Olivier Giroud Saves Chelsea Draw vs. Vidi in 2018 Europa League

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2018

Chelsea's French forward Olivier Giroud kicks the ball before scoring a goal during the UEFA Europa League Group L football match between MOL Vidi FC and Chelsea on December 13, 2018 in Budapest. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)

Vidi and Chelsea played out a 2-2 draw in Group L of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, with the Blues winning the group to progress in Hungary.

The Premier League side had already been confirmed as group winners before the encounter, and took the lead through Willian's free-kick after 30 minutes.

Vidi equalised immediately through Ethan Ampadu's own goal, and the hosts grabbed a shock lead as Loic Nego finished shortly before the hour mark.

Chelsea were saved by substitute Olivier Giroud with 15 minutes remaining. The Frenchman curled home a wonderful free-kick to earn a point. 


Alvaro Morata Lacks The Intensity to Be Chelsea's Main Striker

It was another bad night in a Chelsea shirt for Spain international Morata, and Blues supporters will be dreaming of a new striker as the January transfer window prepares to open.

The forward once again appeared to lack the fire in his belly as he led the line, and his night ended prematurely with a concerning knee injury before the interval.

Giroud was his replacement, and the France international took his chance with a precision free-kick in the second half.

Morata's lack of impact in games is becoming worrying. His ghostly movement does not fit the criteria needed to excel in England.

Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) is congratulated by teammates midfielder Ross Barkley and forward Álvaro Morata after scoring during the UEFA Europa League Group L football match between MOL Vidi FC and Chelsea on December 13, 2018 in Budapest.

The talent is present in the player, but he appears uncomfortable employing Sarri's tactics.

Morata's lack of intensity was highlighted once Giroud was on the pitch, and the Frenchman did a better job as Chelsea chased the game.

The match was a dead rubber for the Premier League giants, but pride was at stake for the west London club.

Sarri has quickly developed his starting XI into a progressive unit, but Morata is the piece of the jigsaw that doesn't fit.

The Chelsea boss will have the opportunity to purchase in the weeks ahead, and the Spaniard could struggle to regain a starting place once he recovers from his latest injury.


Ethan Ampadu Not Yet Ready To Be Starting Centre-Back

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - DECEMBER 13: Ethan Ampadu of Chelsea FC #44 celebrates Willian's score with teammates during the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Match between Vidi FC and Chelsea FC at Ferencvaros Stadium on December 13, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary. (Pho
Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

Ampadu could develop into one of Europe's premier defenders in the years to come, but the Welshman isn't quite ready for the bright lights.

Sarri fielded the 18-year-old after admitting Gary Cahill is not part of his long-term plans, opening the door for Ampadu's technique to shine.

However, the teenager was unlucky in the first half, deflecting home Vidi's equalising effort, and the player's lack of experience was exposed.

Ampadu has everything he needs to be a starter for the Blues, but he must be broken in slowly this season.

Cahill could leave in January if he wants first-team football, but the youngster needs a veteran to rotate with him in the coming months.

Ampadu will be exposed by the best teams in England. The player could be used as a defensive midfielder but he's not ready to be the last line of Chelsea's team.


What's Next

Both teams are set to feature on Sunday in their domestic leagues. Chelsea visit Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League, with Vidi prepared to host leaders Ferencvaros in the Hungarian National Championship.


This article will be updated to provide more information soon.

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