Chelsea‘s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich leads celebrations they hammer Arsenal 4-1 to lift the Europa League in rare chance to watch his side after being barred from UK in oligarch crackdown
Chelsea thrashed London rivals in the Europa League final this evening, winning by four goals to one.
Their celebrations were led by Russian owner Roman Abramovich, who attended his first Chelsea match of the year after being barred from the UK following an oligarch crackdown.
The two clubs met in the Azerbaijani capital in the first of two all-English European finals this week.
After a quiet first half, Chelsea proved to be far too good for Arsenal, beating them comfortably in the end with their fans celebrating wildly in the stadium and at pubs and bars across London.
Arsenal fans, by contrast, looked despondent after the match, with some even bursting into tears as they watched their team slump to a heavy defeat.
The final had been plagued by controversy with Arsenal‘s Armenian star Henrikh Mkhitaryan not travelling with his team because of tension between his country and the hosts, and there has also been criticism of UEFA over the organisation of the event.
Thousands of empty seats were on display throughout this evening‘s match, with fans critical on social media.
Chelsea players and staff celebrate after winning the Europa League following a dominating second half performance against London rivals Arsenal in Baku
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich looked delighted as he watched his team win the Europa League final after thrashing London rivals Arsenal
It was the first game the Chelsea owner had attended this season, following a UK crackdown on oligarchs in the country
Chelsea‘s star player Eden Hazard (left) and club captain Cesar Azpilicueta kiss the trophy after a successful night in Baku
Elated Chelsea fans celebrate wildly as their teams take a 4-1 lead against Arsenal during the Europa League final in Baku
The Chelsea players took to social media to celebrate their win in the aftermath. David Luiz, (left), celebrating with Gonzalo Higuain and N‘golo Kante smiling (right)
Chelsea fans watching the Europa League Final in London celebrate their win. Many fans were unable to travel to the final
A young Arsenal fan wipes away a tear as he watches his team succumb to a defeat in the Europa League final against Chelsea
A distraught Arsenal fan reacts after watching his team fall behind to Chelsea in the final. Chelsea‘s win means they have added a fifth European trophy to their cabinet
Chelsea took a second-half lead after their striker Olivier Giroud, who had a long spell at Arsenal, headed in a cross from the left after 49 minutes
Mesut Ozil of Arsenal looks dejected during the UEFA Europa League Final after Chelsea star Eden Hazard scored the fourth goal for his team
Goalkeeper Willy Caballero and goalscorer Olivier Giroud get the drinks flowing as celebrations begin (left). Cesar Azpilicueta poses with the trophy and Eden Hazard (right)
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta celebrating with veteran defender Gary Cahill in the changing room after the game
Chelsea fans celebrate after watching their team thrash Arsenal in the Europa League final, to give them their first trophy win of the season
It was too much for some Arsenal fans who covered their faces and sobbed as they reflected on the result of tonight‘s game
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta leads the celebrations among his teammates after a dramatic night for the club which saw them thrash their London rivals
By contrast, many of the Arsenal players looked dejected, with several immediately ripping off their runner-up medals in the aftermath
Chelsea‘s Cesar Azpilicueta celebrates with the trophy after winning the UEFA Europa League final at The Olympic Stadium
Striker Olivier Giroud, who had a long spell at Arsenal, gave current team Chelsea the lead after 49 minutes, stooping to head in a cross from the left.
Spanish winger Pedro added a second goal ten minutes later, before Eden Hazard scored a penalty on 65 minutes.
Arsenal substitute Alex Iwobi got one back for his team before Hazard added a fourth for Chelsea shortly after.
‘We‘ve had some ups and downs but we‘ve improved, learned a lot and finished very well. Sarri is a great guy, a great person and a great coach, so he deserves it,‘ defender David Luiz said afterwards.
