FT: Sparta Prague 0 Chelsea 1

Thanks for all your comments today folks! Don't forget, you can always follow me on Twitter: @RazMirza or send me your views so speak to you all soon!

FULL-TIME: A tepid encounter at the Generali Arena was settled by a goal eight minutes from time as substitute Oscar found himself through on goal from Eden Hazard's pass before coolly finishing past Tomas Vaclik at his near post.

The home fans urge their team forward, but it looks all over for them.

Leonard Kweuke and Marek Matejovsky are crowded out in the box.

There will be THREE added minutes of stoppage time.

No doubt that Chelsea fans will enjoy their evening in Prague tonight. One of my favourite places! Rafa Benitez and his players will be on the first flight back to London though.

Chelsea could have been out of sight in this game had they turned up tonight. However, they will be happy to take a 1-0 lead back to Stamford Bridge next Thursday.

Marek Matejovsky's free-kick is woeful and that allows Yossi Benayoun to bring the ball out.

SUBSTITUTION: Josef Husbauer is replaced by Roman Bednar for the home side.

Fernando Torres fires his fierce shot over the crossbar.

The Brazilian has been on the field for just 45 seconds and he's contributed by scoring the opening goal of the game for Chelsea. He plays a neat one-two with Eden Hazard before sliding his left-foot effort beyond Tomas Vaclik at his near post.


SUBSTITUTIONS: Manuel Pamic replaces the lively Ladislav Krejci for the hosts while Oscar comes on for Juan Mata in Chelsea's second change of the match.

Marek Matejovsky crosses for Leonard Kweuke, but he drags his effort wide of the far post.

At the other end Ladislav Krejci looks to create some space, but he's crowded out.

Now Fernando Torres tries a trick on the edge of the box before overhitting the ball and it's a goal kick to Sparta Prague.

Leonard Kweuke is a muscular presence and should give that Chelsea backline a test.

SUBSTITUTION: Leonard Kweuke - 9 goals this season -replaces David Lafata up front.

They do have former West Brom player Roman Bednar on the bench as well.

Sparta Prague are getting ready to make a change as they defend in numbers.

Kanishk Sharma emails in to say: "Why not sub the useless FT and play Mata or Hazard in that false no.9 position? Bring in Oscar to play just behind them. It CANNOT be worse than this, for sure!"

Vaclav Kadlec looks to break through, but out comes Petr Cech to collect.

More cheers as Fernando Torres wallops his shot out for a throw. Very embarrassing!

EASY SAVE! Juan Mata's left-foot cross is met by Frank Lampard, but Tomas Vaclik holds on tight.

Will the presence and experience of Yossi Benayoun turn this game?

SUBSTITUTION: The largely forgotten Yossi Benayoun replaces Marko Marin for Chelsea.

YELLOW CARD: Josef Husbauer catches Ramires and is booked by Italian referee Daniele Orsato.

Vaclav Kadlec's shot hits a Chelsea player and that allows Marko Marin to break until he is stopped by Mario Holek.

That was almost laughable as Marko Marin ran straight into Fernando Torres.

Marek Matejovsky gets David Lafata moving, but the ball just drifts out of play on the near side.

Branislav Ivanovic's ball out of defence is pretty woeful, but Chelsea are back in possession.

Fernando Torres finds Marko Marin just inside the area, but his shot is well blocked.

@ZeshanHabib1 Tweets: "We are turning into Liverpool. Torres and Rafa are like cancer to our club."

Fernando Torres lays the ball off to Frank Lampard, who hits it immediately, but it flies over the crossbar. Not the first time I've said that tonight!

Gary Cahill brings down Ladislav Krejci with a clumsy challenge and the defender will have to watch himself after already being yellow carded in the opening 45 minutes.

Fair comment Scotty, but apart from a few long distant shot at goal, not even Lampard seems up for this clash tonight.

@Scotty_willies Tweets: "Looks like Lamps and Mata are gonna drag Chelsea kicking and screaming to a win here, can only see them doing something special."

Juan Mata and Marko Marin play a one-two before Eden Hazard stands his cross up for Torres, but this time the striker is penalised by referee Daniele Orsato.

