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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Three clubs that benefit from Chelsea's Europa League win

Three clubs that benefit from Chelsea's Europa League win

GABRIEL BOUYS

AFP

Maurizio Sarri led the Stamford Bridge side to third place in the Premier League and a European trophy. But he may not realise which other fans were celebrating.

In recent years, the winner of the Europa League has had an extra incentive. As well as picking up the European trophy and the esteem that goes with it, the club would also enter the Champions League, at the group stage. Wednesday's final in Baku carried various knock-on effects for other clubs on the continent.

Chelsea win celebrated in Lyon

After finishing fifth in the English Premier League, a victory Unai Emery's Arsenal, would have seen them play in UEFA's top club competition. As it turned out, Chelsea ran off to a comfortable second half triumph and left the Gunners looking ahead to Thursday night football once again. Mauricio Sarri's Blues had already assured themselves of Champions League football next season by finishing third in the English top flight, and a therefore a place was left up for grabs.

Unbeknownst to many watching the final, there were other clubs around Europe keeping a close eye on proceedings for their own purposes. And the great beneficiary of Chelsea's win is Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon, who ended their domestic campaign in third place, who now enter the Champions League in the group stage rather than the third qualifying round.

The trickle down effect also sees two other teams gain with Istanbul Basaksehir (second in Turkey) and LASK Linz (second in Austria) skipping a qualifying round.

Another benefit for the actual winners of the Europa League is that they will move from a second to a first seed in the 2019/20 group draw. Chelsea join the top seeds.