Marcos Alonso scored a late goal with a header as The Blues won 1-0 against Czech side Slavia Prague at the Sinobo Stadium this evening in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final tie.
The tie looked sure to end goalless until Spaniard Alonso got his head on a Willian cross in the box four minutes from time.
It was the hosts who started the brighter of the two sides but they were unable to seriously test Blues keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. Chelsea hit the woodwork with their first effort on goal of the match, winger Willian fired his shot against the bar as Slavia Prague got lucky. That was about all of the action to be had in a competitive but goal-starved first 45 minutes.
The second half saw Antonio Rudiger get a shot off on target before Arrizabalaga saved well from both Ibrahim Benjanim Traore and Jan Boril.
A tight match looked set to end in a goalless draw until Willian put a cross into the box four minutes from time and teammate Alonso headed the ball into the net to give his side a narrow first leg victory.
The two sides meet in the second leg at Stamford Bridge next Thursday.