Chelsea romped to victory in the Europa League final with a crushing 4-1 win over London rivals Arsenal. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in an ultimately one-sided final in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 5
He had a shocking first half with several shaky moments, most notably when he twice inexplicably elected to punch clear simple crosses that were straight at him. He had no chance with Alex Iwobi’s goal for the Gunners and looked more in control as the game wore on.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7
Typically steady and secure from Chelsea’s captain, who fully earned his right to lift the trophy and lead the celebrations.
Andreas Christensen: 7
The Dane continued his fine form during an ever-present run in this season’s competition, making several brilliant blocks, showing great anticipation and remaining confident and assured throughout.
David Luiz: 8
A superb performance by Luiz, who organised with typical quality, rarely gave the ball away and defended far better than almost any pundits will ever give him credit for.
One of the few Chelsea men to impress before the interval where he got forward well and could have scored with a decent strike. His run and pass set up the first goal and although he had his troubles late on when Arsenal bombed forward down his flank, he maintained his standards despite the pressure.
The man so often used as the punchbag when things go wrong, once again showed his value with an assured display in the centre of the pitch. His calmness and vision were vital to Chelsea’s utter dominance for the first 35 minutes of the second half.
Mateo Kovacic: 7
In truth he had a dismal start, giving the ball away cheaply and struggling to make any sort of impact, but Kovacic excelled in the second period, dribbling from deep and instigating attacks and creating space for others.
N’Golo Kante: 8
Kante’s performance gave no hint of the injury that threatened to stop him taking part at all, covering every blade of the pitch, usually leading the press and bringing the energy and work-rate that is so crucial to boss Maurizio Sarri’s approach.
The brightest of Chelsea’s attackers for much of his time on the pitch, Pedro shone in the first half before making a big contribution after the interval as Chelsea took control. He scored the second goal with a cleverly controlled first-time finish and his pass led to the foul on Olivier Giroud for Eden Hazard’s penalty.
Eden Hazard: 9
The perfect way to sign off in what he said is likely to be his farewell Chelsea appearance. A brilliant piece of awareness set up the vital second goal for Pedro before scoring an ice-cool penalty and a beautifully taken second goal to wrap up an emphatic win. How will Chelsea fill the void next season?
Olivier Giroud: 8
Like several of his team-mates, he had a below-par poor first half – despite almost scoring with a fine low shot that drew a great save from Blues legend Petr Cech. But his headed opener was gloriously taken and he was at his best thereafter. Giroud held the ball up, found his team-mates, won the penalty for the third goal before his exquisite pass teed up Hazard’s second.
Made a difference after coming on late on and could easily have ended up with a couple of goals after a busy showing.