Defeat to Arsenal in Europa League final would be 'disaster', admits Hazard

With London rivals Tottenham disputing Europe’s biggest club title, only a win in Baku will be sufficient for the Blues’ Belgian star

Chelsea star Eden Hazard has admitted that losing to Arsenal in the Europa League final would be a catastrophic way to sign off on the Blues’ roller-coaster 2018-19 season. 

The west London club have seen plenty of highs and lows over the last 12 months, falling way off the pace of Premier League title challengers Liverpool and Manchester City before finally sealing a top-four place at the end of the campaign. 

They also experienced final anguish at the hands of Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final and fought through to Wednesday’s Europa League decider in Baku, marking a drama-packed maiden term for coach Maurizio Sarri. 

Chelsea are now out to regain the European crown they last won in 2012-13, and Hazard is aware that defeat would hit hard.

“We want to be the best in London. Tottenham are in the Champions League final, that’s terrible,” the Belgium international explained to BT Sport prior to kick-off.

“If we lose against Arsenal, it’s going to be a disaster for the club, for the fans for the players.

“If we win a trophy it’s going to be a good season.”

Hazard has widely been linked with a move away from the club this summer, having hinted at the fact in the lead up to Wednesday’s match. 

Real Madrid are seen as the front-runners, with president Florentino Perez saying that he hopes to bring Hazard to Spain this summer.

Having missed out on a Champions League spot last season, Chelsea breezed through their Europa League group with five wins and a draw to finish ahead of BATE, Videoton and PAOK. 

Their journey to Wednesday’s final has since seen them down Malmo, Dinamo Kiev, Slavia Prague and Frankfurt, the latter beaten in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out after back-to-back 1-1 draws. 

Arsenal, meanwhile, eliminated BATE, Rennes, Napoli and Valencia in the knock-out stages to book this all-Premier League date in Baku.

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