Chelsea vs. Arsenal: Everything to Know About the 2019 UEFA Europa League Final

Corey KnappContributor IMay 22, 2019

Chelsea's defense has a challenge on its hands containing Alexandre Lacazette in the 2019 Europa League Final.
Chelsea's defense has a challenge on its hands containing Alexandre Lacazette in the 2019 Europa League Final.David Price/Getty Images

The 2019 UEFA Europa League Final will be played on Wednesday, May 29 between English Premier League rivals Chelsea and Arsenal. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. ET from Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Both clubs are playing in their second Europa League final, with Chelsea having won the competition in 2013 and Arsenal finishing as runner-up in 2000.

Below you can find everything you need to know about the 2019 Europa League Final, including how to watch and stream the match, where to find pre-match coverage, breakdowns and highlights of how each team reached the final, kit, referee and VAR information, a match preview analyzing the managers and key players from each side and past champions of the tournament.

   

UEFA Europa League Final: How to watch and stream

The 2019 Europa League Final will broadcast live on TNT and stream live on B/R Live. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. ET. You can stream Chelsea vs. Arsenal on B/R Live here as well as on the B/R Live mobile app, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.

In the UK, the game will be broadcast on BT Sport.

   

Pre- and Post-Match Coverage

Complete pre-match coverage of the Europa League final will begin at 2 p.m. with B/R Football Matchday, which you can watch on both TNT and B/R Live. Kate Abdo, Stu Holden, Maurice Edu and Carlos Bocanegra will broadcast from Turner Sports' B/R Football Matchday studio in Atlanta, while reporter Fernando Perez will contribute from Baku. After the final whistle, B/R Live will stream the trophy presentation and celebrations as well as press conferences from both managers. 

   

Kits and Home Team

Chelsea will be the designated home team for the Europa League Final. During the draw before the quarterfinals in March, Chelsea's side of the bracket was drawn as the eventual home team for the final. Therefore, the Blues are the home team and will get to wear its first-choice all blue kits. Thankfully, there is no color clash with Arsenal's primary kit, allowing the Gunners to wear their customary red and white.

   

Paths to the Final

Chelsea and Arsenal's strong Europa League performances began in the Group Stage, when both teams went unbeaten on the way to the top of their groups. Chelsea convincingly won Group L with five wins and one draw, with Arsenal equaling that performance in Group E. The Blues have not lost a Europa League match this season, and the Gunners have dropped only two. 

Both clubs then zoomed through the Knockout Round, but not without some late drama.

Round of 32

Chelsea 5-1 Malmo

Arsenal 3-1 BATE

Round of 16

Chelsea 8-0 Dynamo Kyiv

Arsenal 4-3 Rennes

Quarterfinals

Chelsea 5-3 Slavia Prague

Arsenal 3-0 Napoli 

Semifinals

Chelsea 2-2 Eintracht Frankfurt (Chelsea advances on penalties 4-3)

Arsenal 7-3 Valencia

    

Referee, VAR and Match Officials

The referee for the 2019 Europa League Final is 45-year-old Italian Gianluca Rocchi. It will be Rocchi's first time in charge of a Europa League final. He was the fourth official in the 2010 and 2017 Europa League Finals and was the head referee of the 2017 UEFA Super Cup. Rocchi has refereed six UEFA Champions League matches this season.

The rest of the officials for the final are:

Assistant Referees: Filippo Meli (Italy) and Lorenzo Manganelli (Italy)
Fourth official: Daniele Orsato (Italy)
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Massimiliano Irrati (Italy)
VAR Assistants: Marco Guida (Italy) and Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
Offside VAR: Paweł Sokolnicki (Poland)

Of note: The 2019 final will be the first Europa League match ever to use VAR. VAR will be used to review clear and obvious errors relating to four match-changing instances: goals, incidents in the penalty area, red cards and mistaken identity.

The video assistant referee can either ask the head referee to conduct an on-field review of the replay or, in the example of a clear offsides, inform the referee of the footage without the necessity of a field-level review. However, in all situations, the final decision is made by the referee. Find a full breakdown of VAR in UEFA competition here.

