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Europa League Final - Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal - How the game unfolded.

Chelsea are Europa League champions! I have to say that despite having some sense of optimism that Chelsea could possibly deliver a perfo...


Chelsea are Europa League champions! I have to say that despite having some sense of optimism that Chelsea could possibly deliver a performance ahead of the game, no-one could have dreamed to witness a second half display that literally blew Arsenal away.

Heading into the game last night we had major concerns with the players missing and had been sweating on the fitness of N’Golo Kante. In addition, the public show of frustration from Maurizio Sarri 24-hours before kick-off leading to extensive negative press had not helped and pre-match preparations. As I said in my Vlog posted last night ahead of the game, I was not confident at all.

The first thirty minutes of the game did not help calm any apprehension from the Chelsea fans. Arsenal came out the brighter and seemingly more confident of the two sides and dominated us. Chelsea were sitting deep but working hard without the ball and N’Golo Kante despite not being 100% had started the game. It was clear that Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic were asked to compensate, and both delivered in impressive style. Jorginho was winning tackles, Kovacic was everywhere and it was good to see.

On 17 minutes some sloppy play from us gave Lacazette an opportunity to get into the box. As he did, Kepa came out to challenge him and the French striker went down. To the naked eye it looked like a pen, but replays showed Kepa pulled away and Lacazette was looking for it. Granit Xhaka fired over the bar from distance around thirty minutes into the game clipping the top of the crossbar – Chelsea still had not got going at all.

Chelsea then grew into the game and started to impose their style on Arsenal. Eden Hazard was becoming more influential now and his pass forward to Jorginho who had run in-behind the Arsenal midfield opened the door. Jorginho just on the edge of the box laid the ball off to Olivier Giroud and his shot low toward the bottom corner was saved by the impressive Petr Cech. Half-time 0-0.


I mentioned on social media that we needed to see Chelsea start the second half much better than they did in the first half. None of us could have expected to see what happened in the next 18 minutes.
Chelsea started well and had plenty of possession inside Arsenal’s half. Just three minutes after the restart Emerson collects the ball in plenty of space and crosses the ball low into the box for Giroud to stoop down low and flick a header past Cech inside the near post to make it 1-0 Chelsea.

On 59 minutes, more Chelsea possession and the ball is worked wide to Hazard who looks up, spots Pedro making a run inside from the right, on the edge of the box unmarked and Hazard plays the ball for Pedro to strike it first time left-footed low into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 Chelsea.

Arsenal had little choice but to come out at us and by doing so, it was clear that Chelsea would be able to find even more space in attacking areas. After some good work from Kovacic driving forward into Arsenal’s box, the ball came out to Pedro on 63 minutes. He steps inside from right to left and slides a pass into the box to Giroud in space who is brought down with a tackle from behind, penalty awarded and Hazard scores to make it 3-0 Chelsea and game over!

To their credit, Arsenal kept going and scored a great goal from Iwobi the substitute on 68 minutes. A half-cleared corner comes out to him on the edge of the box and he hits it on the half volley giving Kepa no chance 3-1.

Just for a split second you think to yourself “don’t throw this away now Chelsea” but we did not have to worry. Just three minutes later the move of the game from us demonstrating the importance of Olivier Giroud to Chelsea in attack carved Arsenal open.


Eden Hazard drops deeps picks up the ball just inside the Arsenal half. He strides forward towards their box as Giroud makes a run to the left-hand corner of the box. Hazard steps to his right and then plays the ball across his body to Giroud who has dragged the defender with him. Giroud looks up and plays a first time cross over the Arsenal defence across goal, weighted perfectly, for Eden Hazard to walk onto it and slot home from close range to make it 4-1 to win it for us!

It was a breath-taking second half performance from us, led by Eden Hazard and Chelsea are Europa League Champions!

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