Our event of the day is the Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan. Both teams appear in their second Europa League final at the end of successful European seasons. Chelsea have fallen short in domestic finals twice this season while Arsenal appear in their first final of the season. This is set to be an unforgettable match so be sure you tune in. Tonight, Chelsea and Arsenal both appear in their second Europa League final. In 2000, Arsenal reached the final in Copenhagen, only to lose on penalties to the Turkish side Galatasaray. Meanwhile, Chelsea won the 2013 final against Benfica in Amsterdam. Chelsea will be eager to end their season with a trophy after coming close on multiple occasions. Twice this season, they have been denied by the treble-winning Manchester City (quadruple-winning if you include the Community Shield). In August, they lost the Community Shield and in February, they lost on penalties in the final of the Caraboa Cup. Beyond that, they finished third in the Premier League and were eliminated in the fifth round of the FA Cup against Manchester United.
However, they breezed through the Europa League, recording five wins and one draw in the group stage as they outscored their opponents 12-3. They made short work of Malmö FF, Dynamo Kyiv and Slavia Prague during the knockout stage before facing their toughest challenge of the tournament - Eintracht Frankfurt in the semifinals. A pair of 1-1 draws took the tie to penalties and unlike the Caraboa Cup, Chelsea came out on top. After also easing through the group stage with five wins and a draw, Arsenal had a much more dramatic path through the knockout stages. They rallied from a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their Round of 32 match against BATE Borisov to win 3-1 on aggregate. In the Round of 16, Rennes broke out to a 3-1 lead after the first leg, only for Arsenal to score three at the Emirates in the reverse fixture to pull off an unforgettable comeback win. After that, Arsenal came into their element - they beat Napoli 3-0 in the quarterfinals and Valencia 7-3 in the semifinals. Tonight is Arsenal’s first final of the season, having finished 5th in the Premier League, leaving the FA Cup in the fourth round and the Caraboa Cup in the quarterfinals. Arsenal’s Premier League finish means that they have already qualified for the 2019-20 Europa League but winning tonight’s final would place them in next season’s Champions League. For Arsenal, this would be the crown atop a fairly successful rebuilding season and for Chelsea, it would be a rewarding end of the season after falling short on other occasions. Be sure you don’t miss it.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NHL where the Boston Bruins host the St Louis Blues at TD Garden for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Boston scored four unanswered goals to overturn a 2-0 lead that the Blues had built in the first period. The Blues last made the Stanley Cup in 1970, where they lost in four to the Bruins. St Louis will be eager to avoid that same fate and tie the series tonight. You won’t want to miss this match. Elsewhere, in the MLB, the high-flying Oakland Athletics host the Los Angeles Angels at the Oakland Coliseum for the third game of their four-game series. In the WNBA, the Minnesota Lynx host the Seattle Storm at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The Giro d’Italia continues with stage 17 taking riders from Commezzadura to Rasen-Antholz. The French Open continues at Stade Roland Garros in Paris.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
See what else is happening in the world of sport