Result: Chelsea reach Europa League semi-finals after thriller with Slavia Prague
Chelsea have earned a place in the Europa League semi-finals courtesy of a dramatic 4-3 victory over Slavia Prague on Thursday night.
The Blues held a 4-1 lead after just 27 minutes before being pegged back by Slavia in the second half, but Maurizio Sarri’s side survived the closing half-hour of the contest to prevail 5-3 on aggregate.
Chelsea will now take on Eintracht Frankfurt after the Bundesliga outfit recorded a 2-0 win over Benfica, a result which saw the Portuguese side bow out on away goals with the teams locked at 4-4 over the two legs.
The Premier League team went into the game knowing that avoiding defeat would secure their passage through to the next stage, but it quickly became apparent that Sarri had instructed his players to push for goals.
The Blues took the lead courtesy of a sublime team move which ended with Olivier Giroud threading a pass into the path of Pedro, who proceeded to loft the ball over Ondrej Kolar and into the net.
A second soon arrived in calamitous circumstances. Pedro could only strike the post from two yards out after meeting Eden Hazard’s cross, but the ball ricocheted off the woodwork and was inadvertently diverted into the roof of the net by Slavia defender Simon Deli.