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Live Commentary: Slavia Prague 0-1 Chelsea - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Chelsea register a late 1-0 win over Slavia Prague in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.
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Chelsea have struck late to register a 1-0 victory over Slavia Prague in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night.

Maurizio Sarri witnessed his side put in a laboured performance at the Sinobo Stadium, and Eden Hazard was introduced into the action before the hour mark.

However, Marcos Alonso's header four minutes from time proved to be the difference, and the Premier League side are now in control of the tie ahead of next week's second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Find out how all of the action unfolded in Czech Republic courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.


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Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Europa League between Slavia Prague and Chelsea. The Premier League giants are unbeaten in this year's competition, but their hosts reached this stage by edging out Sevilla. The teams are making their way out at the Sinobo Stadium, so let's see who features in each starting lineup...

SLAVIA PRAGUE XI: Kolar, Coufal, Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Deli, Boril; Traore, Kral; Masopust, Sevcik, Stoch; Olayinka

SLAVIA PRAGUE SUBSTITUTES: Zmrhal, Husbauer, Van Buren, Kudela, Skoda, Frydrych, Kovar


CHELSEA XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Barkley, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Giroud, Pedro

CHELSEA SUBSTITUTES: Caballero, Zappacosta, Luiz, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Hazard, Higuain


KICKOFF:  Chelsea get us underway!

CHANCE!  Slavia win an early free kick on the flank, and former Chelsea man Stoch takes it. The inswinger finds Deli at the back post, but a header is sent marginally wide of the target from eight yards out. Big chance.

Chelsea are yet to get going in Prague. The home side are naturally up for this contest and so far, the Blues are struggling to cope with their intensity.

The visitors are now seeing more of the ball, but Slavia are continuing to pressure the Premier League giants. This is shaping up to be a competitive contest.

SHOT!  The ball falls invitingly to Barkley around 35 yards from goal, and the midfielder only has one thought in his mind. However, his effort goes harmlessly over the crossbar.

It's Slavia's turn to see some more possession, but Chelsea are placing their own pressure on the hosts to force the Czech side back into their own half.

The home supporters are creating a tremendous atmosphere this evening and it comes as no surprise. This is arguably Slavia's biggest match since their appearance in the UEFA Cup semi-finals in 1995.

Slavia put together a neat move down the right side of the pitch, and Azpilicueta needs to get across to prevent a pass finding its target at the back post.

LATEST! There has been a goal in the game between Arsenal and Napoli, with Ramsey putting the Gunners in front at the Emirates Stadium. Click here to keep up-to-date with that match.

There's not a whole lot happening in the game in Prague right now. Passes are going astray, and it has resulted in little action in the final third.

Chelsea are really struggling to get Giroud involved. Willian is seeing plenty of the ball down the left, but the Brazilian has been unable to get the forward into the game.

Chelsea's Willian attempts to break forward against Slavia Prague in the Europa League on April 11, 2019.© Reuters


SHOT!  Slavia are beginning to build a head of steam and a 20-yard strike from Sevcik forces Arrizabalaga into a save, with the ball being claimed at the second attempt.

The pressure continues to come from Slavia, and Rudiger can only commit a foul on the flank when Olayinka attempts to cut inside. Nothing comes from the resulting set piece.

OFF THE BAR!  So close for Chelsea. Willian cuts inside onto his right foot on the edge of the area, and the Brazilian's 18-yard effort hits the top of the crossbar and goes clear.

LATEST! Arsenal have doubled their advantage against Napoli, with Torreira getting the second goal. What a start for the Gunners!

Neither team have been able to gain control of this contest. Both are going through positive phases of play before being met by a response from their opponents.

Chelsea need to get Pedro into the action. The Spaniard has spent the game on the right flank, but he has barely had a kick. Only Barkley and Willian have made an impact going forward.

Giroud thinks that he is about to run clear on goal after a slip by a defender, but the assistant correctly flags the Frenchman offside.

Chelsea are keeping holding of the ball in their own half, and it leads to jeers from the home supporters. It will be music to Sarri's ears at this stage.

Again, this match is going through somewhat of a lull. It has not been the most free-flowing of first halves.

Slavia attempt a break down the right wing, but Alonso is able to get across to see the ball out for a goal kick. That's as good as it has got for a number of minutes.

The hosts keep up the pressure and target the opposite flank, but Azpilicueta and Kovacic combine to dispossess Stoch. Chelsea are ready for half time.

What should be an easy pass from Arrizabalaga to Alonso goes astray, and Chelsea are only inviting pressure upon themselves here. It's an important few minutes for the Blues.

Slavia have just won the first corner of the match, but they fail to create anything after opting to play the ball short.

