This Europa League edition, with Arsenal and Chelsea, two rare compelling finalists, but in the run-up to the showdown between the Premier League clubs, and in particular, about a venue Baku. A preview of the fight between two London teams, to the great dissatisfaction on the coast in the far Azerbaijan is settled.
The Emirates Stadium (Arsenal) and Stamford Bridge (Chelsea) are only slightly more than 10 kilometres from each other. Rarely was it for the two Europa League finalists practically neighbors could be mentioned, but still have the fans a distance of over 4,000 kilometres to spend some time at their favorite club in action.
The UEFA was not particularly popular by Baku to choose from as a venue for the Europa League final and that is the last couple of weeks is not become better. Not only is the Azeri capital, difficult to reach and is a airline ticket is very pricey, many supporters may be the final not to attend.
Both Arsenal as Chelsea received the UEFA only 6,000 tickets, while the Olympic Stadium in Baku with a capacity of almost 70,000 seats. The chairs are hence barely occupied by fanatical fans, but by the sponsors.
The chance is even that the players of Arsenal and Chelsea in a poorly filled stadium to play. The Times looked for that at the two clubs less than the demand of cards, because the journey is for a lot of supporters simply too expensive or too difficult (less than in Baku flown).
Overview: Europa League-winners (2010-2017)
In 2010 he won Atletico Madrid the first Europa League, the successor of the UEFA Cup. In Hamburg after extra-time 2-1 is settled with Fulham.
FC Porto appropriated to itself, in 2011, the cup, in in Dublin the compatriots Braga 1-0 defeat.
Under the leadership of superspits Radamel Falcao won Atletico Madrid in 2012 for the second time in the Europa League. The team of Diego Simeone was with 3-0 far too strong for Athletic Bilbao.
Chelsea picked up in 2013 the trophy in the Amsterdam Arena with 2-1 win of Benfica. A year earlier had the ‘Blues’ even though the Champions League won.
In 2014 began the hegemony of Seville in the Europa League. After Benfica after penalty shoot-out defeat was, if captain Ivan Rakitic the cup to hold up in Turin.
In 2015, picked up Sevilla’s second victory in a row in the Europa League. Dnjpro Dnjpropetrovsk was with 3-2, back in Warsaw.
Last season finished Seville, the imposing trilogy. Liverpool had to in Basel 3-1 to believe.
In 2017 won Manchester United in the final in Stockholm with 2-0 Ajax.
Chelsea and Arsenal critical of UEFA
To the supporters, who did a card have to meet, it occurred to the local authorities in Azerbaijan, a very curious plan to via a detour in the hard-to-reach Baku. Fans would then be on the Georgian Tbilisi must fly, then give them a trip of 580 miles to Baku is waiting.
Chelsea responded wroth, and let us know that not a good alternative to find. The club followed the example of co-finalist Arsenal, that also stood up for the supporters and the choice for Baku even firmly criticized.
“We are very curious as to the criteria that UEFA uses in the choosing of the host cities for the finals and the European football body, taking into account the supporters. Because this is unacceptable and not worth repeating”, and wrote about Arsenal recently in a statement on the website.
The field is in good condition in Baku. ()
Arsenal without Mkhitaryan, political unrest
Not only from the fans is unrest, the political aspect casts a huge shadow over the final battle.
There has for many years been critical of the human rights situation in Azerbaijan looking for a political conflict of the country with Armenia even allows for that Arsenal Wednesday without Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the finals begins.
‘The Gunners’ are worried about the safety of the Armenian midfielder, which in the past often competitions in Baku for security reasons had to shoot and decided Mkhitaryan not to take them.
The Olympic Stadium in Baku. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Arsenal can finally CL-ticket tackle
Although the focus in the last few weeks especially on the organisational level, there is Wednesday night in Baku sporty lot on the game. Arsenal ended the Premier League season as the fifth set is not for the Champions League, but the Europa League provides a safety net for the team of manager Unai Emery.
If Arsenal in the final to win the club next season, just as Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the group stage of the miljoenenbal. It would be a huge boost for Arsenal, that in the season 2016/2017 for the last time a Champions League match played.
Chelsea hunts meanwhile, on the second Europa League win this decade. The ‘Blues’ won the second most important clubtoernooi in 2013 by Benfica in Amsterdam with a 2-1 defeat.
The finale of Wednesday starts at 21: 00 in Baku and is under the direction of the Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi.