Chelsea v Sparta player ratings

Eden Hazard’s last-gasp goal took Chelsea through to the last 16 of the Europa League, where they will face Steaua Bucharest of Romania. Here’s how we rated the Blues players on an anxious night at Stamford Bridge.

Petr Cech: 7
Was left exposed for Sparta Prague’s goal and then produced a good save to prevent his former side scoring again.

Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Got stuck in defensively but his distribution was below par.

John Terry: 7
Strong in the air in both boxes and was unlucky not to score with a clever flick in the second half.

Gary Cahill: 6
Produced some important clearances but was at fault for Sparta’s goal.

Ryan Bertrand: 6
Was not tested defensively and offered very little going forward. Steady, but Chelsea needed a bit more.

John Mikel Obi: 7
Has his critics but was missed while at the Africa Cup of Nations. Was neat and tidy with the ball and did the simple things effectively.

Ramires: 7
Sloppy at times in the first half but was an important attacking player in the second and went close to scoring with a shot which hit the post.

Victor Moses: 7
Not at his most dangerous going forward but offered Azpilicueta good cover and created the first of several chances which came Fernando Torres’ way.

Oscar: 8
Did very well while he was on and was unlucky to be substituted midway through the second half. Produced a great piece of skill to create a chance for Ramires as Chelsea pushed forward after the break.

Juan Mata: 8
Another lively performance from the Blues playmaker, who created a couple of Torres’ chances. As always, Mata was a joy to watch.

Fernando Torres: 5
Rafael Benitez was right to point out positive aspects of Torres’ performance, which included some excellent touches and great skill to create openings for himself, an admirable work rate and willingness to defend tirelessly from the front. And scoring goals isn’t everything for a lone striker whose main role is to get attacking midfielders beyond him and into the box. Even so, Torres’ woeful finishing means it has to go down as a dismal night for the Spaniard. He should have bagged at least one goal and his failure to do so put his team under pressure.

Eden Hazard: 8
Showed pace and trickery after coming off the bench and netted Chelsea’s all-important goal with a cracking strike.



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