Alonso Strikes Late As Chelsea Win In Prague
Marcos Alonso grabbed a late winner as Chelsea edged to a 1-0 victory at Slavia Prague in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.
The Spaniard nodded in Willian's pinpoint cross four minutes from time to give Maurizio Sarri's men a narrow success following a dour encounter.
The Blues made seven changes from the side that beat West Ham on Monday night, and they laboured for long spells against a hard-working opposition.
Willian hit the woodwork with a curving first-half effort, but it took until after the hour mark for Chelsea to manage an attempt on target courtesy of Antonio Rudiger's low volley.
Sarri was forced to bring on Eden Hazard, N'Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in an attempt to inject some urgency into his side, but it didn't look like paying off until Alonso arrived late in the box to break Slavia hearts.
Chelsea will now turn their attention back to their battle for a top four spot when they visit Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday, before hoping to complete the job in the second leg of this last eight clash next Thursday night.