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Old 16-05-19, 06:08 PM   #4641
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Old 21-05-19, 12:58 PM   #4642
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Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not play in the Europa League final against Chelsea on 29 May.

It is understood the Armenian, 30, feared for his safety on the pitch in Baku, Azerbaijan.

"Having considered all current options, we had to take the tough decision for me not to travel with the squad to the Europa League final," said Mkhitaryan.

"It's the kind of game that doesn't come along very often and I admit, it hurts a lot to miss it."

As a result of political tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Mkhitaryan has missed club matches played in Azerbaijan in the past.

"We have written to Uefa expressing our deep concerns about this situation," read an Arsenal statement.

"We have thoroughly explored all the options for Micki to be part of the squad but after discussing this with Micki and his family we have collectively agreed he will not be in our travelling party.

"Micki has been a key player in our run to the final so this is a big loss for us from a team perspective.

"We're also very sad that a player will miss out on a major European final in circumstances such as this, as it is something that comes along very rarely in a footballer's career."

Arsenal, who finished fifth in the Premier League, will qualify for next season's Champions League if they beat Chelsea.

It would be their first European trophy since they won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.

On Monday, Azerbaijan's ambassador to the UK, Tahir Taghizadeh, said there was no cause for concern.

"I would say [to Mkhitaryan] 'you are a professional athlete, you are a footballer, and a class A footballer', so let's make sure this is a class A event if our purpose is to make a great final," Taghizadeh told Sky Sports.

"If our purpose is to play political games around it, that is something different, but I hope it is not, because you [Mkhitaryan] are being paid as a footballer, not as a politician, so let's leave other issues aside."

There are no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan because of a longstanding conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Azerbaijan usually does not allow foreign nationals of Armenian descent to enter the country.

While playing for Borussia Dortmund in 2015, Mkhitaryan did not travel for a Europa League tie against Azerbaijan Premier League side Gabala because of security concerns.

He also missed Arsenal's 3-0 Europa League win at FK Qarabag in October, with manager Unai Emery saying "he cannot travel here" despite Uefa offering their support over a visa application.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48348207
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Old 21-05-19, 01:42 PM   #4643
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Its disgraceful. Money has won the day again. Now a player cant do his job.

A lot of Arsenal fans I know wont care too much that he cant play, but its not the point.
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Old 28-05-19, 07:40 PM   #4644
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Old 28-05-19, 08:00 PM   #4645
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Old 28-05-19, 09:43 PM   #4646
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They should never have been given the final in the first place.
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Old 28-05-19, 11:50 PM   #4647
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It’s actually a really cool city, I’ve been there 4 times.
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Old 29-05-19, 09:42 AM   #4648
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On the basis of Chelsea already qualified for the CL, does Arsenal still need to win to get that CL spot for next season?
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Old 29-05-19, 10:59 AM   #4649
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On the basis of Chelsea already qualified for the CL, does Arsenal still need to win to get that CL spot for next season?
Yes
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Old 29-05-19, 01:41 PM   #4650
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FWIW.......I think I'll plump for Arsenal tonight.

Chelsea are just a bunch of massive cunts......can't stand any of them, bar Sarri and he'll be off in the summer.

Arsenal, by comparison, are relatively inoffensive. Plus it couldn't hurt having another one of the supposed big sides having a CL distraction.

Mainly the former though.
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Old 29-05-19, 06:28 PM   #4651
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Itís actually a really cool city, Iíve been there 4 times.
Local kick off time is 11pm ffs

Imagine pens at 1.30am local
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Old 29-05-19, 06:51 PM   #4652
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I feel dirty wanting an Chelsea win but my uncle is a massive Arsenal Fan and a massive tool so come on rent boys.
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Old 29-05-19, 06:54 PM   #4653
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Between arsenal and chelsea they have only sold 5000 tickets for tonight.

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Old 29-05-19, 07:54 PM   #4654
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Stadium looks like the Ethiad on a good day.

