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Europa League Final, Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal: 5 Hits and Flops

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
3.28K   //    30 May 2019, 10:35 IST

Matchwinners Hazard and Giroud celebrate with the Europa League trophy aloft
Matchwinners Hazard and Giroud celebrate with the Europa League trophy aloft

Chelsea's inspired second-half display, powered by Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud helped the Blues to claim this season's UEFA Europa League trophy after an emphatic 4-1 win over London rivals Arsenal in Baku.

Hazard, widely expected to be joining LaLiga giants Real Madrid in a big-money move this summer, excelled against a wasteful Gunners side - who were easily carved open in transition and duly punished.

If it was his final game for Chelsea, the Belgian leaves on a high: a well-taken brace and assist, as he combined well with fellow goalscorers Pedro and former Arsenal man Giroud.

Alex Iwobi made an immediate impact off the substitutes' bench, hammering home an excellent volley from distance to provide a glimmer of hope for an unlikely revival, though it proved little more than a consolation as Hazard scored again three minutes later.

The result means Maurizio Sarri's side are the first team to win a major European competition without losing a game throughout their campaign since Manchester United won the 2007/08 Champions League unbeaten - while Arsenal miss out on a place among Europe's elite for next season after finishing runners-up.

With all of that in mind, here's a look at five hits and flops from a memorable but somewhat subdued evening in Azerbaijan:


#5 Flop: Mesut Ozil

Mesut was largely frustrated during a forgettable evening on all fronts
Mesut was largely frustrated during a forgettable evening on all fronts

Questions over his suitability within Unai Emery's plans have been continually asked throughout the campaign, not least with Aaron Ramsey's impending departure - though the German failed to impress on this occasion.

Granted, he wasn't given ample opportunities to do so but it says plenty that he was more involved defensively than in the final third, where the 30-year-old can create chances from seemingly nothing and possesses the ability to change games in an instant.

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Starved of possession in a constant battle with Jorginho, he was regularly left frustrated by infrequent supporting midfield runners to provide passing options and push Arsenal forward. Being their sole playmaker behind Aubameyang and Lacazette, the onus was on him to set the tempo. He registered only 40 touches of the ball before being replaced after 77 minutes and in truth, he'll be scapegoated for what was truly a poor collective display.

Despite 89.7% pass accuracy, one key pass and two defensive interventions - he only won two of his eight duels contested, was dispossessed on five separate occasions and overall frustrating to watch. Not great by any means, this type of individual display highlights his flaws in a system that doesn't suit his strengths. When have we heard that before?

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