A dream second half helped Chelsea defeat Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final to win their second Europa League title at the Baku Olympic Stadium here on Wednesday.
“It is very important for me but I am really very happy for my players,” said Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri, who finally won his first major title in his coaching career.
After a goalless first half, former Arsenal striker Oliver Giroud headed in net a pass from Emerson to open the scoring for Chelsea in the 49th minute. Pedro doubled the lead for Chelsea at the hour mark with an accurate pass from Eden Hazard, who later converted a penalty in the 65th minute to make it 3-0.
Arsenal saw a slight chance to bring back the suspense as Alexis Iwobi netted a superb strike out of the box to pull one back two minutes after he was substituted on, but Hazard scored his second goal in the 72nd minute and sealed the 4-1 win for Chelsea.
The Belgium was named man of the match in what he believes to be his last match with the Blues.
“I think it is a goodbye, but in football you never know,” Hazard told BT Sport afterwards. “My dream was to play in the Premier League. I did this for seven years for one of the biggest clubs in the world. Maybe it’s time for a new challenge.”
Petr Cech, who won the Europa League six year ago with Chelsea, made quite a few excellent saves in the last match of his career and left the pitch in tears watching his former teammates celebrate.
“I have to say I’ve done everything, so I can look back and have no regrets about today, apart from the fact that we worked so hard during the whole year and in the end we have nothing,” the Czech goalkeeper told BT Sports.
Failing to win the Europa League means Arsenal, fifth in the England Premier League, will also miss out the Champions League next season.