CHELSEA WIN EUROPA LEAGUE! Chelsea won Europe’s 2nd biggest trophy by sealing an emphatic 4-1 victory over rivals Arsenal in the final in Baku. The game had a strange feeling to it, with a half empty stadium, fans miles away from the pitch and it almost seemed like it was a pre-season friendly – particularly in the first half. However, the Blues came out of the traps early in the 2nd half and dominated the game to win comfortably. Mauricio Sarri has won his first every trophy, and we finish with some silverware along with 3rd place in the Premier League. Not a bad season after all, eh? Oh, and we made Arsenal fans cry. Beautiful.
1st Half – Replay of Dublin Friendly?
During last summer, Arsenal and Chelsea met in a pre-season friendly in Dublin, and this game looked a carbon copy of that. No real pace or aggression to the game, not many chances for either side, and we just looked like we didn’t want to be there. Hazard showed moments of some intent, as did N’Golo Kante, and Mateo Kovačić. We struggled to string a few passes together, and despite Olivier Giroud attempting several times, his flicks were just not coming off. On the positive side, Arsenal were no better than us, and rarely threatened Keppa. He didn’t look comfortable with crosses though, and literally punched every single one when even I could have caught some of them. Anyway, less said about the first half, the better.
2nd Half – Hazard Makes Final Impact as Chelsea Blow Arsenal Away
The 2nd half was a completely different story, and the best 22 minutes of any football we have played this season. We were in dreamland. Just a few minutes after the interval, Olivier Giroud utilised his neck muscles to steer in a diving header just within the box past Petr Cech at the near post. He half-celebrated on the pitch, as Chelsea fans were going crazy all around the world. From there, one team capitulated, and the other team grew in confidence. Just 11 minutes later, Chelsea’s bright attacking play was awarded with another goal as Eden Hazard set up Pedro to place it past Cech for the 2nd. 2-0 on the night, and it looks a long way back for Arsenal.
Some more neat player from Chelsea put Giroud in within a chance, but Arsenal’s Maitland-Niles shoved him to the floor and the referee had no choice but to point him to the spot. Eden Hazard steps up, and he just never misses, as he made the score line 3-0 on minute 65. Arsenal did come back with a sublime goal from Alex Iwobi as he half volley outside the area was unsavabable, as some doubts would have crept into our fans heads. However, it didn’t take long before we stamped our authority back in the game, with Giroud and Hazard linking up expertly for the 4th goal, and we were on our way to another European crown.
The full time whistle went, and the Chelsea fans erupted across the globe in their homes, pubs, or the lucky ones that managed to get to Baku. The second half play was just simply stunning. A 3rd European crown in 7 years, and a 3rd consecutive season with a trophy. Even in a couple of mediocre seasons, we find a way to win silverware. Hats off the boys. Come on you Blues!
That’s it. Season has finished, and our next competitive game will be the first Premier League game of the season in August. Now, all we can do is listen to the transfer stories, expecting Hazard to announce his departure in the coming days, as he said in a post-match interview ‘it seems like a goodbye’.
As for Sarri? Congratulations to him, in what is never an easy job. Will it be enough for him to keep his job? I think so, but maybe he’ll be tempted by the Juventus job instead. We’ll have to wait and see. Here on Chelsea Talk we’ll keep you updated with the latest stories, and have a look back to last season. For now though, it’s official, we are Europa League winners, and London’s most decorated club in Europe. COME ON YOU BLUES!