Chelsea came away from Frankfurt’s incredibly loud and raucous stadium with a 1-1 draw last night, and that’s certainly a decent result to take into the second leg next Thursday at Stamford Bridge.
But it could’ve been a lot better if Chelsea had been able to find a second goal, especially in that second half that the Blues fully controlled (until the very end, when Frankfurt made one last push as well). David Luiz, who was unlucky to find the crossbar rather than the back of the net with one of his trademark free kicks and also missed a great chance on a header from an Eden Hazard free kick, reflected on the team’s missed opportunity afterwards in his interview with Chelsea TV.
“We did well, especially after the first 20 minutes. In the second half we controlled the game, but we couldn’t score the second goal, so I think we lost a big opportunity. [...] It’s going to be tough in the second leg. They are a great team with a great philosophy and they play very well, and in a physical way, [too].”
While the veteran center back, who’s apparently still in talks with the club over a contract extension, gave credit to the team for not collapsing despite conceding the opening goal to the home side who shot out of the blocks supercharged by the fans, he’s quite wary of the potential Eintracht threat in the second leg.
“We have to understand it’s going to be a tough game, like it was today. It doesn’t matter that we are playing at home. But we have to try to qualify.”
-David Luiz; source: Chelsea TV
The draw was just the second match in 13 that Chelsea have failed to win in the Europa League this season, though this one matters much more than the 2-2 draw in the dead rubber group match in Budapest against Vidi FC.
And while the draw did mean that Chelsea set a new competition record for most consecutive matches unbeaten with 16, dating back to the 2013 semifinals and final, none of that will matter if we don’t finish the job next week.