UEFA Europa League 2018/19, Chelsea 1-0 Videoton: Hits and Flops from the game
Chelsea were made to work their socks off en route to a 1-0 win over Hungarian champions Videoton FC at Stamford Bridge on Thursday in the Europa League. The Blues enjoyed the majority of possession throughout but lacked quality inside the final third and were even under a bit of pressure from the visitors, who remained unfazed by the prospect of facing the Premier League giants away from home.
Marko Nikolic's men caused a few problems for the hosts early on through set-pieces before enjoying the occasional opening that they created occasionally against the run of play. The travelling fans made themselves heard in west London and even dared to dream of earning a hard-fought result at times, thanks to Videoton's inspiring display on the night.
Despite their relentless effort towards getting something out of the game, Videoton finally conceded in the 70th minute when Alvaro Morata found the back of the net from close-range after Willian had set him up with a neat headed lay-off. The goal did not force the visitors to change their approach as they continued to push for an equaliser, though Maurizio Sarri's men held their nerves to secure all three points in the end.
The result means Chelsea have made it two wins out of a possible two in their Europa League campaign thus far this term and will now face BATE Borisov in their next outing in the competition later this month. On that note, let's take a closer look at the best and worst performers from the game at Stamford Bridge:
#5 Hit - Loic Nego (Videoton)
Loic Nego, a natural defender by trade, started in midfield for Videoton on the night and was arguably their best player while going forward. The Frenchman was constantly on the lookout for the slightest of lapses in concentration from the hosts and was not shy of putting in the hard yards when Videoton chased an awful lot of the ball.
The 27-year-old would have ideally wanted to do better from his first opportunity on the night when he exploited the space behind Emerson Palmieri to get on the ball in a promising area but his effort was too weak and straight at Kepa Arrizabalaga, who handled the situation well.
That was not the end of it for Nego as he came back stronger in the second-half and almost opened the scoring shortly after the restart when he dispatched a good shot on goal that forced Kepa into making an important save to prevent the visitors from taking the lead.
Nego proved to be a real handful for the Chelsea backline on a number of instances and he could have even put them to the sword with a little bit of luck on the night.