Bundesliga: It’s Bayern’s Title to Lose

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Bayern Munich vs Eintracht Frankfurt

Bayern Munich had their chance to clinch the Bundesliga title with a game to spare last week against RB Leipzig. However, they were only able to get a draw, which is a fair result away from home against one of the best and most in-form sides in the league.

Bayern will have another shot to seal the deal as they host Eintracht Frankfurt in the final day of the season. The Bavarians only need to avoid defeat to secure their seventh straight championship, and the Bundesliga 2019 betting odds back them to do just that.

But Frankfurt are still fighting for European football next season and won’t be ready to just hand the championship over to their hosts.

Talking Points

Bayern’s ultimate advantage

Bayern couldn’t quite clinch the title by beating Leipzig, which is understandable. After all, Leipzig haven’t lost since going down to Dortmund just after returning from the winter break.

But on the bright side, Bayern will now get a chance to secure the Bundesliga crown in front of their own supporters.

As impressive as Bayern have been during the second half of the season, all their setbacks (three draws, one defeat) have come away. At home, though, Bayern have been simply untouchable. They have won each of their last 10 home matches in the Bundesliga.

Aside from 1-0 wins over Hertha and Werder Bremen, they have generally been a free-scoring side at the Allianz Arena. They’ve scored at least three goals in seven of their 10 straight home wins.

The big Bundesliga 2019 news for Bayern is that Goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer is a doubt to feature in the season finale due to a calf injury. But his absence shouldn’t be a massive loss. Sven Ulreich is a capable replacement who has done well filling in for Neuer over the past five matches.

Thiago Alcantara and James Rodriguez are also on track to play some part against Frankfurt after their own injury concerns.

As they showed when they thrashed Dortmund 5-0 in what was ostensibly a Der Klassiker title decider, this experienced Bayern side is not fazed by pressure and is fully capable of rising to the occasion in order to clinch the title.

Eintracht Frankfurt have a Champions League spot to play for when take on 27-time Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich

Eintracht Frankfurt’s Jonathan de Guzman, Makoto Hasebe, Goncalo Paciencia and Martin Hinteregger look dejected after the match

Frankfurt in freefall

A season which was so promising for the most part could end up being a bit of a disappointment for Eintracht Frankfurt. Due to a disastrous end-of-season slump, Frankfurt are in peril of not having Europe football next season.

Frankfurt have won just one of their last nine matches in all competitions and none of their five Bundesliga fixtures during that time (three defeats, two draws).

 Perhaps not coincidentally, Frankfurt’s decline began as they reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League. They made a decision to concentrate on that tournament with the hope of getting as deep as possible.

In fairness to them, they ended up coming very close to reaching the final as they lost to Chelsea on penalties in the semis. But now, Frankfurt need to beat Bayern to guarantee a return to Europe next season.

The good news for Frankfurt is that striker Sebastien Haller has finally returned after a long injury lay-off. Meanwhile, top scorer Luka Jovic (27 goals in all competitions), who hasn’t scored in the league since the start of April, found the net in both legs against Chelsea.

With a forward trio of Jovic, Haller, and Ante Rebic, Frankfurt do have the talent to trouble Bayern’s defence. But given their recent struggles, coupled with Bayern being at home with a championship on the line, an upset seems highly unlikely.

Meanwhile, there’s also Eintracht Frankfurt’s horrendous history against Bayern which will weigh heavily against them.

History

Bayern Munich hold a sizable edge over Frankfurt in terms of their all-time head-to-head record. Bayern have 55 wins to Frankfurt’s 21, with 21 draws.

However, Bayern have dominated the recent meetings between the two. They are undefeated in 16 of their last 17 matchups against Frankfurt, with 13 wins and three draws.

Bayern thrashed Frankfurt by an aggregate of 8-0 in their first two meetings this season — 5-0 in the German Super Cup and 3-0 at Frankfurt back in December.

That was likely revenge after Frankfurt — led by current Bayern manager Niko Kovac — pulled a stunning 3-1 upset against Bayern in the DFB Pokal final.

Betting Tip

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Bayern Munich vs Eintracht Frankfurt First Half Asian Handicap Bayern Munich -1.00 @ 2.20
May 18, 21:30(GMT+8)

Bayern Munich seldom leave things late at home. More often than not, they blitz their opponents early and are very much in control by half-time.

