Despite Arsenal’s domestic success throughout the years, they have not been able to translate this to European glory. Their Europa League final against Chelsea gives them the chance to win a rare European trophy.
Currently, the Gunners have the 1993/94 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and 1969/70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup trophies in their cabinet, however have fallen short in other years.
Prior to last season’s semi-final dismissal from the Europa League at the hands of Atlético Madrid, Arsenal experienced seven consecutive round of 16 eliminations in the Champions League.
Their last appearance in a European final came in the 2005/06 edition of the Champions League, where they lost 2-1 to Barcelona.
Arsenal’s last appearance in Europe’s second-tier club competition came in the 1999/00 season against Galatasaray, losing in a penalty shootout to the Turkish giants.
Manager Unai Emery is a three-time Europa League winner with Sevilla and this gives the Gunners a big chance to win another European trophy.
While a victory for Arsenal would be massive for them, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has the opportunity to achieve a feat of his own.
A Chelsea win would be Sarri’s first major trophy won in his managerial career.
He has come close to winning one, with the most recent being the defeat to Manchester City in this season’s EFL Cup final. He also guided Empoli to second place in the 2013/14 Serie B. Success in the Europa League would be a great personal achievement for the Italian manager and will allow him to finally get off the mark.
Excluding their International Champions Cup match in early August, this is the third encounter between the two English sides this season.
Chelsea defeated the Gunners 3-2 in the first match at Stamford Bridge in mid-August, while Arsenal won the return fixture 2-0 in January.
It is too difficult to predict who will win and it sure will be an interesting spectacle.