81 min: Vidi make a double change: Kovacs and Hodzic come on for Milanov (who has been Vidi’s best player) and Huszti.
79 min: This game has a slight edge to it now, as the home crowd gets riled up with a couple of tasty challenges. Loftus-Cheek gets a yellow card for a late challenge on Hadzic. Not sure that there was anything in it though.
77 min: Yellow card for Nego, who trips Loftus-Cheek.
GOAL! Vidi 2-2 Chelsea (Giroud 74)
Giroud scores direct from the free-kick. This one was much better than Willian’s, right in the top corner, kissing the underside of the bar on it’s way into the net. Kovacsik didn’t move in the Vidi goal, it sailed over the wall and a Vidi defender trying to get back on the line could only watch it go over his head.
72 min: Awful foul from Vinicius, who scythes Fabregas down at the top of the D outside Vidi’s box and gets a yellow card. Barkley and Giroud both over the ball …
70 min: Chances coming thick and fast now for Chelsea, who are now dominating this game. Vidi are really struggling with crosses. First Giroud peels off at the back post and volleys over, before Pedro has time to chest down a cross, and sidefoot the ball a foot wide of Kovacsik’s left post.
68 min: Big miss from Giroud, at the end of a wonderful flowing move! Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi are all involved before a beautifully weighted pass finds a buccaneering Emerson, who crosses to the near post. Giroud only needs to touch it in, but he goes with his favoured left when the right was easier. A waste!
67 min: Both Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi are playing much better on this left flank. You can tell that they have been playing for years.
65 min: Giroud goes down, hard, after a momentous body check from Juhasz. That was Owen Farrell-esque. With Morata already injured, there will be some concern from the Chelsea bench. It looks like Giroud is OK.
63 min: Baba Rahman is still a Chelsea player, apparently. On loan at Schalke, but has played just once since 2 September. Him and Emerson seem very weird, expensive signings.
60 min: Since Pedro has come on, Hudson-Odoi has switched to the left wing, which is his natural position. Barkley finds some room outside Vidi’s box, slips Hudson-Odoi in, but the youngster’s shot is well saved by Kovaksik, who gathers at the second attempt.
58 min: He’ll remember that one, Nego, who played one match for Charlton back in 2014-2015. We have a game on our hands, even if Group L has already been decided.
GOAL! Vidi 2-1 Chelsea (Nego 57)
This is a sensational goal! Some neat play in midfield releases Milanov down the left. The Bulgarian gets his head up, delivers a perfect cross to the back post and Nego meets in on the run – he doesn’t have to break stride – volleying it first time into the top corner, beating Caballero at the near post. What a goal!
55 min: Chelsea make their second change: Pedro comes on for Willian.
53 min: Chelsea fans, do any of you like Emerson? Roma must have laughed when the £20m-ish offer came in. Wonder where Baba Rahman is these days?
50 min: Another free kick for Chelsea, this time on the right hand side of the box, so favouring the left footer. It’s Willian and Emerson over the ball … Emerson curls it into the knees of the Vidi players in the wall. Not sure he’ll be on the next free-kick.
47 min: Vidi get a corner, from which Stopira has a completely free header at the back post! He heads over, miserably, from six yards out. That was Sunday league defending from Chelsea.
Peeeeeeeeep! The second half begins.
Two bits of information to update you on. BATE Borisov are 3-0 up against PAOK, so Vidi’s hopes of finishing second are all but over. Also, Sarri smokes Merits, apparently.
Half-time reading, for your consideration.
Half-time: Vidi 1-1 Chelsea
A lukewarm 45 minutes. Chelsea haven’t really got out of second gear.
45 min: Two minutes added on here. Giroud is on for Morata.
44 min: Chelsea playing with 10 here. Morata is still sidelined, and Giroud has been told to warm up.
43 min: Loftus-Cheek has been very poor. As has Barkley for that matter.
42 min: Morata is down, clutching his knee. He looks like in a lot of pain, although replays show the problem stems from a very innocuous landing. Still, concern for the Spaniard.
40 min: Hudson-Odoi comes alive on the right wing, causing Stopira all sorts of problems. First he plays a slide rule pass to the overlapping Zappacosta, who crosses for Morata, then the 18-year-old cuts out the middle man: tricking his way to the byline and delivering to the near post. Morata looks like he’s going to get there first but it’s a good clearance from Juhasz.
38 min: Does anybody know what brand of cigarette Sarri smokes?
35 min: A Morata shot is deflected behind, from which Willian delivers to the back post, where Christensen fouls Nego.
In answer to my question about Willian not starting every game, Geoff Saunders has emailed in.
“Because for all his talent and energy there is far too little genuine end point. Crosses are rarely very good, he doesn’t score enough. If I were the opposition manager I’d be happy to let him run – show him wide and watch him cross the ball into row Z.”
GOAL! Vidi 1-1 Chelsea (Ampadu og 32)
Vidi hit straight back! A promising move down the left wins the Hungarian side a corner, from which Milanov flicks the ball on at the near post. Ampadu tries to head it clear but only succeeds in heading straight into his own net. He holds his dreadlocks in disbelief. A real shame for the Welshman, who has looked otherwise assured tonight.
