David Luiz has been reflecting on the Europa League final and a successful end to a difficult season, as well as laughing off the claims of a training bust-up ahead of the match in Baku.
Following a fairly cautious first half against Arsenal, in which the two defences came out on top, Chelsea stepped up a gear to defeat the Gunners 4-1 in Azerbaijan and lift the Europa League trophy for the second time.
David Luiz, who was also in the Blues side who previously won the competition in 2013, credits that improvement to what was said in the dressing room at half-time.
‘It’s a secret! No, I think the first half was a half where both teams tried to analyse more and to see where was the space and that is what we did, we analysed the first half,’ said the Brazilian. ‘We had some chances but not clear like the second half. In the second half, when we had the first opportunity we scored, so it was great.
‘It means a lot, after many, many years to have the opportunity to be in Chelsea again and to be in a big, big final against a fantastic team and you win. It means a lot.
‘That’s the game to celebrate our hard work every single day. We were working for that and we give that for the supporters.’
The defender also feels ending the season with silverware, as well as securing our return to the Champions League, signifies a successful end to a campaign full of tough challenges.
‘We had some ups and downs but we learned a lot. We improved a lot during the season and I think we finished very, very well. We lost on penalties in the Carabao Cup final against City, being the best side, we qualified straight away for the Champions League after Liverpool and Man City, because they did amazing we could not get them this season in the Premier League, and we won a big title in Europe. So I think Chelsea’s great.’
He also dismissed the claims which had appeared in the media ahead of the Europa League final that he and Gonzalo Higuain had fallen out in a training session, causing an angry reaction from head coach Maurizio Sarri, explaining the watching journalists had just misread the situation and pointing to the performance on the pitch as evidence of a united Chelsea squad.
‘I think the guys watching didn’t analyse well. We just had some things during the training, this is normal, and then Maurizio was angry because he could not make the set-piece because those guys were there watching. That’s why he was angry, and then the media mix up a lot of things,’ explained David Luiz.
‘This is normal, in the game everybody saw the spirit of the team and also not just me and Gonzalo, everybody around Chelsea, everybody is important, and Gonzalo is my friend.’