2018/19: Chelsea win all-English final

Olivier Giroud sealed his top-scorer status as Chelsea eased through an all-English final.

Eden Hazard, César Azpilicueta and Olivier Giroud with the trophy
Eden Hazard, César Azpilicueta and Olivier Giroud with the trophy ©Getty Images

Olivier Giroud sealed his position as the tournament top-scorer to send Chelsea on their way to a second Europa League trophy and extend their record-setting run to 18 matches unbeaten in the competition.

Giroud enjoys his 11th goal of the campaign for Chelsea
Giroud enjoys his 11th goal of the campaign for Chelsea©AFP/Getty Images

Starting the final level with Frankfurt's Luka Jović on ten goals, the France striker stooped to glance powerfully beyond the helpless Petr Čech at his near post just after half-time. The opener was the first of three Chelsea goals in 16 minutes to all but end Arsenal's hopes, although Alex Iwobi's superb long-range strike prefaced Eden Hazard's restoration of breathing space for Maurizio Sarri's side.

Giroud, who described himself as "the happiest man in the world" in an emotional post-match interview, had been deadly all season in the Europa League. He spoke warmly of his former side but his damaging header forced them to play more expansively, giving Pedro the space to double Chelsea's lead with a clinical strike. Hazard then scored twice to ensure Sarri's side became the first in the Europa League era to win the trophy without suffering a single defeat all season.

See how Chelsea won the final
See how Chelsea won the final

Chelsea completed the campaign with 36 goals while Arsenal, whose previous eight had been the work of potent front pair Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, ended with 30 alongside Frankfurt. The Gunners had underlined their threat by scoring seven times to vanquish Valencia in the semi-finals, including two goals for Lacazette in the first leg and a hat-trick from Aubameyang at the Mestalla.

Adi Hütter's excellent Frankfurt side performed courageously at Stamford Bridge, only departing on penalties in the semi-finals. They had reached the final four with a heroic quarter-final comeback to beat former finalists Benfica on away goals with a 2-0 second-leg win in Germany.

Hazard after his man of the match display in Baku
Hazard after his man of the match display in Baku©Getty Images

Chelsea survived going behind in the shoot-out to squeeze through that last-four epic, then demonstrated their class in the showpiece to deny their opponents the UEFA Champions League place they craved and coach Unai Emery a record-breaking fourth success in the competition.

Top scorer: Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) 11
Most assists
: Igor Stasevich (BATE Borisov), Willian (Chelsea) 7
Final man of the match
: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Season landmarks

Top ten goals of the season
Top ten goals of the season
  • Giroud ensured a Frenchman was on the scoresheet for the fourth successive UEFA Europa League final, following in the footsteps of Antoine Griezmann (Atlético, 2018), Paul Pogba (Manchester United, 2017) and Kevin Gameiro (Sevilla, 2016).
  • Chelsea became the 13th club to win multiple UEFA Cups/UEFA Europa Leagues. They won the UEFA Cup in 2013, as well as the Cup Winners' Cup (1971, 1998), the UEFA Super Cup (1998) and the UEFA Champions League (2012).
  • This result equalled the largest margin of victory in a UEFA Europa League final, matching Atlético's 3-0 wins against Athletic Club in 2012 and Marseille in 2018.
  • Also losers in 2000, Arsenal joined five other teams to have suffered more than one UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League final defeat without winning the trophy. The last side to concede four in the final was Middlesbrough, who lost 4-0 to Sevilla in the 2006 UEFA Cup.
Emery could not win a record-breaking fourth #UEL trophy
Emery could not win a record-breaking fourth #UEL trophy©Getty Images
  • Pedro Rodríguez's strike to put Chelsea 2-0 ahead made the Spaniard the first player to score in the final of the UEFA Champions League/European Cup, the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup.
  • As well as setting the record unbeaten run in the UEFA Europa League, that 18-match streak saw Chelsea emerge as the first winners to remain unbeaten in the competition on their way to the trophy.

  • Arsenal emulated Benfica and Sevilla's previous achievements by reaching the last four in consecutive campaigns, but coach Unai Emery was unable to repeat his success with Sevilla between 2014 and 2016, when he won the trophy in three successive seasons.
  • At 19, João Félix established himself as the youngest player to score a UEFA Europa League hat-trick with a scintillating display for Benfica against Frankfurt in their quarter-final first leg.

  • 16-year-old centre-forward Sebastiano Esposito also became the eight-youngest player in UEFA Europa League history, making his debut for Inter against Frankfurt in the round of 16.
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