Thursday night saw more English teams enjoying joy on the European stage, as Arsenal and Chelsea booked their places in the Europa League final. Here is what happened on another joyful night of European football for Premier League teams:
Chelsea beat Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties
Chelsea needed penalty kicks to see off stubborn German outfit Eintracht Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge. The game ended 1-1 after normal time, meaning the tie was delicately poised at 2-2 on aggregate. The score stayed like that after extra-time, with the Blues coming out on top in the penalty shootout.
The home side took the lead on 28 minutes. Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard showed great skill to beat two Frankfurt players before finding Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the left side of the penalty. The midfielder kept his cool in front of goal stroking the ball past the outrushing visitor’s goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.
The German side drew level just four minutes into the second half though. A superb interchange between Mijat Gacinovic and Luka Jovic, resulting in the Serbian striker finding space in the box to fire home tenth goal of the season in the Europa League.
There were further chances at both ends of the pitch. However, they came to nothing and the game went to penalty kicks. The visitors had the advantage first, as Cesar Azpilicueta missed a spot-kick.
However, his goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga bailed his compatriot out by saving the spot-kicks of Martin Hinteregger and substitute Goncalo Paciencia. It was a dramatic end to a hard-fought semi-final. Chelsea are now slight favourites to lift the Europa League trophy in Baku on May 29th.
Aubameyang hat-trick seals Gunners final spot
Arsenal cruised into the final of the competition by recording a 4-2 second leg victory at Valencia’s Mestalla. The result meant that the Gunners won the tie 7-3 on aggregate.
Valencia looked to be back in the tie on 11 minutes, as French international Kevin Gameiro fired home from close-range. However, the Gunners equalised on the night on 17 minutes, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored with a well-taken half-volley.
The visitors gained the lead on the night for the first time on 50 minutes, as striker Alexandre Lacazette found the corner of the net from 15 yards out. The goal gave Los Ches a mountain to climb to get back into the contest.
However, the Spanish side had a glimmer of hope eight minutes later, as Gameiro bundled home his second goal of the game. The goals did not finish there, though, as Aubameyang scored his second of the game on 69 minutes, finishing at the near post.
The former-Dortmund star completed his hat-trick on 89 minutes, as the striker scored a powerful effort from a tight angle to put the icing on a very comprehensive cake for the Gunners.
English clubs will enjoy a moment of history
The two teams will meet in the Azerbaijani capital Baku on 29th May for the final. It will be a historic moment in the European game, as in the history of the European Cup no country has ever filled all four spots in the final of the two main European competitions.
Both teams will be desperate to win silverware in Baku. For Arsenal, it represents their last chance to claim a Champions League spot for next season.
Who will come out on top in the Europa League final?