News

Chelsea v Arsenal Live Commentary, 29/05/2019

FT
4 - 1
CHE
ARS
O. Giroud (49)
Pedro (60)
E. Hazard (65 pen)
E. Hazard (72)
A. Iwobi (69)
Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu

Commentary

That’s all we have time for. The Europa League has been won by Chelsea, repeating their success of 2013. One huge game remains in the European calendar for 2018-19, and that comes in Madrid on Saturday, as Tottenham take on Liverpool in what promises to be an enthralling Champions League final.
Chelsea have a Champions League campaign to look forward to next term, though whether Sarri will be on hand to guide them through it remains to be seen. Arsenal, meanwhile, will be in the Europa League once again.
Both sides could require something of a rebuild over the off-season. While Chelsea must deal with the ramifications of their transfer ban – unless they can get it lifted – and the potential departure of Hazard, Arsenal have to replace Cech, along with Aaron Ramsey, who was unable to take part today due to injury, and is heading to Juventus for next season. Based on his display, Ozil is not the answer, and neither Lacazette or Aubemayang stepped up to be counted in Baku either.
It’s all over in Baku, where Hazard has turned on the style to inspire Chelsea to a Europa League title, in what could have been his final appearance for the club. Giroud’s header put the Blues ahead four minutes into the second half, with Hazard then teeing up Pedro for a second 11 minutes later before scoring from the penalty spot. Iwobi’s stunner gave Arsenal hope, but Chelsea’s imperious number 10 struck again to make sure of the win.
90' + 3' FULL TIME: CHELSEA 4-1 ARSENAL.
90' + 1' One more chance for a second consolation goes begging for Arsenal, as both Lacazette and Aubameyang make a mess of what should have been a simple finish into an empty net.
D. Zappacosta
E. Hazard
Chelsea
89' That’s it for Hazard. His sensational performance comes to a close, and he receives an ovation from the travelling Chelsea support as he makes way for Zappacosta. If that is indeed his goodbye, then he has left on a wonderful note.
87' Somewhat remarkably, doubt still remains as to whether Sarri – who is heading for the first trophy of his managerial career – will even be at Stamford Bridge next season, with Chelsea reportedly open to moving the Italian on, despite the Blues having reached two finals, qualifying for the Champions League via the Premier League and, of course, winning this competition, barring an incredible turnaround.
84' CHANCE! That should have been a goal for Arsenal but, after combining terrifically with Lacazette, Willock curls a strike wide when one-on-one with Kepa.
82' SAVE! Brilliant by Kepa, who rushes off his line to deny Laazette. It may not have counted anyway, with the linesman eventually raising his flag, sparring Aubameyang’s blushes, as he had failed to convert the rebound.
79' Another stop by Cech! The 37-year-old could well be moving back to Chelsea upon his retirement, but if not for him, this scoreline would have been even more humiliating for the Gunners. He has just pulled off another fantastic save to keep Willian’s effort out.
78' Hazard is the first player to score a brace in the final of a major UEFA competition for an English club since Mark Hughes for Manchester United against Barcelona in the 1991 Cup Winners' Cup final.
J. Willock
M. Özil
Arsenal
77' A disappointing performance from Ozil comes to an end, and you have to wonder if there is a place for him at Arsenal moving forward under Emery. The German has been extremely poor, and youngster Willock will now get just over 10 minutes to impress.
R. Barkley
M. Kovačić
Chelsea
76' A second Chelsea change sees Barkley come on. He has replaced Kovacic, who may well have played his final Chelsea game, given that he is only on loan from Madrid.
75' End-to-end play in Baku, though Arsenal look down and out now. Cech had to react sharply to deny Hazard a hat-trick, and the Gunners then raced forward on the counter, only for Aubameyang to hammer over.
74' Arsenal are the first team to concede four goals in a Europa League or UEFA Cup final since Middlesbrough lost 4-0 to Sevilla in 2006.
