Thu. Jun 27th, 2019

BELIEVE THE HYPE

Eden Hazard scored twice and assisted another to help Chelsea thump London rivals Arsenal 4-1 in Baku and clinch the Europa League title at the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday night.

Victory gave Blues boss Maurizio Sarri the first trophy of his managerial career and ensured the Gunners will miss out on next season’s UEFA Champions League.

There was an eerie atmosphere at the stadium in Baku, with only about 5,000 fans from both sides able to make it to Azerbaijan which appeared less than half full.

Chelsea took the lead through former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud when he met Emerson’s clipped cross with a powerful near-post header that zipped past former Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech.

The former Czech Republic captain could do little about Chelsea’s second goal either, with Pedro sweeping home a Hazard cross.

The Belgian then added his second to give his side a 3-0 lead from the penalty spot soon after, sending Cech the wrong way after Ainsley Maitland-Niles fouled Giroud.

Substitute Alex Iwobi briefly gave Arsenal hope with a powerful first-time strike moments after coming on, but Hazard nailed the final quickly made sure of victory, playing a one-two with Giroud and firing home Chelsea’s fourth goal.

The Belgium forward said after the game it was likely to be his Chelsea “goodbye” as he continues to be linked to Real Madrid.

Chelsea’s triumph brought them their fifth European title and their first since they won the Europa League in Amsterdam in 2013.