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'Bravo to Chelsea' - Lyon owner Aulas praises Blues for Champions League boost

10:12 AM MYT 30/05/2019
Maurizio Sarri Chelsea Coach
Bruno Genesio earned congratulations from the French side's owner after his club's Champions League return was confirmed by Chelsea

Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas thanked Chelsea after their Europa League final victory over Arsenal confirmed his team's return to the Champions League group stage.

Chelsea beat Premier League rivals Arsenal 4-1 in Baku on Wednesday, a result that means Lyon will not have to compete in a qualifying round next season, with Arsenal now out of the competition all together. 

Eden Hazard struck twice  in what appears to be his final match with Chelsea, with Pedro and Olivier Giroud – who was linked with Lyon before renewing his deal – also on target to earn Maurizio Sarri his first major silverware in charge.

Chelsea had already qualified for the Champions League thanks to their top-four finish in the Premier League, while Arsenal will be back in the Europa League next season having finished fifth in the English top flight. 

Lyon, who finished third in Ligue 1 behind champions Paris Saint-Germain and Lille, now benefit from Chelseas win, and Aulas was full of praise for the Blues for their strong performance despite them facing off with one of his former stars in the form of Alexandre Lacazette. 

The club will enter 2019-20 with former Arsenal left-back Sylvinho in charge after the departure of head coach Bruno Genesio, who was also congratulated by Aulas.

"Bravo to Chelsea for this beautiful victory in the Europa League thanks to N'Golo [Kante] and Olivier who gave us the happiness to participate in the group phase of the Champions League," Aulas wrote on Twitter.

"Bravo and thanks to Bruno for this tremendous performance."

Sylvinho and club legend Juninho Pernambucano, Lyon's new sporting director, will have a big job in front of them to close the gap in Ligue 1 next season. 

While the club finished just three points back of Lille, there was a 19-point gap between Lyon and PSG in teh final standings. 

Avoiding the extra matches brought about by the qualifying stages of the Champions League could prove useful as well, giving Lyon more time for a standard pre-season.