GOAL! Vidi 0-1 Chelsea (Willian 30)
Willian curls the ball over the wall and into the corner. It’s a good – not great – free kick. Kovacsik, Vidi’s keeper, was probably far far over and couldn’t get there.
29 min: Willian wins what looks like a soft free-kick 25-yards out. This looks like perfect range for the Brazilian …
26 min: I can confirm that Fabregas is still good at football. Will be interesting to see if that move to Milan materialises in January. He might not have the dynamism to get in Chelsea’s best XI any more, but his touch is still sublime. Remember only Ryan Giggs has more Premier League assists.
23 min: A loose pass from Hudson-Odoi is retrieved by Nikolov, and suddenly Vidi are two-on-two on goal with Chelsea’s defence. Nikolov squares the ball to Nego, who gets his feet in a muddle and can only manage a weak shot at Cabellero.
21 min: There’s been a goal in the other game in this group, and it’s a big one. BATE Borisov are 1-0 at PAOK. A win there would guarantee them second place in the group at Vidi’s expense.
19 min: Rangers have just hit the bar in their crucial game against Rapid Vienna. You can join Scott Murray right here for that one.
15 min: Chelsea fans: why isn’t Willian one of the first names of the team-sheet? He seems to be in and out of the side, despite being outrageously talented.
13 min: I went to Stamford Bridge a couple of weeks ago for Chelsea v Fulham to meet Dave Hadley, an 84-year-old Blues fan, who has been going to games since 1944. You can watch the Instagram story of our afternoon together right here. Despite his age, Dave follows Chelsea home and away – I wonder if he’s in Budapest tonight.
11 min: Good game this! Both teams showing attacking intent. Vidi will be compact but look a threat on the counter-attack, particuarly with Milanov and Nego.
9 min: Lovely ball into Milanov, who takes a delightful touch on his chest and curls a wonderful cross just a yard in front of Scepovic. It was a tap in if the Serbian got there. Emerson, who has looked woefully short of having enough quality to be a Chelsea player in the games I’ve watched, does well to clean things up at the back post.
7 min: Barkley smashes a shot of goal but Vinicius, a a Brazilian-born player that became a Hungarian citizen last year, makes a heroic block and requires some treatment.
5 min: Vidi have woken up! Stopira gets forward from full back and Nikolov finds himself in a pocket of space and lets fly from 20 yards, but he slices it badly.
3 min: Not sure Vidi have touched the ball yet. Willian, Loftus-Cheek feinting and ducking around challenges on the left.
Peeeeeeeeep! We’re underway in Hungary.
A big night for Callum Hudson Odoi, who played very well in this competition a couple of rounds ago.
A big night also for Alvaro Morata, who badly needs a goal.
Vidi are second in the Hungarian league, eight points adrift of Ferencvaros. They’ve been playing European football this season since the qualifiers way back in July. They must be knackered.
They do have history in this competition – a trip to the final of the Uefa Cup in 1985, beating Manchester United on the way – where they lost to Real Madrid 3-1 on aggregate. They did however beat them 1-0 at the Bernabeu. Something like that tonight would do nicely.
It’s very difficult to prepare the match because we haven’t got a target. We need to have a mental target to have motivation. I am happy because we have four players who are born after 2000.
It’s very misty in Budapest and that is a very strong Chelsea side. Vidi manager Marko Nikolic will have been hoping for the reserves and whilst there are 10 changes from the team that beat Manchester City (willian is the only one that ‘survives’), this is some team. Cesc Fabregas captains the side.
Most notably, Ethan Ampadu starts tonight for the first time this season – he’s played more for Wales – and there’s the first involvement in a Chelsea first team for George McEachran, brother of Josh.
Vidi FC: Kovacsik, Fiola, Juhasz, Vinicius, Stopira, Nego, Anel Hadzic, Nikolov, Milanov, Marko Scepovic, Huszti. Subs: Tujvel, Kovacs, Berecz, Hodzic, Patkai, Tamas, Hangya.
Chelsea: Caballero, Zappacosta, Christensen, Ampadu, Emerson Palmieri, Barkley, Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Morata, Hudson-Odoi. Subs: Cumming, Alonso, Jorginho, Pedro, Giroud, Luiz, McEachran.
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (FYR Macedonia)
Veni, vidi, vici.
Chelsea have conquered all before them in this season’s Europa League. Five games, five wins, 10 scored, one conceded. Chelsea are nine points clear of second-placed BATE Borisov going into Group L’s sixth final game – which is just shy of PSG’s lead in Ligue 1 after 16 matches. Not bad.
All of which means that this is mother of dead rubbers for Chelsea, who should be able field some of their second stringers, current internationals, and next big things not currently playing football on a weekend. For Vidi, this is very much a crunch tie, they need to better BATE’s result away at PAOK. All to play for.
Kick off: a maverick 5.55pm GMT.