Pedro equaliser poises Chelsea v Frankfurt tie at 1-1 heading to London


Eintracht Frankfurt 1 : 1 Chelsea

Chelsea gave themselves a good chance to progress to the UEFA final after drawing the away leg in Gemany.

Pedro’s first-half equaliser means that Chelsea and Frankfurt are level at the halfway point with the Hessian club needing a 2-2 draw or better to progress.

The German hosts had taken the lead via their wonder kid Luka Jovic scoring however despite this the regular scorer went on to a quiet game and Pedro levelled the game up on the verge of the half-time whistle.

Frankfurt had numerous opportunities to score the first goal in the first 20 minutes. ilip Kostic mistimed a volley early on while Danny da Costa’s cross went straight to Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Three minutes later, the German hosts took the lead via their Serbian superstar Jovic. The striker didn’t hesitate in the 23rd minute when getting his head on fellow countryman Kostic’s ball, with it fizzing past Kepa in the Chelsea net. It was the 21-year-old’s ninth in the competition and brought the former Benfica player a piece of history,  becoming the youngest-ever player to score nine or more goals in a single UEFA Europa League campaign.

Five minutes later winger Pedro fired wide from long range to demonstrate Chelsea were still in the game.

The English side could have counted themselves unlucky as they were denied a penalty when Olivier Giroud’s shot appeared to roll up David Abraham’s arm, however referee Carlos del Cerro Grande waved play on

Sebastien Rode’s free-kick almost ended up making it 2-0 to Adi Hütter’s side and it took Blues striker Giroud’s head to stop an incoming Simon Falette from latching onto what would have been an easy chance for the Guinean to score.

Mijat Gacinovic could have put himself on the score sheet in the 41st minute as the Serbian midfielder raced with Andreas Christiansen. The midfielder stopped running believing he had been dragged back. Had he continued he would have been one on one with Chelsea’s keeper.

The later the game went on the more Maurizio Sarri’s men emerged as a force. Midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek gave a sign of what was to come with his curled effort from the edge of the ‘D’ in the 42nd minute.

Chelsea were level via Pedro and Loftus-Cheek linking up, the Spanish winger finding himself in the middle of the German box with the ball at his feet thanks to his team-mate’s pass. He made up for his earlier missed chance making it 1-1 going into the break, and giving Chelsea a vital away goal.

The momentum was with the away side going into the break and this would transpire in the second half.

Four minutes into that half, Chelsea midfielder Jorginho went down following a clash of heads with Rode which concluded with the Italian donning a headband for his troubles but no concussions and repeat of the Controversy from the Spurs v Ajax game.

Pedro tried to return the favour to his English team-mate Loftus-Cheek for the earlier assist, playing the ball to the midfielder however the youth academy graduate could only scuff the ball and sent it over Kevin Trapp’s goal.

David Luiz was denied by both the crossbar and Trapp in the 60th minute as his free-kick caused came close to giving the away side the lead.

Despite Chelsea’s second-half domination over the hosts, they failed to test Trapp for 14 minutes as the Bundesliga side’s defence were throwing every part of their body at the ball.

Two major chances then came along at once as Frankfurt’s German shot-stopper denied Loftus-Cheek before the rebound fell to Eden Hazard who blasted it over the bar. The Belgian winger’s free-kick moments later found the head of Luiz whose header was caught perfectly by Trapp.

Frankfurt were denied a major opportunity to take the lead as Chelsea striker Giroud struck the ball with his arm in his box, however, the referee balanced up his earlier refusal and awarded no penalty.

Eintracht’s captain Abraham missed a golden opportunity in the 85th minute, heading the ball over the bar.

That could be crucial with the score ending 1-1. That result gave Chelsea the record for 16 matches unbeaten in the competition beating a record previously held by Atletico Madrid.

Kevin Trapp; David Abraham; Martin Hinteregger; Simon Falette; Danny da Costa; Gelson Fernandes (OFF 73’); Makoto Hasebe; Sebastien Rode; Filip Kostic; Mijat Gacinovic (OFF 90’) and Luka Jovic.

Goncalo Mendes Paciência (ON 73’) and Jetro Willems (ON 90’.)

Unused Subs –
Frederik Rönnow; Evan N’Dicka; Jonathan de Guzmán; Lucas Torró and Timothy Chandler.

Gelson Fernandes (Yellow 58’); Makoto Hasebe (Yellow 58’)

Kepa Arrizabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta; Andreas Christensen; David Luiz; Emerson; N’Golo Kanté; Jorginho; Ruben Loftus-Cheek (OFF 82’); Pedro; Olivier Giroud and Willian (OFF 61’.)

Eden Hazard (ON 61’); Mateo Kovacic (ON 82’).

Unused Subs-
Marcos Alonso; Ross Barkley; Gonzalo Higuaín; Willy Caballero and Davide Zappacosta

Andreas Christensen (Yellow 20’)


About Author

News writer for Prost International, I get out to games but mainly cover EFL and women's football. Found here:

Comments are closed.