Chelsea left it until the very last gasps of today’s semi-final clash as they beat Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties to book their spot in the Europa League final.
After a pair of mid-week fixtures that saw English teams achieve a soon-to-be-legendary pair of victories in the Champions League, there was certainly some pressure on Maurizio Sarri’s side to at least do themselves justice in today’s Europa League semi-final clash with Eintracht.
Coming into the game with a 1-1 draw taken home from Germany, Chelsea enjoyed a good start to the game as Ruben Loftus-Cheek managed to dampen early fears of an upset to a certain extent with a goal taken just shy of the half-hour mark.
HAZARD TO LOFTUS-CHEEK GOAAAL!
This is becoming a regular occurrence now! pic.twitter.com/wAHC5nuG6J
— CM (@CFCJorg) May 9, 2019
Taking that their 2-1 aggregate lead into the dressing room at half-time would have no doubt allowed the Londoners to put some of their anxiety to one side heading into the second half.
Unfortunately for them, it was not to last too long as Luka Jovic managed to even the scores just four minutes after the game restarted.
Luka Jović has ice in his veins! ❄️
The deadly Serbian is put through on goal and slots it home 👏
It's all square at the Bridge… pic.twitter.com/55C9SA2w6N
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 9, 2019
And it stayed that way up until the ref called the game after 90 minutes.
Heading into extra-time with it all to play for, the tension could be felt in the air around Stamford bridge – especially after news came in that local rivals Arsenal booked their spot in the final after a 7-3 aggregate victory over Valencia.
Chelsea hearts were in their mouths just before the 100th minute as David Luiz saved his side’s blushes with a fantastic clearance off the line to see the sides into the second-half of extra time level.
Cesar Azpilicueta believed that he saved his side in the 115th minute, wheeling off in celebration thinking he had scored the winner. After a review of the situation it became clear that the Spaniard had bundled into the Eintracht goalkeeper illegally, ruling out the goal.
The teams were level even after the added time and so, we were treated to a penalty shootout.
It came down to the wire once again for the spotkicks but Eden Hazard stepped up and sealed Chelsea’s spot in the Europa League final with their fellow Londoners Arsenal.