Europa League final Chelsea v Arsenal
The Europa League final will be an all English final between Arsenal and Chelsea. It is the second all English European final this year as well as Liverpool and Tottenham playing in the final of the Champions League. This is the first time that one country has provided all four teams for both European finals. Furthermore, this Europe League final will be a London derby. This is also only the second time that there will be an all English final in the Europa League/Uefa Cup with the other one being in the first edition of the competition when Tottenham beat Wolves in 1972.
Both teams missed out on Champions League football this season and had to get passed many hurdles to make it to the final. The winner of the Europe League gets automatic qualification to next seasons Champions League. However, Chelsea have already qualified for the Champions League as they finished third in the Premier League, so winning this final will have extra benefits for Arsenal. If Arsenal wins it, it will be only the second time that there are five teams from England in the Champions League with the other being last season when Manchester United won the previous Europe League.
Both Arsenal and Chelsea won five out of their six group games and drew the other one finishing on 16 points each. In the round of 32 and the round of 16 Arsenal lost both of their first leg matches which were away but were able to win the second leg at home in convincing fashion. In the quarter-final they faced Napoli, and many people tipped them to be knocked out but they on 2-0 at home and then 0-1 away. This was their biggest test of the tournament which they passed quite easily. Arsenal then faced Valencia in the semi-final which they won with a 7-3 aggregate score to reach their first European final since 2006.
Chelsea have gone through the whole tournament without losing a single game which is a big achievement. They got Malmo in the round of 32 and won 1-2 in the first leg. Then until the second leg of the quarter-final they didn’t concede a single goal, beating Malmo, Dynamo Kyiv, and Slavia in the process. Chelsea met Frankfurt in the semi-finals with both games ending 1-1 and a penalty shootout being played to decide who goes to the final. Kepa redeemed himself after the controversy surrounding their last penalty shootout in the EFL Cup final, saving the last two penalties and giving Hazard the opportunity to score the winning penalty which he did to send Chelsea through to the final.
The final will be played on the 29th of May in Baku.