With the anticipation of another potential title just 90 minutes away, Bayern should come out of the gates quickly and hit Frankfurt early.

Frankfurt completely collapsed and coughed up six goals within the first 36 minutes to Leverkusen in their last league away game. And while it’s unlikely to get that bad for Frankfurt, Bayern certainly have the ability to inflict similar punishment.

That’s why my tip is to take Bayern -1.00 on the First Half Asian Handicap market, which is priced at 2.20 at us.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Schwegler becomes Wanderers first signing

Western Sydney Wanderers have signed former Switzerland international midfielder Pirmin Schwegler.

The 32-year-old has joined on a one-year contract as Wanderers begin their planning for 2019/20.

Markus Babbel failed to guide the club into the Finals Series this year, the team finishing 16 points off the top six.

They made a move for Schwegler, who played 14 times for Switzerland over a five-year period up to 2014.

The former Eintracht Frankfurt player said: "For me, an opportunity had arisen to fulfil a lifelong dream. I got the opportunity to live for a while in Australia and it was an opportunity that I did not know would come again."

Schwegler moves from Hannover 96, and will link up with his new teammates next month.

"I am very excited to join the Western Sydney Wanderers and I am counting down the days until I arrive," he said. "I am very proud to be part of the Red & Black and look forward to getting started."

Meanwhile, Sydney FC full back Michael Zullo is dealing with a minor shoulder injury ahead of Sunday's Grand Final against Perth Glory.

The Australia international wasn't able to train fully on Tuesday, after being hurt in the second half of the Sky Blues' 6-1 semi-final win over Melbourne Victory.

He was restricted to light jogging only on Tuesday but coach Steve Corica is hopeful he will be fully fit for the decider.

Zullo was forced off the field 13 minutes from the end after being fouled by Victory's Kosta Barbarouses earlier in the game.

Sydney FC are 1/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Sky Blues are 11/5 to win in 90 minutes, with Perth 5/4 and the draw 12/5.

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Sarri: Chelsea deserve final glory

Maurizio Sarri believes the progress his Chelsea side have made in recent months means they deserve Europa League final glory.

The Italian found himself under the cosh as the winter turned into spring but has engineered a turnaround in his team's form, losing just twice since going down on penalties in the EFL Cup final to Manchester City.

That match at Wembley appeared a watershed moment as Sarri tightened up his fluid formation to shackle City and his players have benefitted with a top-four spot in the Premier League now guaranteed.

Chelsea could also end the campaign with silverware after booking their place in the Europa League final later this month following a dramatic penalty shootout win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga saved from both Martin Hinteregger and Goncalo Paciencia before Eden Hazard rolled in the winner to book the Blues' place in Baku.

Premier League rivals Arsenal will be the opponents on 29th May and after the ups and downs of the campaign, Sarri believes his team deserve to end on a high.

"We played a first final this season and we lost so now we want to win," he said. "Our group deserve to as three months ago we were in trouble.

"It is not easy to overcome difficulties here because the opposition teams are so strong, but we were able to do it so now we deserve to win a trophy."

Chelsea are 5/4 to win in the Azeri capital, with the draw 12/5 and Arsenal 21/10.

The Blues, who lifted the Europa League in 2013 are 4/6 to win the trophy, with the Gunners 11/10.

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Sarri – Chelsea deserve final glory

Maurizio Sarri believes the progress his Chelsea side have made in recent months means they deserve Europa League final glory.

The Italian found himself under the cosh as the winter turned into spring but has engineered a turnaround in his team's form, losing just twice since going down on penalties in the EFL Cup final to Manchester City.

That match at Wembley appeared a watershed moment as Sarri tightened up his fluid formation to shackle City and his players have benefitted with a top-four spot in the Premier League now guaranteed.

Chelsea could also end the campaign with silverware after booking their place in the Europa League final later this month following a dramatic penalty shootout win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga saved from both Martin Hinteregger and Goncalo Paciencia before Eden Hazard rolled in the winner to book the Blues' place in Baku.

Premier League rivals Arsenal will be the opponents on 29th May and after the ups and downs of the campaign, Sarri believes his team deserve to end on a high.

