the Europa League in 2013.

It will be another season in this competition for Arsenal and without Champions League football it will be difficult to tempt any potential signings. Although it feels like a step in the right direction for Unai Emery, it is not a significant one. The squad still needs a massive overhaul to even get closer to competing with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.

For Sarri, this has been a successful first season. A third-place finish in the Premier League and a trophy isn’t that bad. However, despite a terrific start to the season, Sarri’s team endured a turbulent period which included an embarrassing 6-0 defeat to City.

A third-place finish was not a result of good performances but the ineptitude of the teams around them.