Well done UEFA
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Old 29-05-19, 07:57 PM   #4655
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More plastic flags than fans
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Old 29-05-19, 07:58 PM   #4656
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Stadium looks like the Ethiad on a good day.

Well done UEFA
Shameful. My neighbour is a chelsea fan who goes to games and he simply couldn't as he has young kids. Such a shambles.
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Old 29-05-19, 08:04 PM   #4657
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Anyone got any binoculars?
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Old 29-05-19, 08:09 PM   #4658
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It's like little ants playing football (badly) on me TV.

Nice that the fans, the few hundred that travelled, are half a km away from the action as well.
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Old 29-05-19, 08:13 PM   #4659
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Looks like one of those shitty pre season games where the camera angle is awful and the atmosphere is shite. Looks like their playing on painted cardboard.
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Old 29-05-19, 08:18 PM   #4660
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VAR check for a pen ?

Not given. Minimal contact on first replay, but the keeper certainly didn't get the ball.

Lacazette loves a tumble as well.
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Old 29-05-19, 08:22 PM   #4661
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So quiet you could actually here Emery clapping then
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Old 29-05-19, 08:23 PM   #4662
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Arsenal benefitting from the half empty stadium, something they're used to
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Old 29-05-19, 08:24 PM   #4663
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This is by far the worse European final I've seen. The camera angle is atrocious as is the atmosphere and ground. Don't know why they have all those stewards as it's a bloody marathon just to get to the pitch so there no danger of a pitch invasion.
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Old 29-05-19, 08:29 PM   #4664
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Kepa looks nervous as fuck. Think he'll make a blooper
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Old 29-05-19, 08:33 PM   #4665
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I look forward to UEFA announcing the next European finals will be staged in Chernobyl and Westeros
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Old 29-05-19, 08:39 PM   #4666
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This is a shit game.
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Old 29-05-19, 08:39 PM   #4667
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I look forward to UEFA announcing the next European finals will be staged in Chernobyl and Westeros
Probably easier to get to Westeros
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Old 29-05-19, 08:40 PM   #4668
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This is a shit game.
It's not even cagey, it's just poor quality
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Old 29-05-19, 08:45 PM   #4669
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has a preseason feel to it, players going their paces; shit camera angle, shit pictures ( i am watching on you tube thru tv, assume BT sport TV is better??). can hear the coaches throughout.

What a shambles
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Old 29-05-19, 08:45 PM   #4670
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It hurts me to say it but I want Chelsea to win - Arsenal in the champions league helps them financially. Chelsea have a transfer ban so it’s all the one to them re players
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Old 29-05-19, 08:46 PM   #4671
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Borrrrrrriiiiiinnnnngggggg

Probably 0-0 and pens
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Old 29-05-19, 08:46 PM   #4672
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nonethless, had liverpool been playing the place would have been full & buzzing; flags absolutely everywhere
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Old 29-05-19, 08:48 PM   #4673
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REf has had enough too 7 seconds injury time, when kepa was down for a good two mins
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Old 29-05-19, 08:50 PM   #4674
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That Kepa would be selling weed on the back of his scooter if he wasn't a footballer.
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Old 29-05-19, 08:56 PM   #4675
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It hurts me to say it but I want Chelsea to win - Arsenal in the champions league helps them financially. Chelsea have a transfer ban so itís all the one to them re players
Have to agree.

Also, I want to see some fans crying. Arsenal fans will cry if they lose, Chelsea morons probably wouldn't care
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Old 29-05-19, 09:06 PM   #4676
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Giroud puts the cunts up.
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Old 29-05-19, 09:06 PM   #4677
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Goal from nothing.

Good header!
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Old 29-05-19, 09:07 PM   #4678
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Excellent header to be fair.
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Old 29-05-19, 09:08 PM   #4679
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Typically of every time he plays, I had no idea Ozil was on the pitch.
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Old 29-05-19, 09:13 PM   #4680
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The masters of the time waste will make this half really frustrating to watch.

I've changed my mind and want Arsenal to win. Bollocks to finances, I just don't want to see Chelsea fans celebrating and belittling this competition at the same time
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