Europa League final: Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 | News - 6 بلاگ

Europa League final: Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 | News

Chelsea have scored four goals in a devastating second-half display to beat Arsenal 4-1 and lift the Europa League trophy.

The win at the all-English final, which was played on Wednesday at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan, gave Italian manager Maurizio Sarri a major trophy in his first season in charge and Chelsea a first European title since the 2013 Europa League.

After a tepid first half, former Arsenal striker Giroud put Chelsea ahead in the 49th minute with an angled header. The Blues doubled their lead 10 minutes later when Pedro diverted a cross from Hazard beyond Petr Cech.

With Arsenal on the ropes, defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles collided with Giroud to concede a penalty that Hazard stroked home after 65 minutes. Alex Iwobi clawed a goal back for Arsenal but Chelsea restored their three-goal cushion in the 72nd minute when Hazard swapped passes with Giroud to score his second.

After the match, the Belgian star confirmed that he was likely to leave the club this summer, amid widespread speculation about a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

“I think it is a goodbye but in football, you never know,” said Hazard, who was given an ovation by Chelsea fans when he was substituted in the closing minutes. 

“My dream was to play in the Premier League. I did this for seven years for one of the biggest clubs in the world. Maybe it’s time for a new challenge.”

Europa League Final - Chelsea v Arsenal

Hazard scored twice to lead his triumph to glory over Arsenal [Phil Noble/Reuters]

The triumph in Baku means Chelsea have won three European titles in seven years, with the Champions League triumph in 2012 followed by their first Europa League victory in 2013.

By contrast, Arsenal have lost five of their six major European finals, with their only victory coming in the 1994 Cup Winners’ Cup against Parma.

With several thousand empty seats and only around 6,000 fans from England, the atmosphere in the stadium struggled to match that of a typical European final.

Arsenal and Chelsea fans had complained of the high cost of travel from Western Europe, and even though locals and fans from elsewhere in the world made up the numbers, the atmosphere was subdued, even flat.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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