Extraordinary week of football

Chelsea and Arsenal confirm English grip on Europe

Chelsea and Arsenal last night ensured that the two premier European club competitions will feature four teams from the same country.

After Arsenal swept past Valencia, their Premier League rivals defeated Eintracht Frankfurt after extra-time and penalties to make the Europa League final an all-London tie.

Another night of drama followed the extraordinary comeback wins for Liverpool over Barcelona and Tottenham against Ajax in the Champions League.

There have been two previous all-English finals in European competition, Tottenham beating Wolves in the 1971-72 Uefa Cup and Manchester United beating Chelsea in the 2007-08 Champions League.

Spain has had three teams in the finals of the two competitions in 2015-16, with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid contesting the Champions League trophy and Unai Emery’s Sevilla winning the Europa League.

Arsenal and Chelsea will play in a 68,000-seat stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan – 2,468 miles from London – on 29 May But only 6,000 tickets have been allocated for each team.

Tottenham and Liverpool will meet in Madrid on 1 June, amid reports that airlines are profiteering by hiking he price of tickets.

Website Money Saving Heroes reported that a standard budget airline ticket would usually cost £40 from one regional airport to Madrid for a round trip, but currently the only direct flight available through easyJet had shot up to £1,223. 

Night of celebration

Eden Hazard scored the winning penalty as Chelsea edged past Eintracht Frankfurt 4-3 on penalties after the second leg of their Europa tie finished 1-1 (agg:2-2).

Jovic equalised for the Germans after Loftus-Cheek put the Blues into the lead at Stamford Bridge.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hat-trick for Arsenal in Valencia set up the all-English final in a 4-2 victory on the night (agg: 7-3).

A Champions League spot is at stake for the Gunners who could join Chelsea as the fifth English side to qualify for next season’s competition by winning the Europa final for a record fourth time.


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