O. Giroud
Assist
Chelsea
72' Giroud has been superb in this second half, and now has added a wonderfully worked assist to his earlier goal.
E. Hazard
Goal
Chelsea
72' HAZARD MAKES IT 4-1! 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!
Willian
Pedro
Chelsea
71' A first Chelsea change sees Willian replace Pedro.
71' We have seen some remarkable comebacks involving Premier League clubs in European competition this term. Could we be set for another amazing turnaround? The odds are still stacked against Arsenal, but with 20 minutes remaining, that stunning goal has at least given them hope.
A. Iwobi
Goal
Arsenal
69' 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!
A. Christensen
Yellow Card
Chelsea
68' Christensen becomes the second Chelsea player to go into the book, having scythed down Iwobi, who has injected a bit of pace and urgency into Arsenal's attack.
67' Hazard has scored 20 goals in all competitions this season for Chelsea, his best return for the club, surpassing his previous best of 19 in 2014-15
A. Iwobi
L. Torreira
Arsenal
67' Torreira, too, is off, and looks to be in tears as he sits down on the bench. Iwobi is on in place of the Uruguayan.
M. Guendouzi
Nacho Monreal
Arsenal
66' Emery is making two changes. The first sees Monreal make way for Guendouzi, which would suggest a change in shape.
E. Hazard
Penalty Goal
Chelsea
65' 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.
64' PENALTY TO CHELSEA! Well, Hazard will have the chance to get on the scoresheet now! He started the attack with a blistering 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.
62' That was Hazard's 17th assist in all club competitions this season, tied for the most by any Premier League player this campaign.
E. Hazard
Assist
Chelsea
60' Most other players would probably have blasted a low cross into the area if they had been in the position that Hazard found himself in there, or driven to the byline. But the Belgian knew that Pedro had the space, and he delivered a perfectly weighted pass into his team-mate. That could well be his final assist for Chelsea, if reports of an imminent transfer away are to be believed. Unless, of course, there is more to come from Sarri's side...
Pedro
Goal
Chelsea
60' GOAL! 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.
59' For the first time since the restart, Maitland-Niles gets to the byline. His cross is cleared as far as Torreira, whose shot is blocked by Kante. Aubameyang tries to meet the loose ball with an acrobatic attempt, but Christensen got there first, winning a foul for dangerous play.
58' Emery may have to make a change sooner rather than later, because Arsenal do not seem to be able to get their three attackers involved anywhere near enough. Ozil has just tried to drill a difficult pass into Lacazette’s feet, but the striker could not keep the ball under control.
Pedro
Yellow Card
Chelsea
56' Pedro gets a booking, after complaining that the referee had missed a series of fouls from Arsenal's players.
54' An awkward slip off the pitch sees Giroud crumble, clutching his groin. The play does not stop, though, as the player was out of play, and Giroud recovers quickly enough to get back to his feet and return Chelsea to their full compliment of players.
53' That goal has really given Chelsea extra impetus, and they are flooding forward now, with Arsenal unable to get out of their half at the moment.
51' Giroud is the first player to score 11 goals in major European competition for an English club since Alan Shearer scored 11 in 2004-05 for Newcastle United.
Emerson
Assist
Chelsea
49' Sarri’s decision to go with Emerson over Alonso has paid off, with the former Roma man having looked sharp going forward today, and that was a superb cross into Giroud.
O. Giroud
Goal
Chelsea
49' 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!
48' Giroud wants a free-kick, claiming he was blocked off by Monreal. Arsenal get away with it, though, and Chelsea have to settle for a corner, which is poorly delivered by Hazard.
46' We're back underway for the second half!
There is certainly plenty of room for improvement from both sides after the interval. Sarri could perhaps urge his side to have a bit more conviction in attack, while Emery will need to find a way to get Ozil, Aubameyang and Lacazette more involved in the final third.
