Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea deserved Europa League success, admits Arsenal boss Emery

Tough gig: Unai Emery shows his frustration on the sidelines
Tough gig: Unai Emery shows his frustration on the sidelines

By Carl Markham

Arsenal boss Unai Emery admitted his side were overpowered by classy opponents in last night's Europa League Final in Baku.

Eden Hazard bid a glorious farewell to Chelsea by netting a brace as Maurizio Sarri's side roared past their London rivals to seal a memorable 4-1 success in Azerbaijan.

Olivier Giroud impressively opened the scoring against his former club but Hazard netted twice and provided an assist for Pedro.

A stunning Alex Iwobi strike briefly gave Arsenal hope but Emery had no excuses.

"First is congratulations to Chelsea," he said. "In the first half we played with good opportunities to take a good result. We got to the box with good options and chances to score but the first goal changed the game.

"We tried to stay in the match but their second goal made it difficult for us. It was going better for them and when we wanted to do something, we couldn't find what we needed to score. They deserved to win."

Emery was looking to continue his love affair with this competition and end the Gunners' 25-year wait for continental success at the end of his maiden campaign in the dugout but it all went horribly wrong as Sarri grasped his first major trophy.

And afterwards, an emotional Petr Cech said he was proud of his career and of his final performance.

 "I'm proud of myself and I'm proud of the way I played today because when you play your last career game in the final there is a lot of pressure and speculation," said Cech.

"I had to perform and I have to say I have done everything I can, and I can look back with no regrets apart from the fact we worked so hard all year to finish with nothing."

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