Giroud: Drop in intensity caused Chelsea's Europa League fright

Chelsea progressed past Slavia Prague in the Europa League on Thursday, but Olivier Giroud questioned its second-half display.

Olivier Giroud believes that Chelsea has been "efficient up front and solid at the back".   -  Getty Images

Olivier Giroud believes Chelsea allowed its intensity to drop in the second half of Thursday's 4-3 Europa League win over Slavia Prague and that allowed the visitor to get back into the contest.

Chelsea produced a brilliant first-half performance, finding itself 4-1 up at the break thanks to a Pedro brace, Giroud's strike and a comical Simon Deli own goal.

But Petr Sevcik scored two fine long-range efforts early in the second period, causing the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge to become extremely tetchy towards the end.

Chelsea ultimately did enough to advance 5-3 on aggregate, but its second-half display will have alarm bells ringing and undoubtedly give semi-final opponent Eintracht Frankfurt reason for optimism.

READ: Chelsea 4 Slavia Prague 3 (5-3 agg): Sarri's men reach semis despite alarming second half

"We started well with good intentions," Giroud told BT Sport. "We have been efficient up front and solid at the back, but we dropped our intensity after the break.

"But this team never gives up and the last 10 minutes was box-to-box. It was a good fight and now we are in the semi-finals."

Not only did Sevcik's brace give Slavia greater encouragement, it proved to be a proud individual moment for him as a Chelsea supporter.

"It was a great experience for me," he is quoted as saying by UEFA. "I am a lifelong fan of Chelsea and it was a fulfilled dream for me.

"I was a bit lucky, especially with my right-footed goal. But two goals against Chelsea, it is a dream."

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