"We played a first final this season and we lost so now we want to win," he said. "Our group deserve to as three months ago we were in trouble.

"It is not easy to overcome difficulties here because the opposition teams are so strong, but we were able to do it so now we deserve to win a trophy."

Chelsea are 5/4 to win in the Azeri capital, with the draw 12/5 and Arsenal 21/10.

The Blues, who lifted the Europa League in 2013 are 4/6 to win the trophy, with the Gunners 11/10.

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Europa League: Hazard on the Spot for Chelsea!

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Chelsea 1-1 (2-2 agg, 4-3 pens) Eintracht Frankfurt

Chelsea is through to the final of the 2019 Europa League after beating Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties, with Eden Hazard striking the decisive blow.

But Adi Hutter’s Eintracht can feel proud of their efforts on a night they pushed Chelsea to the limit. The Blues had the perfect start when Ruben Loftus-Cheek put them ahead, but Eintracht’s top scorer Luka Jovic levelled to take the tie to penalties.

Both sides had chances to win the game, with the visitors coming close in injury time, but the stage was set for Hazard to take the spoils with what could well be his last kick of a ball at Stamford Bridge.

Tonight’s other big Europa League 2019 news was the spectacular performance of Arsenal in Valencia, where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired a hat-trick to take the Gunners to an all England final in Baku with a 3-7 aggregate win.

Highlights of the game

Eintracht knew they needed to score tonight, and thought they had on 15 minutes when Danny da Costa hit the sweetest of volleys towards the corner of the net, but Kepa made a stunning one handed save to turn it past the post.

Roared on by the Stamford Bridge crowd, Chelsea had two good chances to go ahead; First, Emerson crossed for Olivier Giroud and the Frenchman brought a smart save from Kevin Trapp. Then Eden Hazard centred a ball which David Luiz back headed towards the goal, only for Makoto Hasebe to make a spectacular goal-line clearance.

But the hosts didn’t have long to wait before they nudged ahead.

After seven great seasons for Chelsea, Eden Hazard finally looks to be on his way to Real Madrid, and so this could well have been his final game at Stamford Bridge. Sarri put him out on the wing, and it took him a while to make a big impact, but on 28 minutes he made his mark, beating two defenders and then feeding Ruben Loftus-Cheek who finished confidently, rolling the ball into the bottom corner.

Luka Jovic scores a penalty during shootout against Chelsea in Europa League clash

Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic scores a penalty during the shootout against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

The goals of Luka Jovic have fired Eintracht to a successful domestic campaign and he scored his tenth Europa League goal to level the scores soon after the break. He took a return pass from Mijat Gacinovic, cleverly threaded through the Chelsea defence before sliding the ball past Kepa.

That goal lifted the away fans and gave Frankfurt more belief, and Gacinovic tested Kepa with a volley which the Chelsea stopper palmed away. For the hosts, David Luiz tried his luck from distance but pulled his shot well wide. Giroud had a shot from way out which Trapp gathered at the second effort as normal time ran out.

The Germans peppered the Chelsea goal line in extra time with substitute Sebastien Haller having two efforts cleared off the line, and then Chelsea’s Davide Zappacosta tested Trapp with a blistering shot which the Frankfurt keeper saved to take the tie to penalties.

Chelsea skipped Cesar Azpilicueta missed his spot kick; but Kepa brought Chelsea level with a save from Martin Hinteregger, and put the hosts in charge with another stop from Goncalo Pacencia to set the stage.

Up stepped Eden Hazard, and as the whole crowd expected, the brilliant Belgian slotted home the winner.

Key statistics

The pre-match Europa League 2019 betting odds here at us had Chelsea as hot favourites to reach the final at odds of 1.36, while Frankfurt was at 7.00.

The Germans put up a mighty fight, and it went right down to the wire. But the Blues have made their first European final since 2013 after 120 minutes of end to end football.

No Frankfurt player has scored more goals in a European tournament than Luka Jovic who bagged his tenth, and can feel himself unlucky to end up on the losing side.

It won’t be much of a consolation, but Eintracht have scored in all seven of their away games in this Europa League.

1X2 Inter Milan @ 1.15 Over 3.50 @ 2.00 Total Goal 2-3 @ 2.35 Third Line text CLICK HEREDisclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.Serie A

What’s next?

