Sparta Prague vs. Chelsea: Final score 0-1, Oscar rescues the Blues

Laurence Griffiths

It took a wonderful individual effort from substitute wonderkid Oscar for Chelsea to defeat Sparta Prague away in the Europa League.

Chelsea and Sparta Prague managed to bore everyone to tears on Thursday afternoon, playing out what probably should have ended in a 0-0 draw. Both teams struggled to create chances, while squandering the ones they did create. Late in the second half, Rafa Benitez brought Oscar off his bench, and he produced the game's only moment of great quality to lead Chelsea to a 1-0 win.

Fernando Torres had to start for Chelsea due to Demba Ba already having participated in the Europa League with Newcastle, and the £50m man had a typically poor day. He missed the few opportunities he got, and got less than he should have because of his lack of movement off the ball. His counterpart on the other side, David Lafata, had a poor day as well. He missed a pair of absolute sitters in the first half, seriously hindering his team's chances of getting a result.

The second half was very uneventful until Oscar entered the match in the 82nd minute. Less than a minute after stepping onto the pitch, he went on a brilliant individual run with the ball, beating multiple defenders before playing a quick one-two with Eden Hazard. The Belgian returned the ball quickly, and Oscar placed a composed shot into the lower left corner to grab a win for Chelsea.

A 1-0 road win should be just about enough to see Chelsea through. It would be stunning to see their reserve side fail to draw at Stamford Bridge.

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