Chelsea clinch Europa final berth

Chelsea needed a penalty shoot-out to see off Eintracht Frankfurt for a spot in the UEFA Europa League final on Thursday evening.

TheBlues re-called Eden Hazard who started from the bench in the first-leg, while Mateo Kovacic replaced the injured Ngolo Kante.

Both sides enjoyed good spells of early possession, as Eintracht threatened on 15 minutes but a fine stop from Kepa Arrizabalaga held off Danny Da Costa.

Chelsea opened up on 23 minutes after Hazard found Emerson Palmieri, who in turn picked out Olivier Giroud although the Frenchman was denied by Kevin Trapp.

Chelsea broke through five minutes laetr after Ruben Loftus-Cheek peeled off Sebastian Rode to bend the ball around Trapp after running inside the channel.

Before halftime, Loftus-Cheek went close to a second but after feeding off a pass from Hazard shot wide from close-range.

Frankfurt levelled matters on 49 minutes after Luka Jovic beat Luiz for a composed finish past Arrizabalaga.

The Germans were back for more on 59 minutes, but Arrizabalaga pulled off a solid stop to keep out a half-volley from Mijat Gacinovic.

Chelsea made the game’s first change on 62 minutes, with Willian sacrificed for former FC Barcelona man Pedro, while Frankfurt replied with their first substitution eight minutes later, as Jonathan de Guzman came on for Rode.

Chelsea closed in to the winner three minutes from time, but Trapp pushed Giroud’s close-range shot to safety, as extra time reeled in.

Minutes into the second spell of extra-time, Davide Zappacosta collected possession on the edge of the area to produce a finger-tip save out of Trapp with a powerful shot, as the tie went to a penalty shootout.

Nonetheless, the clash was to be decided by a shoot-out, which culminated with two misses from Frankfurt, which allowed Hazard to convert the final kick for a 4-3 win.

 

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