English teams dominate European Finals: Chelsea and Arsenal make Europa League final

English teams dominate European Finals: Chelsea and Arsenal make Europa League final


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

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Chelsea and Arsenal sealed their spots in the Europa League final last week to join their English counterparts in the Champions League to give us an all-English European final for the first time in history.
An all-English European final means that we will have an all-English Super Cup final later this year as well. This comes after the last couple years of primarily Spanish dominance in both Europa League and Champions League.  
Here is how Arsenal and Chelsea booked their places in the final of the Europa League after the semi-final second leg matches: 
Valencia 2-4 Arsenal (aggregate 3-7)
Valencia took the lead at home with a goal by Kevin Gameiro, but their comeback was thwarted by a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal a few minutes later. They went into half time all tied up but the Gunners still had the advantage. Coming back from half time, Valencia took the lead with another Gameiro goal. After this goal, Arsenal finished off the game with two more goals from Aubameyang to complete his hat-trick, and another goal from Alexandre Lacazette.
Unai Emery is back to another Europa League final. Since Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League, this is their chance to enter the Champions League next season. While Valencia would have appreciated the silverware, they have already qualified for Champions League football next season, as they finished fourth in La Liga. 
Chelsea 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (4-3 on penalties)
Chelsea was held once again by Frankfurt, but this time at Stamford Bridge. Ruben Loftus Cheek opened up the scoring and gave Chelsea the lead in the first half. The equalizer came in the second half by Luka Jovic, tying the two teams in every aspect (including away goals).
Much to everyone's surprise, Loftus Cheek was substituted and Chelsea's manager Maurizio Sarri put his faith in Ross Barkley. With both teams tied after the 90 minutes plus injury time, the game had to go into extra time. Frankfurt wasn't done with Chelsea, and had two near goals being cleared away by Chelsea defenders. The most dramatic one was probably when David Luiz stopped and cleared Sebastian Haller's effort off the line. César Azpilicueta scored a goal in the 116th minute, but it was disallowed by the referees because there was a foul on Frankfurt's keeper.
Since both teams were still tied at the end of 120 minutes, it was time for the -always dramatic and unforgiving - penalty shootout. Frankfurt was close behind Chelsea in the penalty shootout, and even surpassed them when Azpilicueta missed his shot. Haller, Jovic and Jonathan de Guzman, the first three penalty takers for Frankfurt, managed to get the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga. However, Kepa made two consecutive saves to deny Martin Hinteregger and Goncalo Paciencia. While Azpilicueta failed to put away his penalty; Ross Barkley, Jorginho, David Luiz and Eden Hazard buried theirs, giving the Blues the 4-3 win. 
Arsenal and Chelsea will contest the finals at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan on May 29th at 2 PM. 

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