Chelsea have certainly had more control in the last 10 minutes or so, with Arsenal having had the better of proceedings before that. Xhaka has hit the crossbar from range, while at the other end, Cech had to pull off a fine save to deny Giroud an opener in what has been a tightly contested encounter so far.
45' HALF-TIME: CHELSEA 0-0 ARSENAL.
43' Emery could become only the fourth manager to win the UEFA Cup o Europa League with two different teams, after Giovanni Trapattoni (Juventus and Inter Milan), Jose Mourinho (Porto & Manchester Utd) and Rafael Benitez (Valencia & Chelsea).
40' 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.
38' One player who has not been involved enough yet for Arsenal is Ozil, who has had just 16 touches so far, with all of them outside of Chelsea’s defensive third, which is where he can really do damage, especially given the form of both Lacazette and Aubameyang.
36' Arsenal have lost four of their five major European finals, with their only victory coming in the 1994 Cup Winners' Cup against Parma. They have lost each of their last three, losing in the 1995 Cup Winners' Cup, 2000 UEFA Cup and 2006 Champions League finals.
34' Good save by Cech! Arsenal’s veteran goalkeeper has had precious little to do so far, but has just reacted well to keep out a strike from Emerson, who did well to create an angle for a shot. Chelsea maintain the pressure, with the ball worked into Giroud, but he fails to generate any venom on his flick.
32' There is far too much space in front of Azpilicueta, with Pedro not doing enough to track Kolasinac, who is enjoying the freedom of Arsenal’s left flank at the moment. The ex-Schalke man tries to hammer a strike at goal, but Chelsea’s captain is well placed to divert it wide.
30' Hazard has really been on the fringes of things so far, and in his attempt to get involved, has to drift wide before looking to cut back inside. He tries to exchange passes with Kovacic, but the Croatia midfielder puts far too much on his return ball, and it trickles out of play.
29' Chelsea respond well to that effort from Xhaka, with Emerson getting forward and driving a low strike across goal. Cech may well have had it covered, but Sokratis got over to make a block.
27' 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.
25' Arsenal’s system is preventing Chelsea from playing out from the back, though some great work from Pedro – who dropped deep to help out his midfield – sees the Blues finally forge a way through the press. Kante leads the charge down the right before lopping in a cross to his compatriot Giroud, but, under pressure from Sokratis, the striker can’t take the ball under control.
23' Azpilicueta and Kepa collide heavily in Chelsea’s box, after the defender had to track Lacazette’s run. Both players are back to their feet quickly enough, though, and will not have to receive treatment.
21' Arsenal boss Emery has won the Europa League more often than any other manager, winning it three times in 2014, 2015 and 2016 with Sevilla. Sarri, meanwhile, is the first Italian to manage in a UEFA Cup or Europa League final since Alberto Malesani in 1999, who won the trophy with Parma that year.
20' So far, it is Arsenal who have had the upper hand, with Chelsea struggling to get their front three – particularly Hazard – involved. Again, Maitland-Niles gets through down the right, and this time it is Jorginho who has to get across to cut out the cross.
18' 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.
17' Arsenal’s wing-backs are getting forward well, and this time it is Kolasinac who finds space in a dangerous area. His low cut-back looked set to be heading for Lacazette, but Azpilicueta made a crucial intervention.
15' Hazard delivers a decent cross, but no Chelsea players can get there. It would not have counted anyway, though, as David Luiz had fouled Torreira.
14' Emerson gets forward down the left, and drives a smart ball inside to Giroud, who is playing against his former club today. The France forward takes a clever first touch, drawing a clumsy tackle from Sokratis, and now Chelsea have a free-kick around 25 yards out.
12' This is both Arsenal's and Chelsea's sixth final in major UEFA competitions – only Manchester United, with seven, and Liverpool, with 14 including this season's Champions League, have reached more among English clubs.
10' Now it’s Hazard’s turn to test Arsenal’s defence, as he weaves his way through a crowd of players before hitting the deck, claiming a foul. Referee Gianluca Rocchi dismisses his appeals, though.