Maurizio Sarri’s team guaranteed themselves a Champions League berth for next season with a 3-0 win over Watford last weekend; so they will be able to relax a little when they face a difficult task on the final day, away to Leicester City.

Eintracht Frankfurt is fourth in the Bundesliga and locked on 54 points with Bayer Leverkusen. Both have home games this weekend; Bayer hosts FC Schalke on Saturday before Eintracht hosts FSV Mainz on Sunday. That tussle for Champions League football looks likely to go to the final weekend, with Borussia Monchengladbach and VFL Wolfsburg still in the hunt.

 

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Sarri questions Kante return

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri says midfielder N'Golo Kante faces a race against time to be fit for the Europa League final, should the Blues reach the showpiece.

The Londoners claimed a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their semi-final tie and will hope to finish the job off in the Stamford Bridge return on Thursday evening.

However, France midfielder Kante will be absent due to a hamstring strain sustained in the 3-0 Premier League win over Watford last weekend, an injury which could force him to miss the final games of the season.

Sarri told reporters at his pre-match press briefing: "He had a problem with his hamstring. He needs to rest for a couple of weeks so we can try to recover him for the final.

"We can try – I'm not sure he will be back."

Meanwhile, Sarri has warned his side not take anything for granted against Frankfurt, with the Blues hoping to set up a final showdown in Baku with the winner of the tie between Arsenal and Valencia.

He added: "It's not easy because we have to play a dangerous team, as we saw in the first leg. They are dynamic, aggressive and dangerous in the offensive phase.

"In a semi-final you always have to play against a strong team with strong players, so it's difficult to say we are favourites.

"Our next target is to reach the final and then to win the final, because our feeling is we deserve a trophy."

Chelsea are available at 4/11 to win the game on Thursday evening in normal time and are 6/1 to claim a 2-0 victory, with Eden Hazard priced at 5/6 to score at any time.

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Europa League: Chelsea on the Cusp of Another Cup Final

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Chelsea vs Eintracht Frankfurt

Chelsea’s season is suddenly looking quite successful. They have secured Champions League football for next season after a 3-0 win over Watford over the weekend. And while they were unable to win the Carabao Cup, they could have another shot at silverware if they can reach the final of the Europa League.

The Blues are in a good spot to do so after a 1-1 draw in the first leg against Eintracht Frankfurt. So now, a goalless draw or a win at Stamford Bridge in the second leg will see them through.

The Chelsea vs Eintracht Frankfurt betting odds don’t favour the Germans to get a shock away win, as they head into the second leg not having tasted victory in quite a while. But with a lethal striker like Luka Jovic lurking, this tie is still far from over.

Talking Points

Chelsea in control at home

Things are looking up for Chelsea. After picking up a decent draw in Germany, they came back and beat a very competent Watford side. The Blues blew the Hornets away in the second with three goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, David Luiz, and Gonzalo Higuain. Eden Hazard also supplied two assists.

That win was actually Chelsea’s first in their last six matches following a Europa League assignment. It was also another example of how impressive the Blues can be at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have lost just once in their last 16 home matches in all competitions (14 wins, two draws). Moreover, they’ve scored two or more goals in 14 of those games, which is quite impressive for its consistency.

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Chelsea have been especially prolific at home in Europe. They’ve put up at least three goals in each of their last five Europa League matches at home. They scored four goals inside the first half an hour to settle their tie against Slavia Prague.

Chelsea also gave up three goals in that match, which does not happen often. The Blues had given up just one goal in their first five home matches in the competition.

With the way Frankfurt have been playing at the moment, it will be hard to see Chelsea not putting up at least a couple more goals in the second leg.

Frankfurt’s form has fallen

Eintracht Frankfurt will head into the second leg against Chelsea in horrific form. Since beating Benfica 2-0 in the second leg of their quarter-final, they have failed to win their next four games (three draws and a loss).

They were most recently dealt a disastrous 6-1 hammering by Bayer Leverkusen, who have now tied fourth-placed Frankfurt on points. Granted, manager Adolf Hutter made some changes to his side, which included resting star striker Luka Jovic ahead of this second leg.

But still, it doesn’t bode well for morale to get spanked away from home, especially as it comes on the heels of a huge European away trip.

