Chelsea wins, Liverpool loses in Europa League
LONDON (AP) - After the ignominy of a premature demise from the Champions League as defending champion, Chelsea's quest to win the Europa League began by gaining a slender advantage at Sparta Prague on Thursday.
On another miserable night for striker Fernando Torres it required substitute Oscar to clinch a 1-0 victory in the first leg of the last-32 match.
But there was only gloom for another former winner of Europe's most illustrious club competition.
Five-time European Cup champion Liverpool lost 2-0 at Zenit St. Petersburg to mirror its struggles in the Premier League in which it sits in ninth place.