London: Chelsea were given a fright by Slavia Prague in a 4-3 home win last night that saw them to a 5-3 aggregate victory and a place in the semi-finals of the Europa League.
Already 1-0 up from the first leg, Chelsea were cruising when they scored three more goals in the first 17 minutes at Stamford Bridge courtesy of Pedro, an own-goal by Simon Deli and Olivier Giroud and were 4-1 ahead on the night at half-time.
But having been facing a rout, the Czech visitors restored their pride with two early second-half goals from Petr Sevcik as they threatened a remarkable comeback.
Chelsea, however, held on and the London club will face Eintracht Frankfurt for a place in the final.
Frankfurt, meanwhile, beat Benfica Lisbon 2-0 to overturn a 4-2 first leg deficit and advance to the last four on the away goal rule for their first European semi-final appearance in 39 years.
Goals from Filip Kostic and Sebastian Rode were enough to put them through.
A magnificent Alexandre Lacazette free kick sent Arsenal into the semi-finals with a comfortable 1-0 win away to a toothless Napoli, ending Serie A’s interest in European competition this season.
The Frenchman struck in the 36th minute to earn Arsenal a tie against Valencia, just as Napoli, trailing 2-0 from the first leg, were threatening to take control of the game.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team lost their way after that and Arsenal were able to sit out the second half to reach the semi-finals for the second season in a row with a 3-0 aggregate win.
Valencia eased into the semi-finals for the first time in five years with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to fellow Spanish side Villarreal in heavy rain for a resounding 5-1 aggregate scoreline.
Valencia’s Toni Lato and Dani Parejo scored the goals that secured the victory and set up a meeting with Arsenal and former coach Unai Emery in the last four.
Full back Lato strolled into a gaping hole in the visiting defence to volley Valencia in front in the 13th minute at a rain-swept Mestalla to further settle the home side, who enjoyed a 3-1 win at Villarreal in the first leg.
Valencia doubled their lead early in the second half with a free kick by captain Parejo which took a deflection off defender Ramiro Funes Mori.