The Europa League final went on with a whimper, not a bang, on Wednesday night, with Chelsea handily defeating Arsenal 4-1.
The scene should have been an electric one, with two crosstown rivals from London facing off for the opportunity to lift a trophy. It was also a chance for Arsenal to earn a coveted spot in next year’s Champions League.
But despite the stakes and the history between two of London’s perennial contenders, the match was something of a snoozefest, with a lack of energy in the stands that translated its way onto the pitch and then through the broadcast to all those watching at home.
Normally, such a game would be played in front of a packed crowd, but the final was played in Azerbaijan — nearly 3,000 miles from London. The stands were instead largely empty, especially when you consider that