Gary Lineker was among the stars to congratulate Chelsea after their winner: ‘Congratulations to on winning the Europa League. Superb 2nd half performance and a brilliant display from ….possibly his last for the club. Boy, they’ll miss him if he goes.‘
Chelsea fans celebrate the opening goal as they watch the UEFA Europa League final at The Chelsea Pensioner, London
A delighted Chelsea fan celebrates in the stadium after watching his team defeat rivals Arsenal in the Europa League final
Arsenal fans looked despondent as they watched their team lose to Chelsea. Their defeat means they have still not won a European trophy since 1994
Chelsea‘s Pedro scores his sides second goal during the UEFA Europa League final match against Arsenal this evening
Chelsea‘s star player Eden Hazard scores a penalty to put his team 3-0 against their London rivals in the Europa League final today
The win means Chelsea have won three European titles in seven years, with the Champions League triumph in 2012 followed by their first Europa League victory in 2013
A dejected Mesut Ozil, Arsenal‘s number 10, sits alone in the dugout after losing the UEFA Europa League Final against Chelsea
By contrast, Arsenal have now lost five of their six major European finals, with their only victory coming in the 1994 Cup Winners‘ Cup against Parma
The win means Chelsea have won three European titles in seven years, with the Champions League triumph in 2012 followed by their first Europa League victory in 2013.
By contrast, Arsenal have lost five of their six major European finals, with their only victory coming in the 1994 Cup Winners‘ Cup against Parma.
Star man Eden Hazard was given an ovation by Chelsea fans when he was substituted in the closing minutes and he looked emotional as he held his hands over his eyes.
The Belgium winger has signalled he wants to move to Real Madrid in the coming months.
‘My dream was to play in the Premier League and I did it for seven years,‘ Hazard, who joined Chelsea in 2012, told a television reporter shortly after the final whistle. ‘Maybe I think it is time to say goodbye.
‘We will decide in a few days and the only target in my mind was to win this final. I have made my decision already and now I‘m waiting on both clubs. I think it is a goodbye, but in football you never know.‘
Despite a slow first half, Chelsea kicked into another gear after halftime, scoring three goals within 20 minutes of the restart
The delighted Chelsea players mobbed Giroud after he scored, with the French striker sinking to his knees in celebration
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Delighted Chelsea fans celebrate as they watch the UEFA Europa League final at The BoxPark, London, behind a group of downcast Arsenal fans
But Eden Hazard scored again to give Chelsea a three goal lead in what many believe is his last ever game for the club
Arsenal substitute Alex Iwobi gave his team brief hope of a comeback after a stunning long range goal shortly after Chelsea‘s 3rd goal
Rows of empty seats among fans during the UEFA Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal at the Olympic stadium in Baku
Striker Giroud, who had along and successful spell with Arsenal before moving to Chelsea, said after the match: ‘I am very proud because this team deserved to win something.
‘We lost the League Cup against Manchester City but this one is special, the second best European cup. It was very special for me and I am very happy for the team.‘
Giroud‘s celebrations were muted after scoring against his former team and he added: ‘I left so many friends in Arsenal, this club changed my life, gave me the opportunity to live my dream come true in playing in the Premier League.
‘I owe them a lot, I will never forget, so that‘s why I didn‘t want to celebrate but on another side I am so proud to win this with Chelsea. I am definitely a true blue.‘
Empty seats were on display throughout the ground, particularly in stands for Arsenal and Chelsea fans, with many English supporters struggling to travel to Baku
Many Twitter users commented on the empty seats, as well as complaining about the lack of atmosphere during the match
A spectacular firework display took place ahead of tonight‘s kick-off, though much of the ground still appeared to not be filled
Chelsea fans cheer on their team ahead of the Europa League Final match against fellow English side Arsenal this evening
Supporters from both teams were in fine voice, even though only 6,000 were expected to have travelled from England.
The match was the last chance for either team to win a trophy this year, following a difficult debut season for both their managers.
A firework show and performance from London artist Jonas Blue took place before the match.
