Eden Hazard scored the winning penalty as Chelsea edged past Eintracht Frankfurt 4-3 on penalties to set up an all-English Europa League final against Arsenal who beat Valencia 7-3 on aggregate courtesy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hat-trick.
Hazard, who could have played his final game for the Blues at Stamford Bridge, converted after Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, had saved both Martin Hinteregger’s and Goncalo Paciencia’s kicks.
Chelsea will now meet Arsenal in the final in Baku on May 29 and the result means both the Champions League and Europa League final will be played between English clubs this season – the first time all four finalists in Europe’s top two competitions have come from one nation.
With the score 1-1 after the first leg, Chelsea took the lead in the second when Ruben Loftus-Cheek coolly stroked into the far corner in the 28th minute, but the night was far from straight-forward.
Frankfurt levelled the tie four minutes after half-time when Luka Jovic slotted past Arrizabalaga after being played in by Mijat Gacinovic.
Jovic’s goal punished Chelsea for a sloppy start to the second half and the Blues continued to be wasteful as Stamford Bridge became increasingly restless.
In extra time the Germans twice had efforts cleared off the line with David Luiz first denying Sebastian Haller and then Davide Zappacosta clearing Haller again at a corner.
Chelsea thought they had won it late in extra time but Cesar Azpilicueta, who later missed first in the penalty shootout, had a goal ruled out when the referee deemed he had bundled the ball out of Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp’s hands.
Following Aubameyang’s brilliance, Arsenal are now one win away from Champions League qualification, while manager Unai Emery can make history by winning a record fourth Europa League crown.
Trailing 3-1 from the first leg in London, Kevin Gameiro’s close-range effort had given the hosts the early impetus.
However, Aubameyang’s right-foot volley from 20 yards levelled matters before Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal ahead with a placed effort into the right corner.
Gameiro, a four-time winner of the competition at Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, tapped in Valencia’s second of the night before Aubameyang rounded off the scoring.
The Gabon forward slid in from Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross and then blasted emphatically into the top corner late on to complete his hat-trick and a 4-2 win.
It means Arsenal, whose first away game of this Europa League campaign was in Azerbaijan against FK Qarabag, will return to the country to face Maurizio Sarri’s side in the final on Wednesday, 29 May (20:00 BST).
It will be the first all-English affair since Tottenham defeated Wolves over two legs in 1972, when the competition was known as the Uefa Cup – and the first time that all four finalists in Europe’s top two club competitions have come from one nation.