Hello and welcome to the live blog of the Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal.
Just a small bit of breaking news depending on how you view it. Hazard thinks it's goodbye... Real Madrid awaits the Belgian genius? Full story will be soon on our website. Keep an eye out for more on that story. ( Full Story )
A big day awaits sports and cricket lovers. The big one, the Cricket World Cup begins tomorrow. Follow Sportstar for the LIVE coverage and we will be back for the Champions League final on Saturday night.
As the players line-up to collect their medals, we bid goodbye for the night. Read the full match report here . Thank you for joining us.
No Europa League glory this time for Emery, who has had unprecedented success in this competition before. Defeat also means no UEFA Champions League for Arsenal and will have to contend with another crack in this competition. Arsenal playeras and fans will be wondering how things would have played out if they were awarded the penalty early on in the game.
Referee blows the final whistle and Sarri punches the air in delight! Chelsea wins the Europea League trophy! What an end to the season for him! This is his first major trophy of his career and he becomes the oldest manager to win this competition. He was so close to losing his job at various points during the season if reports were to be believed and it looked like Sarri himself had given up on the job after the Kepa Arrizabalaga substituiton fiasco in the League Cup final defeat in February. But he has remained stoic throughout and has waded troubled waters to help Chelsea finish third and to a major title.
Chelsea players have begun their celebrations on the touchline area.
90 +1' Iwobi lifts the ball into the area and Willock's effort is deflected into the path of Lacazette, who hits it against his own team-mate Aubameyang and goes for a Chelsea goal-kick.
90' Willock and Lacazette linking up well here but this has come all too late for the Gunners.
Hazard is going off for Chelsea.. possibly for the final time in Chelsea colours? Zappacosta comes in for him.
Those two chances could have pulled the score to 4-3 with more than five minutes to go. Big, big moments for Arsenal these.
84' Another costly miss! How did he not score there!? Willock, free inside the box, tries to curl it into the top corner after being played through by Lacazette. But his shot is off target! Emery is livid on the touchline.
83' Chance for Arsenal after a smart set piece play! Iwobi lofts the ball into the box for Lacazette and he hits it stright at Kepa!
81' Every Chelsea player lining up to score tonight. Azpilicueta is free on the right and goes for a shot! The ball just whizzes past the far post!
80' Willian again for Chelsea, takes a shot which is blocked by Sokratis.
79' Chelsea looks like it will score every time it breaks forward. Willian dribbles into the area and drills a shot low only to be denied by Cech.
19-year-old Joe Willock comes on for Ozil, who has been a peripheral figure on the night.
Kovacic goes off for Ross Barkley
75' Cech denies Hazard a hat-trick with a good low save off a curling effort.
72' GOAAAAAAAL! Goalfest in Baku! Arsenal's hopes quashed by Hazard! He wins the ball from Iwobi and dribbles into the area to play in Giroud on the left, who retuns the favour by lifting the ball back into his path near the six-yard area. hazard has no trouble finishing it past Cech for his second goal of the night.
Chelsea makes first change. Pedro off for Willian
69' GOOOOAAALL! And Iwobi makes a superb introduction! The Nigerian slams a side-footed volley into the left top corner! Does Arsenal still have life left in this contest?
Arsenal makes two changes as Iwobi, Guendouzi come on for Torreira and Monreal
65' GOAAAAALL! Hazard slots is coolly to the left with Cech diving the wrong way. That should effectively seal the Europa League for Chelsea.
64' PENALTY! Giroud is brought down inside the area by Maitland-Niles and the referee points to the spot.
59' GOAAAAAAALLL!! Chelsea is well and truly in control of the final now! Pedro sweeps home Hazard's pass from the left into the bottom corner with ease. Arsenal must find some new ideas to find a way back into the game.
59' Some action inside box with Torreria's shot is blocked by Kante before Aubameyang is fouled for a high boot while going for an overhead kick.
Pedro is cautioned for showing dissent.
51' Giroud nearly pulls his hamstring chasing after a ball from Pedro.
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.
49' GOAAAALLL! Chelsea takes the lead through a precision low header from Giroud! He makes up for those two early misses with that header by getting in front of Koscielny to meet the cross from Emerson.
48' Hazard again pierces through Arsenal and plays in Giroud in behind the defence but his shot is wayward. Chelsea appeals for a foul in the build up to Giroud's shot.
46' The second half is underway.
No added time as the referee blows the half time whistle. The half livened up around the 20 minute mark and was a breeze until the break with Chelsea threatening towards the end with Hazard pulling the strings. Aesenal goalkeeper Cech has been kept busy the most with a couple of sharp saves.
42' Hazard dictating terms here at the moment! He single-handedly drags Chelsea forward with a solo run and plays Emerson on the left. But the Brazilian's control deserts him and the ball goes for a goal kick.
