Chelsea faced off against Slavia Prague at the Sinobo Stadium earlier tonight looking to emerge victorious in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarterfinal tie. The Pensioners failed to dominate possession in the first half and struggled to create any opportunities going forward. Both teams fought tooth and nail but went into the half-time break with nothing to split them.
The second half was more of the same with the home team dictating play while Maurizio Sarri’s men tried to threaten on the counter. Chelsea finally managed to make the breakthrough in the 86th minute through Marcos Alonso’s header which sealed a narrow 1-0 win for the West London outfit.
Let’s take a look at how each Chelsea player performed during the match against Slavia Prague.
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6.5/10
The Spanish keeper was poor with his ball distribution throughout the game. He had a dismal first half but came back strong in the second as he made two excellent saves to secure a valuable clean sheet on the night.
RB: César Azpilicueta – 6/10
The home side tried to exploit his lack of pace down the wide areas, but he defended well to restrict the Slavia Prague attackers from scoring a goal.
CB: Antonio Rüdiger – 6.5/10
The German centre-back made a shaky start to the contest but recovered well to secure a shut-out at the back tonight.
CB: Andreas Christensen – 7/10
He kept his composure well when put under pressure by the opposing team. Christensen defended valiantly towards the latter stages of the encounter to earn a clean sheet for his team.
LB: Marcos Alonso – 6/10
The Spanish fullback scored a crucial away goal for Chelsea in the 86th minute, but other than that, his contribution on the pitch was quite limited. He needs to be dropped again at the weekend.
CM: Mateo Kovacic – 6/10
The Croatia midfielder battled hard for every loose ball in midfield but struggled to make an impact going forward.
CM: Jorginho – 5.5/10
The Italian talent passed the ball well from midfield but failed to create anything meaningful in the final third.
CM: Ross Barkley – 5/10
It was another mediocre display from the England international. He lacked invention and didn’t show enough tonight to merit a start against Liverpool on Sunday.
RM: Pedro – 5/10
The Spanish attacker struggled to influence the game in the attacking third of the pitch and was rightfully subbed by Sarri in the second half.
ST: Olivier Giroud – 5/10
The French centre-forward didn’t get enough service from his teammates. However, he was also guilty of not showing more hunger in the final third.
LM: Willian – 7.5/10
The Brazilian playmaker was Chelsea’s biggest weapon going forward. He was unfortunate not to score on the night when he hit the bar with his attempt in the first half. However, he did get the assist for Alonso’s goal when he put in an inviting cross into the Slavia Prague box.
RM: Eden Hazard – 6/10
The Belgian winger was direct with his runs but lacked the cutting edge in and around the Slavia penalty box.
CM: NGolo Kante – 6.5/10
The Frenchman was full of energy and running in midfield. His work ethic helped Chelsea get over the line and come away with a win from Prague.
CM: Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 7/10
The English prospect played a major part in the lead up to Alonso’s goal after coming on for the final quarter of the contest.