Marko Marin swings the ball into the box, but once again Fernando Torres fails to read the flight of the ball.

The game has left off from the end of the first half. Very slow pace as Matej Hybs is allowed to test Petr Cech with a firm right-foot effort from 25 yards.

Kanishk Sharma writes in from Chicago: "Seems like summer transfer window cannot come fast enough. How many chances does FT need to score a goal?! Play anyone...really anyone else and he would be an improvement!"

Marko Marin wins Chelsea a free-kick in a dangerous area after going down to the gfround easily. However, Frank Lampard's direct shot hits the three man wall.

Ladislav Krejci takes the shot on with his swinger and the ball flies out for a throw-in on the far side of the field. That got a few cheers from the visiting fans!

Tomas Zapotocny and David Lafata combine before Branislav Ivanovic steps up to win the ball back for his side.

The winners of this tie face Ajax or Steaua Bucharest in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Chelsea get the second period underway from the Generali Arena.

Meanwhile, Shane in Ireland says: "C'mon Torres . Not looking for a hat trick but one goal would be nice from our "striker" ....no passion in this game tonight."

Matt Batchelor says: "Hi. Sounds like its been a pretty woeful fist half, wish he had played a few more fringe players, we dont really care about this tournament so it's dissapointing to see such a strong side. Still think 3-1 with some 2nd half fireworks from Frank and Hazard."

Frank Martell writes in with a few harsh words about Chelsea's display so far: "$100 to the first person who can genuinely and articulately make me understand why we keep giving Fernando Torres chance after chance but Lampard's 6 recent goals aren't enough to buy him a one or two year extension - and age isn't going to cut it. Just look at the last 35 minutes of game clock! Drogba would already be on a brace (even now!) and even Sturridge would have bagged at least one. This is absurd. The day Lamps tops Tambling you'll see him strip down to his birthday suit to walk off the pitch with the words 'Roman can kiss this goodbye' on his back - then we'll see who is valuable."

If you'd like to air your views during the second half, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

Sparta Prague are now 7/2 to claim victory with our friends @SkyBet, who make Chelsea 5/4 and the draw 11/8. I went for a pre-match prediction of 0-2 to the visitors, which was 17/2 and is now 8/1. Fernando Torres to score next is 15/2 while Vaclav Kadlec to score next and Sparta to win 1-0 is 66/1. Head now to SKYBET to place your bets.

HALF-TIME: Stalemate in Prague at the break with neither side looking like they're going to break the deadlock anytime soon. Frank Lampard has tested goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik with a couple of long distance efforts while David Lafata hooked wide for the visitors after being play on by Chelsea. Let's hope for better in the second half!

Marek Matejovsky's corner causes problems, but Chelsea eventually break. Frank Lampard hits another dipper from 30 yards, but it's easily held by Tomas Vaclik.

Trouble for Peter Cech, who comes to the edge of the area to collect the ball, but then loses it and has to kick away.

Ladislav Krejci's inswinger is over hit and flies out for a goalkick to Chelsea.

Marko Marin struggles in possession as he wins the ball, but immediately loses it and then gives away a free-kick.

YELLOW CARD: Gary Cahill is booked by Italian referee Daniele Orsato after hacking down the lively David Lafata on the halfway line.

Karl Byrne emails in to say: "Sad to say chelsea look uninspiring again. No flair in their play and not good to watch. Can see Sparta going ahead and chelsea struggling."

SAVED! Frank Lampard turns away from Ondrej Svejdik which allows the ball to fall into the path of Fernando Torres, but once again he miskicks. He hasn't got his shooting boots on tonight!

Fin is back in touch: "Raz when he was at Liverpool look at the damage he caused in the League and to us. It's a pity I always admired him as a player and always waited for that day he would start scoring for us. I think Falco will be good going by what I heard today in that we have him in the bag and Torres back to Madrid."

At the other end David Lafata decides to have a pop, but the ball dribbles wide.

BAD MISS! Chelsea break from the corner with Marko Marin flying down the wing. The ball eventually falls to the feet of Fernando Torres from Eden Hazard's pass, but the Spaniard totally miskicks from 15 yards which allows Tomas Vaclik to collect the loose ball.

