Chelsea legend and assistant manager Gianfranco Zola famously scored the winner in the Cup Winners’ Cup final of 1998 and then played a key role when we added the UEFA Super Cup a few months later.
Zola is no stranger to winning a European competition and believes Chelsea deserve to be in the final after the Blues strolled for most part of the competition. However, Chelsea struggled against Slavia Prague and Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarterfinal and semifinal.
“We’ve been pretty consistent and we’ve played good football, and I would say we’ve deservedly made the final,” Zola said. “I’m very pleased and I think that goes for everyone too.
“This is a team and a club which means a lot to me. It’s great to see the club enjoying a success like reaching the final of the Europa League. There are, of course, players here who’ve won so much, but there are others, including members of staff, who haven’t won anything yet, so achieving an objective such as winning the Europa League would be extraordinary for everyone.|
“We’re very pleased to be competing for the trophy, although it won’t be an easy game. We’re all very excited about being involved in this fixture.”
Chelsea defeated Arsenal 3-2 at Stamford Bridge earlier this season but the Gunners deservedly won the reverse fixture 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium and were by far the better side.
Zola has admitted that the Gunners are a good side and could be dangerous on their day, while also revealing that Chelsea will plan to curtail the threats of Arsenal’s counterattack side.
“Arsenal are a team that have gone through some highs and lows, but when they are on a high, they’re an extremely dangerous side that can beat anyone,” said Zola.
“They’re extremely dangerous going forward, particularly on the counter-attack. They’re one of those sides that can make life difficult for anyone, and they’ll certainly do just that against us.
“We’ll have to do well to contain their drives forward and, at the same time, use our many qualities to hurt them. It’ll be an intense game that will be in the balance until the end.”