Chelsea 1, Sparta Prague 0

Oscar's late goal gives Blues the edge

February 14, 2013
By Press Association

Oscar saved Chelsea, interim boss Rafael Benitez and striker Fernando Torres from embarrassment with an 82nd-minute strike in a Europa League last-32 first-leg 1-0 win at Sparta Prague.

Torres, a mega-deal striker now with one goal in 13 games, missed a straightforward effort after 35 minutes and sliced a second-half shot out for a throw-in in another impotent display from last season's Champions League winners at the Generali Arena.

With a stalemate looming and the visiting fans' ire for Benitez and Torres increasing, Oscar came on for Juan Mata and scored with his first involvement, netting neatly following a one-two with Eden Hazard.

The result, following last Saturday's 4-1 Barclays Premier League defeat of Wigan, saw Chelsea claim back-to-back wins for the first time since December and keep a clean sheet for a second time in eight games.