Green does a ‘John Terry’ Reserve in full-kit salute
Chelsea’s third-choice keeper Robert Green wore full kit to lift the Europa League trophy – despite not being on the bench. Shades of John Terry in the 2012 Champions League final. and out of reach for all but around 7,000 Londoners.
It all made for an awkward first half, in which Alexandre Lacazette was denied a penalty for Arsenal and Petr Cech – in his last match as a player – made a couple of smart saves against his old club.
The breakthrough came a few minutes after the break, Giroud stooping to reach Emerson Palmieri’s cross. The header, firm and low, was devastating.
Before Arsenal could adapt, it was two. Hazard was central to the goal, to the surprise of neither the travelling nor local fans, and Pedro’s finish from the Belgian’s pass was accurate, if not clean.
By this point, Emery’s side had lost all their confidence and most of
their composure. Ainsley Maitlandniles had started brilliantly, but lost his way along with his team-mates. His shove on Giroud in the penalty area was needless.
Hazard, inevitably, rolled home the penalty.
Arsenal found solace in Iwobi, off the bench to lash home from range. His effort, on the bounce, flew like one of the pre-match fireworks through a pile of bodies and into Chelsea’s top corner. The little pocket of red shirts celebrated in their section, but they knew the game was up.
Hazard would not allow Arsenal much time to dream of a comeback, combining again with Giroud and finishing his second, and surely final, goal in Chelsea blue.