It was a victorious night for Chelsea and their fans, as the team beat Arsenal 4-1 to win the Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan on Wednesday night. Man of the match went to Chelsea’s Eden Hazard after he scored two goals and helped a third. After a goalless first half, the Blues started the second much stronger with former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud scoring the opening goal against his old team mates with a powerful near-post header in the 49th minute. Pedro took a cross from Hazard and scored the second goal of the match. Five minutes later Hazard bought the score to 3-0 from the penalty spot.
With Arsenal trailing, Alex Iwobi was brought on for Lucas Torreira in the 67th minute. Two minutes later, he briefly gave the Gunners hope with their first goal in the 69th minute. But Hazard returned with his second – and Chelsea’s fourth – goal, ensuring victory for the Blues. After the game, Hazard told BT Sport “I think it’s a goodbye, but in football you never know.” Some people have taken this to mean he has played his final game for Chelsea, after being linked with a move to Real Madrid. If it is goodbye after seven years at Chelsea, what a way to go out!
Chelsea’s triumph brought them their fifth European title and their first since they won the Europa League in Amsterdam in 2013. The victory also gave manager Maurizio Sarri the first trophy of his career. The next time Uefa wants to take a showpiece club final to a new footballing outpost, they could always try the moon. It cannot be that much more inaccessible than Baku proved to be for UK-based Chelsea and Arsenal fans, and the atmosphere will surely be better than it was at the half-empty Olympic Stadium on Wednesday too.