It was all to play for between London rivals in Baku. A place in next season's Champions League. A European trophy. A place in history, for either Unai Emery or Maurizio Sarri.
Arsenal were the side most under pressure ahead of kick-off, with their opponents Chelsea having already booked their place in the Champions League next year, but some nerves for Kepa Arrizabalaga nearly presented Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with an early opening goal.
A goal kick was initially given, and although there was clear contact in the box, the Europa League final's Video Assistant Referee didn't deem there to be a clear an obvious error - something which went down very well on social media...
Granit Xhaka then saw an effort kiss the top of Chelsea's crossbar with a long-range effort on his weaker right foot (yes, Xhaka does have a right foot), but their ability to survive Arsenal's early pressure allowed the Blues to grow into the game.
Emerson and Olivier Giroud forced Petr Čech - making his last ever appearance as a professional footballer against his former club Chelsea - into two smart saves, but both sides ended up going into the break on level terms.
It didn't take long for the deadlock to be broken after the break, however, as just four minutes into the second half, Giroud pounced on a low cross from Emerson to guide a diving header into Čech's near post.
And within the blink of an eye, Chelsea doubled their lead.
Eden Hazard picked out an onrushing Pedro to fire the ball into the far corner of the net, leaving Pedro helpless to stop his former side from taking a two-goal lead.
As if things couldn't get any worse for Arsenal, Ainsley Maitland-Niles's reckless tackle on Olivier Giroud inside the penalty area gave Hazard the chance to score in what many expect to be his last ever game for the club.
There was very little doubt when the Belgium international stepped up to take it, and Hazard coolly sat Čech down before rolling the ball into the opposite side of the net.
But just as Arsenal looked down and out, substitute Alex Iwobi fired the ball into the back of the net with a stunning effort from the edge of the box, offering Unai Emery's side a glimmer of hope of a remarkable comeback.
Surely Arsenal couldn't complete a remarkable comeback, could they?
No. They couldn't.
In fact, the Gunners went on to concede almost straight away, with Giroud and Hazard combining before the Belgian winger converted with one of the easiest goals of his career.
Chelsea continued to press for a fifth as the game went on. But for Arsenal, the realisation that Thursday nights were on the cards yet again started to sink in.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed chances in the closing stages of the match which they would normally take in their sleep, while youngster Joe Willock wasted a sitter with a few minutes left on the clock.
The game fizzled out, with Chelsea seeing things out through to the final whistle with ease.
The scoreline might be deceptive on the face of it, but Maurizio Sarri's side timed things to perfection and they were at their brilliant best just Arsenal were at their worst, running out deserved winners of the Europa League final.