Good closing down by Sparta, who are growing in confidence and Branislav Ivanovic hacks the ball away for a corner after being put under pressure from Josef Husbauer.

Blue Duncan is back in touch to say: "We need to up the pace and take the game to them we are playing like Rafas Liverpool."

WHAT A CHANCE! Vaclav Kadlec's shot deflects off Juan Mata and into the path of David Lafata, but he directs his shot wide of the far post. Everybody looked to the linesman, but the striker was onside.

Chelsea have played just two matches in the Czech Republic (W1 D1) and are yet to concede a goal.

Ollie from Chesterfield says: "Looks like chelsea have put out a strong team tonight need the win as we're out the champions league I think 3-0 Lampard, Mata and Torres."

Ladislav Krejci then hits the ball from just outside the area, but it deflects off Gary Cahil and into the grateful hands of Petr Cech.

Moments later Matej Hybs bursts through the middle of the park but he's eventually eased off the ball.

Vaclav Kadlec lays the ball off for Marek Matejovsky who slams his effort high over the crossbar.

The pace is slow. It's almost like a training game at the Generali Arena, but the home supporters seem happy with this at the moment.

Ondrej Svejdik finds Tomas Zapotocny and he decides to go back and they build again.

Marko Marin skips past his marker before laying the ball into Fernando Torres, but the striker's touch lets him down. I see what you mean now Fin!

@r1chh1ll1er Tweets: "Chelsea should win this As a fan I cannot see anyone else but Lamps and Mata scoring 2-0 Chelsea."

Sparta have settled into this game and are happy to play the ball about the back and wait to Chelsea to push up the field.

Fin O'Hagan says: "Raz great coverage as usual but I feel this will be Torres last season at Chelsea and in the Premier League." So a waste of £50m then Fin? He hasn't been the same player since he picked up an injury during his final few appearances at Liverpool.

Ladislav Krejci twists and turns before Branislav Ivanovic steps out and wins the ball.

Juan Mata breaks, but he has no supports with Fernando Torres out of the picture and the move eventually breaks down.

Frank Lampard hits another long-range effort, but this takes another deflection, which allows Tomas Vaclik to claim the ball.

CLOSE! A warning for Chelsea as David Lafata is allowed space in the area, but he fails to get his strike on target from the right-wing cross.

The atmosphere has died with Chelsea dominating possession. Saying that, the crowd suddenly display a beautiful mosaic with thousands of cards being held up.

David Lafata's crossfield pass is overhit and his manager Vitezslav Lavicka calls for a bit more from his players.

Torres is not in prolific form though James. From Chelsea's last seven games on the road (all competitions), Frank Lampard has scored six goals. I would back Super Frank myself!

James Thok says: "We would like to see Fernando to score...."

Eden Hazard's delivery is punched away by Tomas Vaclik and now the hosts look to counter.

Marko Marin is blocked off by Tomas Zapotocny for a free-kick on the left-hand side of the area.

Seconds later, Fernando Torres' shot takes a wicked deflection over the crossbar and out for a corner.

CLOSE! Marko Marin finds the run of Eden Hazard in the Sparta box, but the Belgian can only fire his left-foot effort wide of the far post.

Very composed and professional start this from the boys from Stamford Bridge. Vaclav Kadlec's ball down the lines tests the pace of Gary Cahill, but the defender does well.

The home team have hardly had an attack as Juan Mata looks to find Fernando Torres, but the striker is crowded out.

Frank Lampard whips a right-foot curler, which tests goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik.

The pitch is in excellent condition considering the temperature is about minus three. The men in blue have started on the front foot though.

The bad news for Sparta Prague is that they have won none of their last 10 clashes with English teams in Europe; losing seven. Ouch!

Blue Duncan writes in to say: "Chelsea 2-1 with Frank scoring both."

There are seven Czech Republic internationals in the Sparta side who line up in a 4-4-1-1 formation, while the visitors have a 4-2-3-1 system. The hosts kick-off then in from of 20,000 packed inside the Generali Arena.

