An away goal is always valuable, especially in difficult ties such as Chelsea’s Europa League semifinal with Eintracht Frankfurt. And thanks to Pedro's goal, we got just that. It could yet prove decisive as we bid to make the final. But it also could've been do much better than the 1-1 draw, Chelsea's third in a row in all competitions. Chelsea dominated for large periods of the game.
Striker Olivier Giroud was rightfully frustrated with the final scoreline as well, as neither he nor his teammates could convert several good chances to find a winner.
“It is a good result but if we look at the game we can be frustrated. Even though they scored the goal, we finished the first half better and in the second half we had so many chances and we should have scored goals, so we feel a bit frustrated after the game.”
“Eintracht Frankfurt defended very compactly and deep. I think they knew how we wanted to use our midfielders. They defended very aggressively.”
“They faded a bit towards the end of the game because maybe by then they were very tired but you have to say they played a great game, but even though we could have won this game we are in a good position.”
The tie is clearly not over, as we only have a very slim advantage (which is nonetheless still an advantage). Eintracht will have Ante Rebic back from suspension for next week's second leg, and he will make them even more dangerous.
“We need to finish the job, we must respect these opponents. Frankfurt are a good team and they will have Ante Rebic back. He is a good player, I played against him in the World Cup. But we have a good chance to go through.”
And of course the fight does not end with the Europa League. Chelsea still have two very important league matches, against Watford at home on Sunday, and at Leicester next weekend, to seal our Premier League fate.
Chelsea can get that much sought-after Champions League spot via a top-four finish, and by winning Europa. The ideal scenario is to get both.
“We are going to take one after the other one. We have our destiny in our hands so we just need to focus on ourselves. We need to show character and we need to play with freedom. To play in the Champions League is massive for us and we need to win these two games.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: Chelsea FC
Our fate is in our hands. We just have to not let it slip.