Belgian International, Eden Hazard scored twice with assist to help Chelsea wallop London rivals, Arsenal in Baku to win the Europa League Cup.
The victory gave Blues boss Maurizio Sarri the first trophy of his managerial career and ensured the Gunners will miss out on next season’s Champions League.
That was the surreal setting for a match played 2,500 miles away from both teams’ home, and the game itself was devoid of action before the break before bursting into life early in the second half.
Former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud broke the deadlock when he met Emerson’s clipped cross with a powerful near-post header that zipped past Petr Cech.
Cech, also facing his old side and playing the final match of his career, could do nothing about Chelsea’s second goal either, with Pedro sweeping home a Hazard cross.
Hazard made it 3-0 from the penalty spot soon after, sending Cech the wrong way after Ainsley Maitland-Niles fouled Giroud.
Substitute Alex Iwobi briefly gave Arsenal hope with a powerful first-time strike moment after coming on, but Hazard quickly made sure of victory, playing a one-two with Giroud and firing home Chelsea’s fourth goal.
The Belgium forward said after the game it was likely to be his Chelsea “goodbye” as he continues to be linked to Real Madrid.
An emotional Sarri celebrated with his players on the pitch, but his future remains in doubt despite ending his first season at Stamford Bridge on a successful note.
Hazard’s departure appears rather more certain, and his performance ensured this game will be at least partly remembered for footballing reasons, after being overshadowed beforehand by politics, plus travel and ticketing issues.
Chelsea has won five major European trophies – a Champions League, two Europa Leagues and two Cup Winners’ Cups.
Photo: Sky Sports
By Olukayode Oniwinde
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