@_Jamie_Sadler Tweets in to say: "Chelsea to win 2-0, Mata and Hazard to score!"

The weather is freezing out in Prague and some good news for Chelsea is that this is Sparta's first competitive game since December 6.

Toby Day has heard me speak and has written in to say: "Hi, Chelsea to win 2-0 with Torres scoring first with Marin or Mata second! The blues will do well!!"

The home fans are pumped up for this clash and why wouldn't they be. The European Champions are in town! The pitch is in pretty good condition. Let's hear from you Chelsea fans...what do you think the outcome of this game will be? Send in your thoughts please.

Don't forget, if you'd like to air your views before or during the match, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

Sparta Prague are 7/2 to claim victory with our friends @SkyBet, who make Chelsea 4/5 and the draw 5/2. Vaclav Kadlec to score first for hosts is an 11/1 shot while David Lafata to score first and Sparta to win 1-0 is a massive 60/1 shout. Eden Hazard to score first and Chelsea to win 2-1 is a 35/1 shot while Fernando Torres to bag the first goal is 4/1. I'm going for a pre-match prediction of 0-2 to the visitors, which is 17/2. Head now to SKYBET to place your bets.

CHELSEA TEAM NEWS: Chelsea captain John Terry and Ashley Cole are named as substitutes as last season's Champions League winners turn their attentions to the Europa League. Ryan Bertrand, Marko Marin and Juan Mata start in a side showing three changes to the XI which began the 4-1 defeat of Wigan, but Terry, who missed the Premier League clash with a knee injury, was not risked despite travelling to the Czech Republic.

SPARTA PRAGUE TEAM NEWS: Striker David Lafata, a January signing for Sparta, begins up front in the hosts' first competitive fixture since December 6, due to the Czech winter break, and the Blues' first Europa League match since 2002. Midfielder and skipper Jiri Jarosik also misses the clash. His absence was described as "cruel" by his manager Vitezslav Lavicka while Pavel Kaderabek and Tomas Prikryl are also out injured.

SPARTA PRAGUE: Vaclik, Zapotocny, Svejdik, Holek, Hybs, Husbauer, Vacha, Matejovsky, Kadlec, Lafata, Krejci.

SUBSTITUTES: Cech, Pamic, Kweuke, Vidlicka, Polom, Bednar, Janos.

CHELSEA: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Bertrand, Lampard, Ramires, Marin, Mata, Hazard, Torres.

SUBSTITUTES: Turnbull, Cole, Oscar, Ferreira, Terry, Benayoun, Ake.

REFEREE: Daniele Orsato (Italy).

Here come the teams...

Sparta's form is uncertain. It will be their first competitive fixture since December 6, when they met Atletico Madrid in the Europa League group stages due to the winter break. The hosts are confident though, having last lost a European fixture at their Generali Arena home against MSK Zilina in the 2010/11 Europa League play-offs.

Meanwhile, Czech international goalkeeper Petr Cech has a hairline fracture to his little finger on his left hand but should still play against his former club. "For them, it will be the biggest game of their careers," he said, "so that's a danger because they will want to show they can do well against us." The match will be Chelsea's first away in Europe since the November loss to Juventus which sealed their Champions League exit and the fate of Roberto Di Matteo, who was succeeded by Benitez.

Chelsea, last season's Champions League winners, were demoted to the Europa League after failing to advance from the group stages of Europe's premier club competition. But Rafa Benitez has told his side to approach tonight's Europa League last-32 first leg at Sparta Prague as if it is a Champions League fixture. Chelsea ended a four-match winless run with a 4-1 defeat of Wigan in the Premier League last Saturday. There was speculation Benitez's spell as interim boss could be cut short due to a run of three wins in 10 matches prior to the Wigan victory. "We have to focus on Prague. Sparta are a good team, a difficult team. We have the advantage of a second leg at home - but this is an important competition," said the Spaniard. "For them to play against the champions of Europe is massive, so we know that they will be ready."

If you'd like to air your views before or during the match, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

Hello and welcome to our live minute-by-minute text commentary from this evening's Europa League clash between Sparta Prague and Chelsea at the Generali Arena.

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