Chelsea handed Sparta Prague trip in Europa League
Thursday 20 December 2012
Chelsea have been drawn against Czech outfit Sparta Prague in the Europa League round of 32, the BBC has reported.
Sparta Prague, currently third in the Czech league, finished second in their domestic competition last and qualified for the third round of the Europa League qualification stage. They first overcame FC Trenkwalder Admira 4-2 on aggregate, before beating Dutch outfit Feyenoord in their final play-off tie, also 4-2 on aggregate.
In Group I, Sparta finished second, some seven points behind Lyon, bur their record of two wins and three draws allowed them to finish in front of Athletic Bilbao and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona.
20 year-old Vaclav Kadlec scored four goals in their group games, whilst defensively, they only managed to keep one clean sheet, against Bilbao in their final group game.
Chelsea made the Europa League having dropped down from the Champions League after they finished third in their group. They suffered the indignity of being the first reigning Champions League holders to fail to qualify from the group stages, and they also suffered defeat in the Club World Cup last week, losing 1-0 to Corinthians in Japan.
They currently sit in 3rd in the Premier League, 13 points behind league leaders Manchester United, albeit with a game in hand.
Sparta Prague will welcome Chelsea for the first leg on February 14, with Chelsea returning the favour on February 21. The winners will play either Ajax or Steaua Bucharest.
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