On a tie that many would have seen as a routine victory, Chelsea saved embarrassment courtesy of Eden Hazard in the 91st minute. Even still, many fans were left aggrieved at the lack of passion and effort portrayed by the Chelsea players.
So how far can Chelsea push themselves in the Europa League? Current form suggests not that far, but as we know from their unbelievable triumph in the Champions League last term, form is hardly a reliable factor.
The largely bemoaned display put on by the Blues highlighted some grave problems facing the club. One no more so important than the once hailed best striker in the world, Fernando Torres.
It is barely worth recording these days when the striker fumbles his way through a game like a nervous teenager encountering a bra for the first time. Shots missed, passes misplaced and possession lost, it has not been easy to watch.
On a night that may be hailed as one of his worst performances in a Chelsea shirt, the fans must learn to accept his abysmal form, at least until the summer. This is largely due to the lack of depth in the squad which means Torres is the only true striker at the club that is available in the Europa League.With Demba Ba being cup tied, it is difficult to see Torres inspiring Chelsea to win the competition.
Chelsea made numerous chances against the Europa League minnows Sparta Prague, yet the majority becoming wasted. Only one in nine efforts was on target after the first half, and the opponents wasting there own chances to make it 2-0 and effectively end the tie there and then.
Others meanwhile have to step up to the plate if Chelsea are to score the heaps of goals they were once accustomed to not so long ago. Yet, this isn't the only problem the Blues have had, with clean sheets becoming a thing of the rarity and poor mistakes costing Chelsea dearly.
Last Thursday's match just showed a lack of motivation by the players and who else to blame but the man in the hot seat, Mr Rafa Bentiez. The man brought in who many thought would lead to the rediscovery of the long-lost form of Torres.
With Steaua Bucharest being the next opponent on Chelsea's list, things must improve. The defence must be sharper, movement must be flowing and, by far the most important, Chelsea's magnificent trio of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar must must must be on top of their game. Otherwise this will just be another pitfall in Chelsea's largely disappointing season.
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