As Chelsea beat Slavia Prague 4-3 (5-3 on aggregate) to progress to the semi finals of the Champions League, I look at the 5 key talking points from the second leg of this tie last night.
But before I get into the 5 key talking points, here are the highlights from last night’s match between Chelsea and Slavia Prague;
- Hazard started in a strong Chelsea XI– Surprisingly Sarri made some suprising changes to his XI today from the team that played against Liverpool.
Here was the teamsheet that came out at 7pm (UK time) yesterday;
Christensen was the only change in the back four from the team that played against Liverpool last Sunday.
Kovacic and Barkley came into the midfield 3, partnering Kante. Jorginho was on the bench, with Kovacic playing in the regista roll.
And Giroud and Pedro came into the front three.
Hudson-Odoi was on the bench, and Loftus-Cheek wasn’t even in the squad.
Here’s how a few Chelsea fans reacted to the line up;
2. Pedro and Giroud instrumental in all Chelsea’s first half goals- Giroud and Pedro were two players introduced from today’s team that didn’t play against Liverpool, and Sarri’s decision to play them today really payed off.
Both players really killed off the tie in the first half, with Pedro scoring two goals, and assisting two of the first half goals including the own goal, and Giroud scored one goal in the first half, and assisted Pedro’s first goal with some lovely link up play.
Check out the goals in the highlights at the top of this article.
3. Chelsea defensively shambolic- Chelsea attackingly were very good tonight, but defensively were totally out of depth last night- especially in the second half!
But what is said at half time? Because Chelsea collapse most times in the second half this season. Last night against Slavia, and against Liverpool on Sunday are two recent memories of the Blues starting the second half slowly, and being defensively shaky at the back.
And the main culpurate for Chelsea’s defensive woes was Emerson surprisingly.
Especially in the second half. The two goals both came down Emerson’s side. The third Slavia goal from Sevcik was unstoppable. However Emerson could have closed him down much quicker to stop him having the time on the edge of the box.
But the second goal was a mixture of Emerson and Kepa’s fault. Emerson let Sevcik on the inside and his shot should have been saved easily by Kepa, but the ball somehow nestled in the net.
4. Slavia showed real heart and desire to make game of it last night- Sevcik and Soucek were the two Slavia players who caused Chelsea the most problems tonight.
Sevcik bagged two goals for his side last night, and assisted Soucek’s goal, whilst Soucek scored a goal and assisted two of Sevcik’s goals. So these two really linked up well last night and caused Chelsea’s defence multiple problems.
5. Kovacic was bang average again- News came out recently that Kovacic was in talks with Zenit Saint Petersburg over a summer transfer to the Russian club, and this came as a delight to many Chelsea fans, as he has been underwhelming since joining Chelsea on loan from Real Madrid at the start of the season.
With that in mind, the Croatian had a chance to put a good performance in last night in the regista roll, and change a few Chelsea fans opinions about him. But he failed to do that, as he underperformed once again in a Chelsea shirt.
All he did in the game was simple passes forward, and passing sideways and backwards like he does every game.
Here were how a few Chelsea fans reacted to his performance last night;
Chelsea next play on Monday against Burnley in the Premier League at 8pm (UK time), whilst Slavia take on FC Zlin on Sunday at 4pm (UK time) in the Czech league.
In terms of the next round, Chelsea will play Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi final of the Europa League, after they overturned a 4-2 deficit to win against Benfica in the second leg of their quarter final (2-0).
Comment down below- what were your thoughts on the game last night?
By Danyal Khan