8' A first sighting of goal, and it goes Arsenal’s way! Slick combination play down the right saw Aubameyang slip a neat ball through to Maitland-Niles. His cross is punched out weakly by Kepa, and Aubameyang connects with it. The former Borussia Dortmund striker snatched at his effort, though, sending it wide.
6' If this is to be Hazard’s final Chelsea game, he will be determined to cap it off with silverware, that’s for sure. So far, Arsenal’s tactics seem to be clear when the Belgian has the ball – crowd him out, restrict the space and force him wide. How long that keeps him at bay, though, remains to be seen.
5' This is the 198th meeting in all competitions between Arsenal and Chelsea but only the third in European competition – they met in the 2003-04 Champions League quarter-final, with the Blues progressing 3-2 on aggregate.
3' It has been a controlled start by Chelsea, as Sarri’s side look to get on the ball and dictate the tempo as they do in every game. Arsenal stay tight in their shape, though, and after a sustained spell of possession from the Blues, Maitland-Niles nips in and wins the ball on the right, though the Gunners can’t make anything of the counter-attack.
2' Of course, this could well be a final appearance in a Chelsea shirt for Eden Hazard, who has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid. Likewise, Sarri’s stint at the Blues could well be coming to an end, with talk that the head coach is likely to head back to Italy, with Juventus reportedly interested. Indeed, Arsenal goalkeeper Cech has been linked with a return to Chelsea in a technical role, once he hangs up his boots after this game.
1' KICK-OFF! We are underway in the Europa League final!
The teams are out onto the pitch, and we are almost ready to go in Baku!
No changes from Emery compared to the Arsenal side that started in the second leg of their semi-final against Valencia on May 9. The big news is that Cech – who will of course retire after this game – starts in goal against his former club, while Welbeck, who has returned to fitness following a long injury lay off, is on the bench. He too is leaving Arsenal after this fixture.
ARSENAL SUBS: Carl Jenkinson, Eddie Nketiah, Bernd Leno, Alex Iwobi, Mohamed Elneny, Matteo Guendouzi, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Dejan Iliev, Shkodran Mustafi, Bukayo Saka, Danny Welbeck, Joe Willock.
ARSENAL (3-4-1-2): Petr Cech; Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal; Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Sead Kolasinac; Mesut Ozil; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette.
UEFA have decided to allow up to 12 substitutes for each side today, and therefore each manager will have an extended bench to choose from. Maurizio Sarri appeared to storm out of Chelsea’s training session yesterday, but is able to field a strong team, with only two changes from the side that started against Eintracht Frankfurt in their last Europa League outing. One is enforced, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek having sustained an achilles injury in a post-season friendly. The other alteration sees Pedro replace Willian.
CHELSEA SUBS: Willy Caballero, Marcos Alonso, Gary Cahill, Davide Zappacosta, Gonzalo Higuain, Jamie Cumming, George McEachran, Ethan Ampadu, Willian, Ross Barkley.
CHELSEA (4-3-3): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, David Luiz, Emerson; N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic; Pedro, Olivier Giroud, Eden Hazard.
Like its Champions League equivalent, today's final is an all Premier League encounter. Chelsea finished third, and so are guaranteed a place in the Champions League next season even should they lose. Arsenal - managed by three-time Europa League winner Unai Emery - came fifth in England's top tier, so this is their last chance of securing a spot in Europe's elite club competition for 2019-20.
UEFA's decision to host the final in Baku has been particularly frustrating for Arsenal as, due to ongoing political tensions between Azerbaijan and neighbouring Armenia, the Gunners are without Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who has not travelled due to concerns over his safety.
Baku is far from the London homes of both of these sides. Both clubs have raised concerns over the location of this final, with fans finding it extremely difficult to travel to Azerbaijan directly. That being said, it still promises to be an enthralling game!
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal in Baku!