Chelsea Not at Their Best but Get the Job Done in Prague
Those who saw Chelsea play on Thursday night in their Europa League tie against Slavia Prague will have been very disappointed with their performance in the game. However, what matters is the scoreline, and they came away from the game with a vital 1-0 lead, which puts them in full control of the game as they host the second leg next week.
One positive that Chelsea fans can take ahead of the tie next week is that they played away from home on Thursday, and were very poor on the night, yet Slavia Prague were still not good enough to beat them. There is every chance we will see a better performance from Chelsea next week, giving them a great chance of winning that game, and qualifying for the last four of this competition.
Changes were needed off the bench after Chelsea fielded a slightly weakened team and when Eden Hazard was brought on, the pace certainly picked up a little. A draw would have suited Chelsea fine in the first leg but they went one better thanks to a goal from Marcos Alonso with just five minutes to go. It wasn't pretty, but it doesn't always need to be, it is the result that matters here.
The reason why Chelsea fielded a slightly weakened team was because they travel to Liverpool in the Premier League at the weekend. They go up north on Sunday, although they are not fancied to beat title chasing Liverpool, and Chelsea are available at 17/4 to win the game, while Liverpool can be backed at 63/100 as they look to continue their push for the title.