It was hard to begrudge Maurizio Sarri his moment. Chelsea’s head coach has endured such a difficult first season in English football, his achievement in steering the team to a third-place finish almost forgotten in the traumas, dissent and occasional tantrums delivered from the sidelines. This could yet prove to be his last match in charge, with Juventus apparently eager to lure him back to Italy. If so, at least he went out on a high.
The Europa League was claimed in spectacular fashion here in front of an often absent owner, a drab first half forgotten as Chelsea roused themselves to run riot, slicing through a desperate Arsenal defence at will. Sarri had never hoisted a major trophy before in a coaching career that has spanned two decades, but he joined a club who tend to claim silverware even when apparently unsettled. This all felt familiar.