The first half was a relatively quiet affair, with neither team managing to score the opening goal – though they both had chances.
Chelsea went close to scoring when striker Olivier Giroud forced a good low save from Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Arsenal also caused their opponents problems with midfielder Granit Xhaka narrowly missing from long range.
However, the first half was goalless with both teams seemingly feeling the pressure of the big occasion.
Some watchers took to Twitter to critcise the entertainment on show, while also blasting UEFA for the number of empty seats on show.
Arsenal fans in the crowd as they wait for the Europa League final to kick off – the crowd is expected to be made up of mostly locals
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech had to make a good low save from Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, but neither side was able to score in the first half
Supporters posed for pictures and selfies outside the stadium ahead of the game, which glowed a bright orange as night set in. One of them even dressed up as Big Ben, to bring a flavour of London to the occasion.
Plenty of locals were out in force with a relatively low number of Arsenal and Chelsea fans in attendance.
Both clubs were allocated 12,000 tickets between them for the showpiece final at a stadium which boasts a 69,870.
But they ended up sending around half of their tickets back, with fans encountering great difficulties in terms of travel and cost.
Arsenal striker Alexander Lacazette also had a penalty appeal but was unsuccessful in a cagey first half between the sides
Chelsea‘s Russian owner Roman Abramovich looks relaxed in the stands during the UEFA Europa League Final tonight
The first half was an even contest with both teams having attempts on goal but neither managing to find the breakthrough
With a relatively small contingent of British fans making the trip to Baku, many took to the pubs in London to watch the game. Including these Chelsea fans
Arsenal fans who didn‘t manage to get tickets watching the Europa League Final at the Twelve Pins Pub in Finsbury Park, London
Arsenal‘s team line-up ahead of tonight‘s final against fierce local rivals Chelsea. The match is Arsenal‘s last chance to qualify for the prestigious Champion‘s League next year
Players of Chelsea line up for the UEFA Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan,
Eden Hazard, Chelsea‘s best player and widely seen as one of the best in the world, warms up ahead of the 8pm kick off
Arsenal‘s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil during the warm up before the match. Both players are expected to have a crucial role in tonight‘s game
Arsenal players warm up ahead of the game, which is the only chance for both teams to end the season with a trophy
Chelsea‘s Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain, English midfielder George McEachran and English defender Gary Cahill leave the pitch after the warm up prior to the match
Local football fans in the stands before the UEFA Europa League final at The Olympic Stadium in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan
Kick-off in Baku is at 8pm BST, 11pm local time in Azerbaijan.
Earlier in the day it was reported that two fans had been injured in violent clashes.
Local reports in Baku state that two supporters were taken to hospital overnight and treated for their injuries.
Baku-based newspaper broke the story on Wednesday morning, though there has since been no confirmation from either of the clubs.
Azerbaijan Health Ministry spokesman Parviz Abubekirov revealed that one British fan was hospitalised with an open head wound and bruising ‘as a result of an altercation between fans of the two football teams.‘
A group of Arsenal fans take a selfie outside the Olympic Stadium in Baku on Wednesday night
A group of Chelsea fans pose with a flag ahead of the Europa League final in Baku
Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan speaks with Aleksander Ceferin, President of UEFA in the stands prior to the UEFA Europa League Final
Arsenal fans pictured gathered in the city centre earlier in the day ahead of the final
One Arsenal fan shows off his flag as the clock ticks down towards kick-off on Wednesday
Chelsea supporters wave flags and pose for pictures outside the stadium in Baku
Anticipation has been building all day in the Azerbaijani capital ahead of the big game
One fan dressed up as Big Ben to bring a flavour of London to the all-English final
Locals were out in force as the buildup to Wednesday night‘s showpiece ticked down
A couple of supporters decided to dress up for the occasion at Baku‘s Olympic Stadium
A marching band dressed up as the Royal Guards to help atmosphere outside the ground