Chelsea will go straight into pot one of next season’s Champions League after they hammered
Arsenal in the Europa League final on Wednesday night.
After a goalless first half, the Blues stirred into action in the second period when former Gunner Olivier Giroud headed in an cross from Emerson Palmieri to open the scoring against his old side.
A fine finish from Pedro made it 2-0 to the Blues, with a penalty from Eden Hazard then making it three.
Alex Iwobi’s fine strike just moments after coming on at least restored some hope for Unai Emery’s men, but that was quickly extinguished when Hazard slotted home his second of the game to make it 4-1.
The victory means Chelsea return to European football’s premier competition after a season away, and will be in pot one in 2019/20 along with
Barcelona , Bayern Munich, Juventus , Manchester City , Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit St Petersburg, and whichever one of Liverpool or Tottenham win the Champions League final on Saturday.
The losers of the all-English Champions League final will be in pot two next season.
Although Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea side were already guaranteed to appear in the Champions League after finishing third in the Premier League, they will now take the spot as Europa League holders, although their Champions League place doesn’t pass down the Premier League, unfortunately for Arsenal who came fifth.
The result also means that Arsenal, Manchester United and Wolves will be England’s three representatives in the Europa League next season.
Arsenal and United will go straight into the group stages of the tournament, with Wolves playing in the qualifying stages in late July.