Europa League: Chelsea qualify thanks to late goal


Eden Hazard found the back of the net in the second minute of stoppage time to send Chelsea through against Sparta Prague in the Europa League. The Belgian youngster, who came on as a substitute, broke into the box and powered a shot past Tomas Vaclik make it all square on the night and preserve the Blues' one-goal advantage from the first leg. The visitors had levelled the tie when David Lafata struck in the 17th minute. Chelsea could have equalised a lot earlier but striker Fernando Torres missed a plethora of chances before Hazard's late winning goal.

The Spanish forward had two very good chances early on but he wasted them and the visitors took the lead on 18 minutes when Vaclav Kadlec skipped past Cahill before setting up Lafata who fired into the net from eight yards out. Chelsea tried to react but despite enjoying good ball possession they were unable to create many chances. Juan Mata had one of them after a pass from Ramirez but his shot was tipped over by Vaclik. Torres then missed his third good chance of the first half with a header that went over the bar.

The Blues continued to press forward after the break and Ramires came close just two minutes after the restart but his deflected shot struck the upright. John Terry also came close for Chelsea but Sparta also had a pair of chances on counter attacks through Matejovski and Kadlec. Torres wasted another opportunity, this time denying his own team mate Ramires whose shot was on target but hit the Spaniard in the chest instead of going in. Manager Rafael Benitez then replaced Oscar with Hazard but it was Sparta who came close again when a shot from Kadlec was blocked by Cahill. And that missed chance proved costly for the visitors as Hazard fired home two minutes into stoppage time.

Chelsea will face Romanian side Steaua Bucharest in the last 16 but before that they will have a tough Premier League match against defending champions Manchester City this weekend. Here are the odds for that Premier League clash at Bet365:

Man City win - 19/20
Draw - 13/5
Chelsea win - 10/3

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