EUROPA LEAGUE: Oscar edges it for Chelsea
Chelsea secured a 1-0 win at Europa League opponents Sparta Prague in the first-leg of their tie tonight.
With a stalemate looming and the visiting fans' ire for interim boss Rafael Benitez and misfiring striker Fernando Torres increasing, Oscar came on for Juan Mata and scored with his first involvement, netting neatly following a one-two with Eden Hazard.
Torres had earlier missed a straightforward effort after 35 minutes and sliced a second-half shot out for a corner in another disappointing display from last season's Champions League winners at the Generali Arena.
But 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.
After inflicting Sparta's first home loss in Europe in 11 matches, despite an unconvincing display, Chelsea now play Brentford in FA Cup fourth round replay on Sunday before the return leg at Stamford Bridge next Thursday.