Hazard the hero as Chelsea go through

Chelsea 1 Sparta Prague 1 (Chelsea win 2-1 on aggregate)

Eden Hazard scored with virtually the last kick of the match to take Chelsea into the last 16 of the Europa League in dramatic fashion.

Hazard, on as a substitute, smashed home from just inside the penalty area in the dying seconds to set up a two-legged clash with Steaua Bucharest in the next round.

Chelsea had been dealt blow when their 1-0 lead from the first leg was wiped out in the 17th minute at Stamford Bridge.

Vaclav Kadlec pulled the ball back and after Gary Cahill slipped, David Lafata fired in from 10 yards to level the tie.

The goal came after Fernando Torres had missed two good chances to score for the Blues.

Torres shot inches wide after being teed up by Victor Moses and failed to hit the target from Juan Mata’s right-wing cross.

Chelsea switched off again after conceding, and keeper Petr Cech – playing against his former club – produced a good save to deny Tomas Prikryi.

And in first-half stoppage time Torres missed another opportunity, this time heading John Obi Mikel’s cross over the bar.

Facing the possibility of a humiliating exit from Europe’s lesser tournament, Chelsea made a determined start to the second period and Ramires blasted against the post following good work from Oscar.

They continued to press and Torres sprinted into the box only to shoot at keeper Tomas Vaclik, who also did well to tip over John Terry’s clever flick.

But Vaclik was unable to keep out Hazard’s last-gasp rocket – which came just after Kadlec had squandered an injury-time chance for Sparta Prague, shooting wide from eight yards out.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Bertrand; Mikel, Ramires; Moses, Mata, Oscar (Hazard 67); Torres.
Subs not used: Turnbull, Cole, Luiz, Ferreira, Marin, Benayoun.



Follow West London Sport on Twitter
Find us on Facebook