Pedro scored twice as Chelsea survived a second-half scare to move into the last four of the Europa League with a thrilling 4-3 win over Slavia Prague. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the quarter-final second leg win at Stamford Bridge.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6
The keeper got his positioning spot on to block Simon Deli’s first-half header and had no chance with Slavia’s first goal. He was too easily beaten by Petr Sevcik at the near post but had no chance with Sevcik’s breathtaking strike which made it 4-3.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
He found it difficult to play under constant questioning from Slavia’s high press but was comfortable enough with his defensive work.
Andreas Christensen: 6
The Dane won some important headers and kept his concentration when the away side began to pose a constant threat.
David Luiz: 5
Luiz used the ball well and was untroubled for most of the first half, but he had an increasingly testing evening as Slavia then got on top. The Brazilian was too easily blocked off for the first goal from a corner before the interval, and was unconvincing in the latter stages.
The pick of Chelsea’s defenders for the majority of the evening, but he was slow to recognise the threat of Sevcik for both of his goals.
Mateo Kovacic: 5
He was neat and tidy for the most part and covered a lot of ground but the least involved of all Chelsea’s midfielders, with the key moments all coming from team-mates. He didn’t look comfortable playing in the deeper role and failed to provide much-needed protection after the interval.
N’Golo Kante: 8
An impeccable first 45 minutes and one of the few players who maintained his performance levels with a typically all-action display after the interval.
Ross Barkley: 6
Bright going forward and tenacious and busy, but it was a night of nearly things for Barkley.
A glaring miss when he hit the post from two yards aside, he was the key man in a devastating first-half performance. His attacking instincts and willingness to run in behind brings a new dimension to the team.
Eden Hazard: 7
He recovered from three highly dubious challenges to stroll through the first half with typical class, but was taken off 20 minutes after the break with Monday’s home Premier League game against Burnley in mind.
Olivier Giroud: 8
The Frenchman’s delicate touch and exemplary awareness was crucial in exploiting the gaps regularly left by the away side before the break. His pass for Pedro’s opener was exquisite, he sent Hazard away in the build-up to the second, scored the third and his strike led to Pedro’s second goal of the evening.
Willian didn’t get the opportunity to attack much with Chelsea looking disjointed and struggling to find space but he got through plenty of defensive work.
He came on to see out the win with Chelsea looking rattled and did exactly what was required of him by protecting his centre-backs.