     

Extra Time and Penalties

If Chelsea and Arsenal are tied after 90 minutes, the match will go into extra time. Extra time consists of two 15-minute halves, each with a referee-determined amount of stoppage time. Each club will receive an extra substitution—a fourth of the match—upon reaching extra time.

There is no sudden death or golden goal in extra time. Rather, a full 30 minutes of extra time will be played, regardless of how many goals are scored by either side. If a team is ahead after extra time, it wins the match.

If the score is still tied after extra time, the match will go to penalty kicks from 12 yards out. Each manager will select five of his own players and the order they take the penalties. The penalty shootout lasts five rounds, with one round constituting one penalty taken by each team. Whichever side converts more penalties of the five wins the shootout and the match.

If still tied after the initial five rounds, the shootout will go to sudden death. Each team will send a player to the penalty spot until one team's player scores and the other's does not. Each subsequent penalty taker must be a player who hasn't gone yet. It is possible for the shootout to reach the eleventh round, when goalkeepers are required to shoot, before the order returns to the top. Players who were subbed off during the match or who were left on the bench are not eligible to take a penalty.

    

What Does the Winning Team Receive?

Aside from the pride and joy of winning the competition, the biggest prize the Europa League champion receives is an automatic berth into the group stage of next season's UEFA Champions League. Given its fifth-place finish in the English Premier League, this award is especially significant to Arsenal because it's the Gunners last hope of playing Champions League football in 2019-20. Chelsea finished third in the EPL, guaranteeing a spot in the Group Stage, so the Blues squad will be playing for a trophy and the $50 million payout the winning club receives from UEFA.

    

Match Preview

The London rivals in the all-English final are very familiar with each other, having met twice already this season in Premier League play. Chelsea won 3-2 at Stamford Bridge, then Arsenal won 2-0 at Emirates Stadium. Chelsea won the only Europa League final it has ever reached, a 2-1 victory over Benfica in 2013, while Arsenal fell on penalties to Galatasaray in its only UEFA Cup final in 2000.

Italian manager Maurizio Sarri is in his first season with the Blues after spending three seasons in charge of Napoli, where his side played in the Europa League twice and Champions League once but never made it past the first knockout round in either competition.

His counterpart on the touchline in Baku will be Unai Emery, who has considerable experience around Europe, having managed Valencia, Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and PSG before his current role at Arsenal. Emery's greatest European success came with Sevilla, where he led the Spanish club to a Europa League three-peat from 2014-2016. 

On the injury front, Chelsea has some good and bad news going into the final. First the bad: midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has 4 Europa League goals, will miss the final with a left Achilles injury. On the good side: midfielder N'Golo Kante has returned to training ahead of the final after missing time with a hamstring strain.

For Arsenal, the biggest absence will not be injury related. Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not travel to Baku for safety reasons due to a longstanding conflict between his native Armenia and Azerbaijan that dates back to 1917.

On the pitch, keep your eyes glued to a pair of high-scoring duos that have had dominant runs in Europa League this season. The competition's leading scorer Olivier Giroud (10 goals) leads Chelsea's attack, and he will be joined by Eden Hazard—whose winning penalty sent the Blues to the final—in what could be the electric midfielder's last match with the club. With different lineups from Sarri, Giroud and Hazard have not been on the field a whole lot in Europa League, but together they form a significant danger to the Arsenal back line. 

At the other end, David Luiz and Chelsea's backline will have to figure out what no one else in the competition has been able to: how to cool off Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng and Alexandre Lacazette. That combo scored all seven of the Gunners' goals over both legs of the semifinals against Valencia, including an Aubamayeng hat trick in Leg 2. In Europa League play, they have combined for 13 goals and 7 assists. The 2019 Europa League Final could turn into a track meet.

    

Previous Winners

Formerly known as the UEFA Cup, the Europa League era began with a new format in 2009-10. Here's every winner of the competition since then:

2018: Atletico Madrid
2017: Manchester United
2016: Sevilla
2015: Sevilla
2014: Sevilla
2013: Chelsea
2012: Atletico Madrid
2011: Porto
2010: Atletico Madrid

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