A rare Alvaro Morata goal midway through the second half was just about enough for a lackluster Chelsea to overcome a battling and resilient Vidi team to gain 6 points from their first 2 games in the Europa League.
Chelsea had to wait until the 69th minute of the game, where Alvaro Morata finished really well after Cesc Fabregas’s ball landed on the head of Willian who put the ball on the plate for Morata to smash home, which he did. Chelsea was mostly dominant all through the game but couldn’t find a way through the resilient and compact Vidi defense which came to Stamford Bridge to Frustrate Chelsea, which they did successfully in the first half and a little part of the second half.
Chelsea did have their chances to take the lead in the first half, through Emerson, Pedro, and Willian, but their best chance of the first half was Morata’s sitter after he was played through 1-on 1 with the goalkeeper. As he has for most of his Chelsea career, he lifted his shot over the keeper and wide of the goal. Chelsea also felt like they should have had a penalty in the first half as Loftus Cheek slalomed his way through the Vidi defense before being bundled to the floor by the Vidi defender, but the referee wasn’t interested in giving Chelsea a penalty. Vidi got themselves into half-time level at 0-0. In the second half, other than Morata’s goal, Chelsea’s only real chance came from Barkley after his header from Hazards free-kick rattled the post.
Even though the Hungarian side came to Stamford Bridge to frustrate Chelsea, they did have 3 really good chances during the game, but a mixture of good saves by Kepa and poor finishing from Vidi’s attackers meant that Vidi couldn’t get that goal which would have earned them a precious point at Stamford Bridge. Overall, Vidi made it very hard for Chelsea today, and that resulted in Chelsea only scoring 1 goal and winning the game by a narrow margin of 1-0.
Player ratings out of 10
Chelsea- Manager: Maurizio Sarri
Kepa- 8, Zappacosta- 5, Christensen- 5, Cahill- 6, Emerson- 7, Fabregas- 6, Kovacic- 6, Loftus-Cheek- 7, Willian- 5, Pedro- 7, Morata- 7, Subs; Hazard- 7, Barkley- 6, Moses- 5.
Vidi FC- Manager: Marko Nikolic
Tujvel- 5, Vinicius- 6, Juhasz- 8, Fiola- 7, Stopira- 5, Nego- 7, Hadzic- 5, Nikolov- 5, Haszti- 5, Milanov- 6, Stepovic- 5. Subs; Kovacs- 5, Hadzic-5 , Patkai- 5.
Position in the Europa League table
Chelsea sits at the top of Group L with six points and a goal difference of only +2 after winning their first games by 1-0. They are 3 points ahead of second place PAOK who has 3 points after their 1-4 away win against BATE Borisov tonight. Whereas for Vidi, they sit bottom of Group L with 0 points with a goal difference of -3 after their 1-0 defeat tonight, and their 0-2 defeat on Matchday 1 at home to BATE Borisov. So already it looks a daunting task for Vidi to qualify from group L at this early stage. they are 3 points of third and second place, so they still have a chance to qualify.
Next games in Europa League and other leagues
Chelsea’s next Europa League game is on the 25th October at home to BATE Borisov at 8 pm UK time (3 pm USA time- Washington DC). Whereas Vidi travels to Greece to take on PAOK on the same day as Chelsea vs BATE and at the same time as well. In terms of next games for both teams in their home leagues, Chelsea travels to Southampton in the Premier League this Sunday at 2:15 pm UK time (9:15 USA time- Washington DC). For Vidi, the take on MTK Budapest on Sunday at 5 pm in the Hungarian first division.
By Danyal Khan