On the bright side for Frankfurt, though, the big Europa League 2019 news for them is that they will get Ante Rebic back after he missed the first leg due to suspension. The Croatian should provide more support for Jovic, which Frankfurt desperately need Sebastien Haller still sidelined due to injury.

Europa League: Eintracht Frankfurt have been win-less in their last four matches

Eintracht Frankfurt Players are looking dejected after losing against Bayer Leverkusen

Frankfurt adopted a very defensive approach in the first leg, which succeeded in frustrating Chelsea. But they’ll need to come out and attack at some point at Stamford Bridge because of the Blues’ away goal.

Frankfurt have shown they’re fully capable of pulling off results away from home in Europe. They went to Italy and beat both Lazio and Inter earlier in the competition.

Although, they were beaten 4-2 by Benfica in their latest away assignment. Granted, they were down to 10 men for most of the match after an Evan Ndicka red card.

History

Chelsea’s amazing home form isn’t a one-season wonder. The Blues have actually gone a record 16 games unbeaten at Stamford Bridge in the Europa League, with 14 wins. That streak dates back to 2013 when they won the entire competition.

Chelsea have a similarly impressive home record against German visitors, winning six of eight matches. Overall, they have 10 wins, six draws, and four defeats in 20 matches against Bundesliga opposition.

On the other side, Eintracht Frankfurt have an impressive away record in the Europa League, with seven wins, two draws, and two defeats. However, only one of those wins have come in the knockout stages.

Moreover, Frankfurt have lost three of the four UEFA ties in which they have drawn the first leg at home. Although, they were finally able to win in that scenario this season against Inter.

Betting Tip

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Chelsea vs Eintracht Frankfurt Asian Handicap Chelsea -1.25 @ 1.83
May 10, 03:00 (GMT+8)

This tie is really Chelsea’s to lose. They have the critical away goal, so a goalless draw would be enough to see them through. But given their impressive home form, they really should win the second leg to secure that final berth.

And with Frankfurt struggling for form, there’s also a decent chance that Chelsea win somewhat comfortably at the Bridge. us Asian Handicap sports betting has Chelsea winning by 1.25 goals priced at 1.83.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Loftus-Cheek revels in ‘best spell’

Midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek hopes to round off the best spell of his career to date by helping Chelsea go all the way in the Europa League.

The 23-year-old England international has made 38 appearances for the Blues so far this season, although only five of those outings have come as a starter in the Premier League

In comparison he has made seven starts in the Europa League, helping the Blues reach the semi-finals, where they secured a 1-1 draw away to Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their last-four meeting.

And Loftus-Cheek is hoping to end the campaign on a high note, having managed a back problem for much of the season.

He told reporters: "We've achieved Champions League football, but this is a chance to reach a final. At Chelsea we want to win trophies, so this is a massive opportunity for us.

"It will feel different for me to win a trophy this season, because I have helped the team so much in the Europa League campaign.

"This is the best spell of my Chelsea career in terms of games and goals. It is due to playing more and being largely injury-free.

"I've learned how to manage my ongoing back issues and have been free from problems for weeks. Playing every three days means I need to rest properly and work with the medical staff, but they are finding solutions."

Chelsea are 4/11 to win the second leg against Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge in normal time, with the Blues 6/1 to secure a 2-0 victory in 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, Maurizio Sarri's side are 10/11 to win the Europa League, with London rivals Arsenal priced at 15/8.

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Sarri explains Hazard’s omission

Maurizio Sarri insists nothing should be read into his decision to leave Eden Hazard out of Chelsea's starting line-up for the game against Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Belgian, who is being linked with a summer transfer to Real Madrid, came on in the 61st minute as last season's FA Cup winners came from behind to draw their Europa League semi-final first leg in Germany 1-1.

Sarri said he came to his decision so that Hazard could remain fresh for Sunday’'s Premier League match against Watford.

"For a player that has 70 matches in a season, starting him from the bench is a normal reaction," said the former Napoli boss. "We have to play again in 62 hours.

"I don't speak with the players that I want to put on the bench. He is a player, so I have to do it otherwise I have to speak to everyone. He was normal, joking as usual. He knows the truth very well."