40' SAVED! Giroud is teed up by Jorginho inside the box but the Frenchman's effort is rather tame and is palmed out by Cech with a strong save!
38' Emerson gets one on the back of Lacazette in Arsenal's half of the pitch. Foul against Chelsea.
34' SAVED! Hazard and Emerson are linking up delightfully here and to the worry of Arsenal defenders. The Belgian plays in Emerson, whose fierce shot is saved by Cech! Hazard is weaving rings around Arsenal defenders at the moment as Chelsea finds some momentum heading into the final phase of the half.
32' Kolasinac's deflected shot had Chelsea defenders' herts in their mouths as it flew narrowly away from the left far post.
30' Hazard gets in the act, plays in Emerson on the left with time and space to cross the ball into the box, but the left back's cross is cut out by Koscielny. First corner of the game for Chelsea.
28' Xhaka lines up a shot on his right foot and it was a sweet strike as it shaves the upright!
26' Kante runs on to the ball on the right channel before playing a cross into the feet of Giroud. The Frenchman makes a hash of it with poor control with only the defender and the goalkeeper to beat. Sarri clutches onto whatever litte hair is left on his head in frustration.
23' Collision between Kepa and Azpilicueta after Ozil plays a first time through ball over Chelsea's defence for Lacazette to run onto. Both Chelsea players are okay to continue.
20' Maitland-Niles breaks free on the right but his cross has less fizz and Jorginho cuts it out with ease. Arsenal corner.
That will be a big talking point from the first half.
18' Lacazette goes down inside the boc and the referee says no penalty. VAR check also says no penalty despite Lacazette getting to the ball ahead of Kepa.
16' Xhaka cuts through Chelsea's defence to find Kolasinac free on the left but his cross is cut out by the back-tracking Chelsea defenders.
15' A foul in the area from Luiz as the free-kick is taken. Wasted opportunity for Chelsea.
14' Few minutes after Hazard hit the deck claiming a foul, Giroud goes down outside the penalty area after a foul from Sokratis .
12' Hazard hasn't yet got going for Chelsea as his team-mates haven't given him the ball enough. Arsenal shading possession thus far.
9'BIG CHANCE! Maitland Niles whips in a hard cross from the right which Kepa punches into the danger area inside the box. Aubameyang takes a first time shot which goes wide of the goal! He could have composed himself better before taking a shot there.
8' Kante, who was a 50-50 to start this game, has looked comfortable so far in the early proceedings on the roght side of the midfield three.
4' An uneventful start so far with both teams a tad out of sync with its passing. Its worth remembering these two teams last played a comeptitive game on May 12.
1' Arsenal kicks things off from left to right.
- Arsenal is hungry to win the trophy for team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who choose not to travel to Baku citing security reasons. ( READ )
- This is the first all-England final in the UEFA Cup/Europa League since 1971/72 when Tottenham defeated Wolves 2-1.
Chelsea has conceded 18 set-piece goals this season. Will Arsenal be able to exploit this weakness?
Chelsea is the first team to play a major European final without a player from its home nation in its starting XI since Inter Milan vs Bayern Munich in the 2010 Champions League final.
- Cech, who has 333 appearances for Chelsea, starts for Arsenal. Olivier Giroud, who has played 188 times for Arsenal, starts as Chelsea's lone striker.
- In 177 matches across competitions between the London rivals, the Gunners have won 68 while Chelsea has prevailed in 58 matches.
- Chelsea has won four of its five major European finals (2x Cup Winners’ Cup/1x Champions League/1x Europa League). Among English teams, only Man Utd (5) and Liverpool (8) have won more major European finals.
Cech starts in his final game of his career. Emery had a big decision to make in goal and he has gone for the experienced Cech over Bernd Leno. Cech feels the game against his former club Chelsea, for whom he played for 11 years, will be too emotional for his final match of his successful career. ( READ )
Arsenal is gunning for its first European glory in 30 years after its Cup Winner's Cup in 1994. Luckily for the Gunners, their manager Unai Emery has a taste for the European success — he won three successive Europa League trophies with Sevilla. Emery recognised that Arsenal had lost its hunger for trophies in the final years under legendary former manager Arsene Wenger. ( READ )
The final could mark Eden Hazard's final game in the blue shirt of Chelsea. The Belgian playmaker has been heavily linked with a move to La Liga giant Real Madrid. And if it turns out to be his last Chelsea game, he wants to make it count with another trophy to add to his seven years at Stamford Bridge. ( READ )
The build-up to the Europa League final has been marred by the controversy surrounding UEFA's choice of venue, but it is now time for the football to do the talking as familiar foes Chelsea and Arsenal prepare to do battle in the unfamiliar setting of Baku on Wednesday.
Watch preview below
The match starts at 12:30am IST. Stay tuned for line-ups and live updates.
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