Cyprus Mail
Europa League

Chelsea beat Eintracht Frankfurt 4-3 on penalties, all-English Europa League final

Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek in action with Eintracht Frankfurt's Jonathan de Guzman

Eden Hazard hit the winning penalty for Chelsea to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 4-3 in a shootout on Thursday and reach the Europa Cup final where they will meet fellow Londoners Arsenal.

The lively semi-final contest had finished 1-1 after the sides had produced the same scoreline in Frankfurt a week ago.

Chelsea had looked in charge half an hour into the game when Hazard, tipped to leave the club this summer, dodged and shimmied round the Frankfurt defence on the left flank before pushing a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of Ruben Loftus Cheek for the England midfielder to score in the 28th minute.

But three minutes after the break Luka Jovic split the defence, playing a neat one-two with Mijat Gacinovic before shooting home past stranded Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to even the scoreline.

The visitors had the psychological advantage and pressed 2013 champions Chelsea with Luka Jovic, Ante Rebic and Danny da Costa constantly dangerous going forward looking for the invaluable second away goal.

At the other end Giroud, Willian and substitutes Davide Zappacosta and Gonzalo Higuain squandered chances for the home side in an error-strewn last 20 minutes of normal time and frantic end-to-end half an hour of extra time.

Arrizabalaga saved penalties from Martin Hinteregger and Goncalo Paciencia in the shootout while Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta also saw his shot stopped.