Chelsea win penalty shootout to book space in Europa League final


Eden Hazard scored the winning penalty as Chelsea progressed to an all-English Europa League final against Arsenal.

Chelsea took the lead via English midfielder Ruben-Loftus Cheek slotting past Kevin Trapp before Luka Jović brought Frankfurt level in the second half.

The first chance of the game came four minutes in as Eintracht Frankfurt striker Jović jumped his way over the Chelsea defence but forced an easy save from Kepa Arrizabalaga.

It was the German side that dominated for the first 20 minutes and again they forced the Chelsea keeper to make an important save. This time Frankfurt defender Danny da Costa volleyed the ball first time meaning it had to be tipped over the bar or it would have been an advantage to the away side.

After their great start, the Bundesliga side had to rely on their defence to stay in the game in the 23rd-minute as German keeper Kevin Trapp was called into action making a reaction save. The shot-stopper had to deny French Blues striker Olivier Giroud who’d flicked the ball on and looked destined to score following an Emerson cross, however, the keeper got his chest out to the ball.

Makoto Hasebe had to be thanked a minute later as the away side continued to stay in the game, the Japanese midfielder clearing David Luiz’s header off the line.

As the game continued the hosts grew stronger with every pass, and eventually after minutes of domination the English side gained the lead two minutes from half an hour played. This came after Belgian winger Eden Hazard dribbled around a number of players in white before playing through Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who calmly slotted the ball past Trapp.

As the first half came to a close, the Frankfurt players were displaying their frustration as both Simon Falette and Sebastien Rode went into the referee’s book.

Though the English side did create a numerous amount of chances, the German side were constantly getting back and making important last-ditch tackles. These were crucial to Adi Hütter’s side staying in the game and it only being 1-0 going into the break.

Hütter’s team came out for blood early in the second half even getting level in the game as hitman Jović was played through one-on-one with Arrizabalaga following a killer ball by Mijat Gaćinović. The Serbian picked his spot with a low attempt which beat the Spaniard and in doing netted his tenth goal in the Europa League this season.

It could have been 2-1 in the 51st minute as Giroud was played through and was one-on-one with Trapp, however the striker dragged his shot and missed.

Nearing the hour mark, Gaćinović forced the Chelsea keeper into making an incredible parry save as both sides continued to create chances.

68th minutes through Frankfurt midfielder Sebastien Rode had to be taken off, with a suspected anterior cruciate ligament injury. He was replaced by former Swansea City midfielder Jonathan de Guzmán.

Chelsea suffered an injury problem of their own five minutes later after Andreas Christensen suffered a nasty fall following a challenge with Ante Rebić. This meant that Davide Zappacosta replaced the defender.

The Italian full-back then forced Frankfurt keeper Trapp into making a save and despite spilling the ball, no one in a Blue shirt was there to pounce in the 78th minute.

Giroud was the next player to test the German keeper as he denied the Frenchman with a low save, as the 90 minutes came to a close.

However, neither side were able to break the other down and while Arsenal beat Valencia to reach the Europa League final, they both had to play another 30 minutes.

Ross Barkley’s curled effort early in extra time didn’t challenge the Frankfurt net but did give the away side a wakeup call.

David Luiz proved to be the hero for Chelsea ten minutes into extra time as the Brazilian defender cleared Sébastien Haller’s shot off the line after Arrizabalaga was well and truly beaten. Zappacosta also denied Frankfurt, clearing the ball off the line just before the end of the first half of extra-time.

Martin Hinteregger’s vital tackle denied the west Londoners the chance to snatch victory, his tackle stopping Emerson from giving the hosts the lead.

Trapp in the Frankfurt net denied Zappacosta who again proved to be an important attacker for the Blues. Moments later César Azpilicueta headed the ball into the net however it was ruled out for a foul on the visitors’ goalkeeper.

This meant that the game went to penalties. This was the first time that a semi-final of the Europa League would be decided by spot kicks.

After five penalties each Eden Hazard scored the final kick to help Chelsea progress to the final of the Europa League as the Blues emerge 4-3 victors.

Haller scores 1-0 Frankfurt
Barkley scores 1-1 all square
Jovic scores 2-1 Frankfurt
Azpilicueta misses 2-1 Frankfurt
de Guzmán scores 3-1 Frankfurt
Jorginho scores 3-2 Frankfurt
Hinteregger misses 3-2 Frankfurt
David Luiz 3-3 all square
Paciência misses 3-3 all square
Hazard scores 4-3 Chelsea win

Chelsea: Kepa Arrizabalaga; César Azpilicueta ©; Anders Christensen (OFF 73’); David Luiz; Emerson; Mateo Kovačić; Jorginho; Ruben Loftus-Cheek (OFF 86’); Willian (OFF 62’); Olivier Giroud (OFF ET 6’) and Eden Hazard.

Subs: Pedro (ON 62’); Davide Zappacosta (ON 73’); Ross Barkley (ON 86.’) and Gonzalo Higuaín (ON ET 6’.)

Unused Subs: Marcos Alonso; Willy Caballero and Gary Cahill.

Cards: Mateo Kovačić (Yellow 52’); César Azpilicueta (Yellow 82’) and Davide Zappacosta (Yellow ET 30+1’.)

Frankfurt: Kevin Trapp; David Abraham ©; Martin Hinteregger; Simon Falette; Danny da Costa; Sebastian Rode (OFF 68’); Makoto Hasebe; Filip Kostić; Mijat Gaćinović (OFF ET 28’); Ante Rebić (OFF 90+3’) and Luka Jović.

Subs: Jonathan de Guzmán (ON 68’); Sébastien Haller (ON 90+3’) and Goncalo Mendes Paciência (ON ET 28’.)

Unused Subs: Frederik Rönnow; Evan N’Dicka; Gelson Fernandes; Timothy Chandler.

Cards: Simon Falette (Yellow 38’); Sebastien Rode (Yellow 40’); Jonathan de Guzmán (Yellow 90+1’); David Abraham (Yellow 90+1.’)


About Author

News writer for Prost International, I get out to games but mainly cover EFL and women's football. Found here:

Comments are closed.