HALF TIME:  Slavia Prague 0-0 Chelsea

The half-time whistle goes in Czech Republic and we remain goalless. It hasn't been the greatest of opening 45 minutes, but Chelsea have struck the crossbar through Willian. Both sides will want to improve after the break.

Interested to see who has made the biggest impact during the first half? Click here to access our players statistics. Don't expect big numbers from the visitors.

A quick reminder of the two benches...

SLAVIA PRAGUE SUBSTITUTES: Zmrhal, Husbauer, Van Buren, Kudela, Skoda, Frydrych, Kovar

CHELSEA SUBSTITUTES: Caballero, Zappacosta, Luiz, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Hazard, Higuain


KICKOFF:  Slavia get us back underway.

Chelsea start brightly and manage to get Alonso to the byline, but the Spaniard's delivery is diverted into the grateful hands of Kolar.

A sharp turn from Barkley inside the area sees him deceive two players, but the referee is not interested when the playmaker goes to ground. There wasn't a lot of contact.

CHANCE!  Much better from Chelsea. A well-worked short corner leads to Willian finding Giroud with a low pass, but the forward's scuffed effort goes wide of the near post.

Chelsea have upped the tempo at the beginning of this second half, and Slavia seem less interested in committing men forward. They know that not conceding an away goal this evening could prove decisive in this tie.

After saying that, Slavia get back to playing with a spring in their step and Arrizabalaga has been required to come and claim two crosses.

Chelsea manage to clear a corner without much alarm, and it is now time for a change. Sarri is clearly unhappy with this performance.

SUBSTITUTION! Here comes Hazard, who replaces the ineffective Pedro.

CHANCE!  A Chelsea corner is only half-cleared into the path of Rudiger, who sees a well-struck volley superbly kept out by Kolar. Moments later, Willian fires a low drive wide of the far post.

Hazard's first period on the ball ends with the Belgian going to ground on the edge of the area, but the referee thinks that the winger is looking for a foul.

CHANCE!  Chelsea are really starting to knock on the door. An outswinger corner finds Rudiger, but the centre-back sends a header wide of the post.

SUBSTITUTION! Slavia make their first switch as Stoch is replaced by Zmrhal.

There are signs that Slavia are starting to be outclassed. Hazard is making a huge difference, but much of his time on the ball is coming at least 40 yards from goal.

SUBSTITUTION! Chelsea make another change with Kante being introduced for Kovacic.

CHANCE!  Slavia break forward in numbers and Traore has options to his right and left. However, the midfielder takes on the shot from 20 yards, forcing Arrizabalaga into a solid stop to his right.

The tide is turning yet again and Slavia are going all out for a goal. A couple of corners come to nothing, but Chelsea are being reminded that they are not going to have this their own way.

SUBSTITUTION! Slavia make a second alteration as Husbauer replaces Masopust.

SUBSTITUTION! Sarri makes his third Chelsea substitution and it sees Loftus-Cheek come on for Barkley.

Chelsea have just 13 minutes to find an away goal. It would give them a significant advantage ahead of the second leg, but don't rule out the possibility of Slavia opening the scoring.

DISALLOWED GOAL!  Chelsea have the ball in the back of the net through a tidy finish from Jorginho, but Giroud had already been flagged offside. It was the correct decision.

CHANCE!  Arrizabalaga has not looked comfortable all evening and a mistake leads to Boril getting a volley on goal. However, the goalkeeper reacts well to parry the ball away from goal.

SUBSTITUTION! Slavia make their final change as Olayinka is replaced by Van Buren.

YELLOW CARD!  Coufal goes into the book for a cynical pullback on Hazard.

GOAL!  SLAVIA PRAGUE 0-1 CHELSEA (MARCOS ALONSO)

Marcos Alonso celebrates scoring for Chelsea against Slavia Prague in the Europa League on April 11, 2019.© Reuters


GOAL!  Chelsea take the lead! What a moment for Alonso, who has been booed by his own supporters in recent months. Willian picked out the run of the left-back with an outswinging cross, and Alonso did the rest with a bullet header at the back post.

Expect Slavia to push everyone forward during the closing stages, but the home side cannot afford to concede a second. They still need to find a balance here.

There will be four minutes of added-on time.

Slavia continue to press, and they manage to win a corner after a challenge from Loftus-Cheek. This should be the last chance.

Nothing comes from the set piece. That could be that. Chelsea are now just seconds way from a huge result.

FULL TIME:  Slavia Prague 0-1 Chelsea

The full-time whistle goes in Czech Republic and Chelsea have claimed a simply massive 1-0 win against Slavia Prague. It appeared that the Blues would have to make do with a goalless draw, but Alonso's away goal has put the English side in command of this tie.

That will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining us this evening, and we hope to see you again soon.

If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.


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Olivier Giroud in action for Chelsea on April 3, 2019
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