Chelsea defeats Arsenal 4-1 to win Europa League
Eden Hazard scored twice in what was likely his last match for Chelsea to fire his team to a 4-1 victory over Arsenal in an all-English Europa League final in Baku on Wednesday.
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.
Kepa Arrizabalaga exuded nerves early with a poor punch and was fortunate that referee Gianluca Rocchi overlooked a slight touch on Alexandre Lacazette when the forward went to ground in the 18th minute.
Cech, Chelsea’s keeper in their 2013 success, appeared a picture of calm at the other end.
The 37-year-old parried an Emerson Palmieri shot and then brilliantly clawed away Giroud’s angled effort.
He could do little to stop the striker a second time, however, with World Cup winner Giroud stooping to nod in Emerson’s cross from the left.
Arsenal’s encouraging start had fallen apart and Hazard teed up Pedro to slide in Chelsea’s second with an hour played, before Ainsley Maitland-Niles bundled into Giroud’s back.
Chelsea’s talismanic Belgian made no mistake from the resultant spot-kick, although substitute Iwobi momentarily gives Unai Emery’s men a glimmer of hope courtesy of a thunderous volley.
But the ex-Sevilla coach’s bid for a fourth Europa League crown was shattered within three minutes, Hazard capping off a classy combination with the tournament’s top scorer Giroud to completing the humiliation.