Meanwhile, Sarri was quick to praise Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic after the Serbian opened the scoring in the match – Pedro grabbing Chelsea's equaliser.

"We need to be careful," Sarri added. "We need to play with the same mentality. They are very dangerous especially with Jovic, a great player. They are dynamic and very aggressive."

Chelsea are 2/5 to beat Watford on Sunday and 4/11 to finish in the top four of the Premier League while they can be backed at 2/7 to qualify for the Europa League final.

Europa League: Advantage Chelsea

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Chelsea

It’s all square in the Europa League semi-final after Eintracht Frankfurt shared the spoils with Chelsea in an entertaining first leg at the Commerzbank Arena.

A goal on the stroke of half time, courtesy of Pedro, drew Chelsea level after Luka Jovic had given the hosts an early lead, and that give the Blues a big advantage as the second leg action heads to Stamford Bridge.

Adi Hutter’s Eintracht had their chances but Chelsea dominated possession and ultimately came closer to adding to the score, but Maurizio Sarri will be happy enough with the away goal. The Blues came into this game on the back of Premier League draws against Burnley and Manchester United, but according to the Europa League 2019 odds at us they were favourites to lift this trophy at the kick off.

And that target is very much on.

1X2 SC Freiburg 2.17 Over 2.75 @ 1.81 Total Goal 2-3 @ 2.00 Third Line text CLICK HEREDisclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.Bundesliga

Highlights of the game

With Ante Rebic suspended and Sebastian Haller out with a stomach injury the hosts were a little light up front; but that just meant more work for their Europa League top scorer Luka Jovic, and he netted his ninth of the tournament midway through the first half. Filip Kostic raced down the left flank and hit a low centre which the 21 year old Serb got down to head home.

And the hosts had a great chance to make it two when Sebastian Rode swung a ball across which deflected off Olivier Giroud and almost into the path of Simon Falette, but he was inches away from getting the vital touch.

As half time approached Chelsea had their best spell of the game and they got their reward on 45 minutes. Ruben Loftus-Cheek did well on the edge of the area, beating two defenders and then laying the ball off to Pedro who controlled superbly before firing it into the far corner.

Hutter said before the game that his players would have to double up on Hazard to keep Chelsea’s best player quiet. But it was easier than he had expected in the first half as Sarri started with his main man on the bench.

The Blues were in the ascendency though and started the second half well; and were inches away from going ahead when they won a free-kick just outside the area. David Luiz lifted the dead ball kick over the wall only to see Trapp tip it onto the crossbar. That was enough encouragement for Sarri to go for the win and he brought Hazard on just after the hour.

Chelsea had a great chance to go ahead when Loftus-Cheek was in on goal but he blasted his shot straight at Trapp and Hazard shot over the bar when he should really have scored. But Frankfurt finished strongly and had a series of chances to win the first leg. Abraham headed a golden chance over the bar from a corner when he was totally unmarked, and then Luiz was on hand to clear when Jovic was poised to score his second.

Maurizio Sarri hopeful for Chelsea to win over Eintracht Frankfurt in first leg of Europa League semi-final

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri gestures during the Europa League semi-final at Eintracht Frankfurt

Key statistics

Eintracht is this year’s outsider in the Europa League, and while they put up a good fight and are still in the tie, they were on the back foot for long periods as Chelsea enjoyed 67 per cent possession and won the shot count by 16 shots to six.

Frankfurt won the only previous meeting, a friendly back in 2010 but they will do well to maintain their unbeaten record against the Blues next week.

Sarri is now unbeaten in his last 14 games in the Europa League in what was Chelsea’s ninth major European semi-final since Roman Abramovich bought the Blues.

The other Europa League 2019 news of the night was that Arsenal had scored a late third goal to beat Valencia 3-1 at the Emirates to keep alive the chances of an all English final.

What’s next?

After a tough night’s work it doesn’t get any easier for the hosts. Frankfurt is in a four way battle for fourth place in the Bundesliga, and a difficult trip away to sixth placed Bayer Leverkusen awaits Hutter’s team on Sunday, before they head to West London to complete this tie.

Chelsea finishes its domestic season with a home game against FA Cup finalists Watford, which could see them secure a top four place, and then a big test away to Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City. If they need a result there, against the resurgent Foxes, it will be squeaky bum time for sure!

 

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