A season of highs and lows for Maurizio Sarri came to an end with a silverware at Azerbaijan. The Italian has been criticized on numerous occasions this season for sticking with his 4-3-3 formation, his style of play, and his persistence of making Jorginho the focal point, instead of Kante. Despite everything, he still played 4-3-3, stuck with Giroud up front, and still played Jorginho at the base of the midfield.
However, at the other end of London, things are not looking so good for the Gunners. They missed out on a silverware and Champions League football for the second year running. This will dent them hard while trying to get the edge over other sides, for signing talented players. Players like Ziyech, who have been linked with Arsenal, would rather stay at Ajax and play every game with the added prospect of Champions League football.
It all looked 50-50 in the first half with a lot of crosses coming into the Chelsea box from both sides. But without penetration, it meant little to keep raining in the crosses, which were either dealt by Kepa or the defenders. A boring game was brought to life by Olivier Giroud in the 49th minute. 10 minutes later, Pedro Rodriguez doubled the lead before Hazard struck from the spot.
Alex Iwobi's bullet strike gave Gunners a ray of hope but Eden Hazard extinguished whatever hope there was with his second goal. The Blues lift the Europa League title for the 2nd time in 6 years, while Arsenal will agonizingly have to wait another season to get into the big leagues of Europe.
Here are three reasons why Chelsea won the Europa League title by blowing Arsenal away.
#3 Chelsea keeps the Arsenal attackers at bay
Yes, it seemed like Arsenal had the upper hand from the start of the game. They had the initiative and the intent. But nothing worked for them actually except for the crosses into the box. There wasn't even one clear-cut chance that they created, no space around the box, no threat from the dangerous striking pair.
Lacazette and Aubameyang had seven shots with only one on target. Chelsea made them uncomfortable. The African missed all his shots on goal. Moreover, Lacazette, Aubameyang, and Ozil, were dispossessed 9 times in total. Their midfielders accounted for 8 more dispossessions. The attackers lost the ball in the final third more than they should have.
The wide defenders of Chelsea made seven tackles in total, which is close to the dispossession of Arsenal attackers, add a Christensen tackle, it becomes 8 tackles from defenders and 9 dispossessions for Arsenal in the final third.
The attack never showed up, credits to the Blues defence.