Europa League Final: Chelsea 4 Arsenal 1
PUBLISHED: 22:01 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 22:01 29 May 2019
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Arsenal saw their hopes of European silverware shattered by a four-goal blitz from London rivals Chelsea in Baku.
Unai Emery's men shaded a goalless first half, but fell behind four minutes after the restart as former Gunners striker Olivier Giroud glanced home a header.
Pedro doubled Chelsea's lead on the hour and Eden Hazard made it 3-0 from the penalty spot, before substitute Alex Iwobi gave Arsenal hope with a stunning half volley.
But those faint hopes were extinguished less than three minutes later as Giroud teed up Hazard to sweep home his side and ensure the west London club would claim victory and deny Arsenal a place in next season's Champions League.
Petr Cech started in goal for Arsenal in the last match of a glittering career, against his former club with whom he is reported to become sporting director.
And the Gunners had the edge in the opening 45 minutes, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang flashed a volley wide after a good run on the right by Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Alexandre Lacazette had claims for a penalty waved away, while Granit Xhaka flashed a right-footed drive just over the crossbar, before Sead Kolasinac had another effort deflected just wide of the far post.
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The north London club certainly appeared more likely to break the deadlock at this stage, but Chelsea finished the opening half well, with Cech keeping out a low drive from Emerson at his near post.
Giroud went close soon after with an angled drive that Cech pushed away, but the French striker would find the net early in the second half, beating fellow countryman Laurent Koscielny to a low ball into the box and sending it past Cech's right hand.
Pedro made it 2-0 when clipping a left-footed shot inside the far post and a clumsy challenge by Maitland-Niles on Giroud led to a penalty, which Hazard rolled into the net for the third.
Iwobi was introduced for Nacho Monreal and pounced on a loose ball on the right edge of the box to flash it into the far top corner in stunning style.
But the joy was shortlived as Aubameyang was robbed of the ball inside his own half and Giroud clipped it to Hazard to make it 4-1.
It could have been worse for the Gunners as Cech denied Chelsea substitute Willian, then saw Cesar Azpilicueta drive a shot wide.
Lacazette was denied at the other end, while substitute Joe Willock curled a shot just wide after replacing Mesut Ozil on a forgettable night for the Gunners.
Arsenal: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal (Iwobi 67), Kolasinac, Torreira (Guendouzi 66), Xhaka, Ozil (Willock 77), Lacazette, Aubameyang. Unused subs: Elneny, Lichtsteiner, Leno, Mustafi, Welbeck, Jenkinson, Iliev, Nketiah, Saka.
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