By James Kilpatrick
Chelsea 4-3 Slavia Prague (Agg: 5-3) Pedro scores twice in seven-goal thriller
Report as Chelsea and Slavia Prague play out entertaining clash in Europa League quarter-final second leg; Chelsea will face Eintracht Frankfurt in the semis
Last Updated: 19/04/19 7:06am
Pedro scored twice for Chelsea as they beat Slavia Prague 4-3 (5-3 aggregate) in a thrilling game to progress to the Europa League semi-finals.
The Spaniard gave Chelsea an early lead (5) before Simon Deli's unfortunate own goal extended the hosts' advantage (9).
Olivier Giroud scored Chelsea's third on the night - and his tenth in the competition this season - with a simple tap-in (17) before Pedro added a fourth (27) - 63 seconds after Slavia captain Tomas Soucek pulled a goal back (26).
But Slavia did respond in the second half as two quickfire goals from Petr Sevcik (51 and 54) gave the Czech visitors hope of a comeback. But in the end, Chelsea progress through to the semi-finals and will now play Frankfurt over two legs on May 2/9.
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga (6), Azpilicueta (6), Luiz (6), Christensen (6), Emerson (6), Kante (6), Barkley (6), Kovacic (6), Hazard (6), Pedro (8), Giroud (7)
Subs: Willian (6), Jorginho (6), Hudson-Odoi (N/A)
Slavia Prague: Kolar (6), Ngadeu-Ngadjiu (6), Kudela (5), Boril (6), Deli (5), Zmrhal (6), Soucek (7), Sevcik (8), Traore (6), Kral (6), Masopust (6)
Subs: Olayinka (6), Stoch (5), Skoda (N/A)
Man of the match: Pedro
How Slavia Prague gave Chelsea a fright
Chelsea quickly extended their aggregate lead to 2-0 five minutes into the game through Pedro, who dinked the ball over goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar at the near post following some slick build-up play.
Five minutes later and Chelsea's evening was made more comfortable when Eden Hazard's squared pass reached Pedro at the far post, but his shot came off the woodwork before ricocheting in off Deli's head. The hosts made it three on the night seven minutes later as Giroud converted with a simple tap-in.
Maurizio Sarri made five changes to his team that lost 2-0 to Liverpool on Sunday.
Andreas Christensen, Ross Barkley, Mateo Kovacic, Pedro and Olivier Giroud came into the Chelsea XI.
Slavia Prague pulled one back through club captain Soucek from a corner, but only 63 seconds later and Chelsea made it four - and 5-1 on aggregate - thanks to Pedro. He scuffed in a rebound at the far post after Giroud's near-post shot was initially parried by Kolar.
Slavia came out of the traps quickly in the second half and scored their second of the night through Sevcik, who smashed in from outside the box against a Chelsea side who were looking complacent.
Three minutes later and the 24-year-old scored again with another fantastic strike into the top corner from distance, which Kepa Arrizabalaga was unable to reach, meaning Slavia needed just two more goals to progress.
Slavia's biggest chance to grab another goal came in the 63rd minute when Sevcik was waiting at the far post to convert for a hat-trick, but he slipped as he went for the shot.
With Slavia tiring, Chelsea held on to their two-goal advantage and their European attention can now turn to the semi-finals against Eintracht Frankfurt with the first leg on Thursday, May 2 in Germany.
- Chelsea are the first English side to win 11 major European games in a single season.
- Slavia Prague are winless in their last nine European meetings with English clubs (W0 D2 L7) since winning 2-1 at home to Leeds in March 2000 in the UEFA Cup.
- Slavia Prague are one of just four sides to score 3+ goals against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in European competition and the first to do so in the Europa League.
- Chelsea have benefited from five own-goals in all competitions this season, of Premier League clubs, only Manchester City (7) and Arsenal (6) have benefited from more.
- Chelsea are the second Premier League side to reach 100 goals in all competitions this season after Manchester City.
- Pedro has been directly involved in three goals in a European match for the first time in his career (2 goals, 1 assist).
- Chelsea's Olivier Giroud has been directly involved in 13 goals in his last nine Europa League appearances, scoring 10 and assisting three.
- Olivier Giroud is the first Chelsea player to score 10 goals in a single season in European football.
Man of the Match - Pedro
The Spain international scored twice and set up Olivier Giroud's goal to complete a fine performance after being recalled to the line-up.
The 31-year-old missed a glaring opportunity to score another in the 10th minute, but he was fortunate that his shot clattered off Deli and into the net.
The pundit - Steve Sidwell
"What comes with the territory with Chelsea is that they need instant success", former Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell told the Debate.
"Whether that is finishing in the top four, or winning the Europa League - Chelsea cannot have another season without Champions League football.
"That has been the case for managers before, and it is the case for [Maurizio Sarri] now, especially with the money involved. Arsenal were not expected to get into the top four, but Chelsea have to."
Chelsea host Burnley on Monday Night Football which is live on Sky Sports Premier League, kick-off at 8pm.