England Rules Europe After Chelsea and Arsenal Europa Win

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The English Premier League has made history by becoming the first league to have four teams in the finals of the Uefa Champions League and Europa League.  Arsenal and Chelsea qualified for the Europa League final last night, completing an historic week with European football’s two major finals now featuring Premier League teams.

The London clubs will face one another in Baku on 29 May while Liverpool will take on Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid on 1 June.

Arsenal beat Valencia 4-2 to win their semi-final tie 7-3 while Chelsea sealed their place in the final by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 4-3 on penalties after the match finished 1-1 after extra time, with the aggregate score 2-2.

It will be the first time in the history of European football that one country has monopolised the two finals and means that both trophies will head to England.

“Here the level is very high,” said Chelsea’s Italian manager Maurizio Sarri. “If you think that, to get to the final of the League Cup, we had to play against Liverpool,
against Tottenham – the finalists of the Champions League – and then we
played against, in my opinion, the best team in Europe in the final, Manchester City, you can understand the level here is very high.

“At this moment, the Premier League is the best championship in Europe and, as a consequence, in the world. But it’s not easy for an English team to arrive in the last month in a very good condition, physically, because here we play more than in the other countries.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored a hat-trick for Arsenal, was asked what reaching the final meant to Arsenal. He said: “It means a lot. I think we have learned from last season [when they were eliminated in the semi-finals]. This year we didn’t make the same mistakes, so now we are through to the final and we are all happy.”

Arsenal and Chelsea’s victories came after Liverpool and Spurs marched into the Champions League final following dramatic semi-final wins. Klopp’s side overcame a 3-0 first-leg deficit to beat Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield and win the tie 4-3, while Tottenham were 3-0 down on aggregate against Ajax before Lucas Moura’s hat-trick completed an unlikely last-minute comeback in Amsterdam, as they drew the tie 3-3 and went through on away goals.

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