MX23RW : Thursday, May 30 04:17:09| >> :120:48851:48851:
[monks data]
Chelsea logo
Europa League | Quarter-Finals
Apr 18, 2019 at 8pm UK
 
Slavia Prague

4-3

Pedro (5', 27'), Deli (10' og.), Giroud (17')
FT(HT: 4-1)
Soucek (26'), Sevcik (51', 55')

N'Golo Kante rejects Chelsea Europa League favourites tag

Blues star eyes "beautiful" ending to tricky season.

N'Golo Kante insists Chelsea do not consider themselves Europa League favourites.

The Blues raced into a 3-0 lead in Thursday's quarter-final second leg against Slavia Prague at Stamford Bridge, only for the visitors to pull three goals back for a fraught finale.

Chelsea prevailed 4-3 on the night and 5-3 on aggregate, with Pedro on target twice and Olivier Giroud notching his 10th Europa League goal of the campaign.

Maurizio Sarri's men will now face Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals, but with Arsenal facing Valencia in the other last-four tie Kante maintains Chelsea will not get ahead of themselves.

"We're not favourites; we played a good match and we will do all we can to get to the final," said Kante.

"But we're not favourites. It was important for us to win this game.

"I think it's important to be in the semi-finals, it was our target.

"We played a good game, it was difficult in the second-half but we got what we wanted and we are happy for that.

"I think they worked very well, they tried to push more and scored two beautiful goals.

"And after that we managed to hold on to keep the win."

Chelsea v Slavia Prague – UEFA Europa League – Quarter Final – Second Leg – Stamford Bridge
Olivier Giroud, left, and Cesar Azpilicueta, right, reflect after Chelsea's Europa League win over Slavia Prague

Pedro's first finish, a neat Giroud effort and an own goal from Simon Deli put Chelsea three goals to the good inside 20 minutes in south-west London on Thursday.

Tomas Soucek's headed finish did not dent Chelsea's authority, but Petr Sevcik's double after the break most certainly did.

Chelsea are still chasing a top-four Premier League finish, along with their European ambitions.

And World Cup winner Kante believes completing that Europa League mission would turn Chelsea's campaign into a success.

"We can make the season beautiful by winning the Europa League," said Kante.

"That's the only title we can win now, so it would be great to win the Europa League.

"I think at the beginning of the game it was a good feeling to score three goals like this. The most important thing was to qualify.

"We'll go into the semi-final with confidence and we hope to qualify for the final."

Chelsea v Slavia Prague – UEFA Europa League – Quarter Final – Second Leg – Stamford Bridge
Olivier Giroud, pictured, toasts his 10th goal of the Europa League campaign at Stamford Bridge (John Walton/PA)

Chelsea head coach Sarri lamented another slow second half start that nearly derailed the Blues' bid for European glory.

The hosts were cruising until Sevcik's quick-fire double that teed up a tense finish.

France star Kante admitted Chelsea have an issue with their second-half performances, but insisted the Stamford Bridge men still have chance to resolve those shortcomings.

Asked about those slow second-half starts, Kante said: "It's just something that has happened many times this season and something we need to manage a bit better. But we still have to work on that."

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Nick Purewal, Press Association Sport');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '32794971-8536-42aa-aefa-ed6307fda4b1');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Chelsea not the favourites for Europa League, insists Kante'});

ID:356698: cacheID:356698:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:10077:No Data Analysis info
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Chelsea's Maurizio Sarri on the touchline against Slavia Prague in the Europa League on April 11, 2019.
Read Next:
Sarri worried about Chelsea's second-half behaviour
>
Read more about N'Golo Kante Football
rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS

Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
QWest Ham650115
QFreiburg640212
3Olympiacos62137
4Backa Topola60151

Group B

TeamPWDLPTS
QBrighton641113
QMarseille632111
3Ajax61235
4AEK Athens61144

Group C

TeamPWDLPTS
QRangers632111
QSparta Prague631210
3Betis63039
4Aris Limassol61144

Group D

TeamPWDLPTS
QAtalanta642014
QSporting Lisbon632111
3Sturm Graz61144
4Rakow61144

Group E

TeamPWDLPTS
QLiverpool640212
QToulouse632111
3Union SG62228
4LASK61053

Group F

TeamPWDLPTS
QVillarreal641113
QRennes640212
3M. Haifa61235
4Panathinaikos61144

Group G

TeamPWDLPTS
QSlavia Prague650115
QRoma641113
3Servette61235
4Sheriff Tiraspol60151

Group H

TeamPWDLPTS
QB. Leverkusen660018
QQarabag631210
3Molde62137
4Hacken60060


Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!