Eden Hazard leads Chelsea to Europa League glory as Arsenal fall to pieces in disastrous second half performance
2018/2019 UEFA Europa League
4 – 1
- Giroud (49′)
- Pedro (60′)
- Hazard (65′ PEN)
- Hazard (72′)
- Iwobi (69′)
Eden Hazard’s brace helped Maurizio Sarri claim his first major trophy as Chelsea crushed Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final in Baku on Wednesday.
In perhaps his final appearance before a mooted move to Real Madrid, star man Hazard struck two second half goals to confirm Chelsea’s second triumph in six seasons in this competition.
Olivier Giroud sparked the landslide against his former employers in the 49th minute before Pedro put a second past retiring Gunners goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Alex Iwobi pulled one back in between Hazard’s double but Arsenal faded horribly after half-time and, having finished fifth in the Premier League, are now consigned to another season outside the Champions League.
18′ NO PENALTY! Lacazette goes down in the box
NO PENALTY! That’s a big decision by the referee, but the right one! Lacazette went down after rounding Kepa, who had lunged in recklessly. Fortunately for Chelsea’s goalkeeper, he did not make enough contact to have warranted Arsenal’s forward hitting the turf like he did. VAR is in use today, and it has confirmed that the official’s decision was indeed correct.
27′ OFF THE BAR! Xhaka almost scores
CLOSE! With space having opened up in front of him, Xhaka tries his luck from 25 yards out. The shot is a good one, and Kepa is beat, but it is just too high, clipping the bar as it goes inches over.
39′ Unbelievable save from Cech to stop Giroud!
CHANCE! Some smart play between Pedro and Giroud sees the latter get a shot off. It is close to Cech, so he has to adjust his feet quickly to get down to it, and just manages to get enough on his ave to parry the ball wide, allowing Monreal to clear.
49′ GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Arsenal (Giroud)
GOAL!! GIROUD MAKES IT 1-0 TO CHELSEA! Well, the Frenchman had gone close against his former club in the first half, but this time there is nothing Cech can do to deny him. Giroud stole a march on Koscielny, diving low to meet Emerson’s cross and direct a brilliant header into the bottom-right corner. His celebration is a subdued one, but that is no doubt his biggest goal of the season so far!
60′ GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal (Pedro)
PEDRO MAKES IT 2-0! Could that just be game over for Arsenal!? Maitland-Niles’ poor pass is pounced on by the Blues, with Kovacic spinning the ball in behind to Hazard, who opens up his body before sending a perfect pass into Pedro, and he makes no mistake with a pinpoint first-time finish.
65′ Penalty Goal! Chelsea 3-0 Arsenal (Hazard)
Hazard started the attack with a cloistering run that left Arsenal’s defence in tatters, with Pedro picking up the scraps and feeding Giroud. He cleverly used his body to shield the ball from Maitland-Niles, who could only barge him over.
HAZARD MAKES NO MISTAKE It’s 3-0 now, and the Europa League trophy is heading back to Stamford Bridge! Hazard stayed as cool as ever, sending Cech the wrong way and slotting home down the middle.
69′ GOAL! Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal (Iwobi)
WHAT A GOAL! IWOBI MAKES IT 3-1! Well, out of nothing, could Arsenal be back in this? Iwobi makes an immediate impact, slamming in a brilliant half-volley from the edge of the area after Chelsea failed to clear from a free-kick. Kepa had no chance!
72′ GOAL! Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal (Hazard)
That didn’t last long! Giroud turns provider this time, lifting a brilliant pass into space in the area, with Hazard on hand to tuck home his 21st goal of the season. If he is leaving, he is certainly going out in style!