MATCH REPORT

Match Report

Report: Chelsea 3 Malmo 0 (Chelsea win 5-1 on aggregate)

Three second-half goals, scored by Olivier Giroud, Ross Barkley and Callum Hudson-Odoi, ensured the Blues progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League in comfortable fashion, securing a 5-1 aggregate win against Swedish side Malmo.

After a first half of few real chances, we came to life from an attacking perspective after the break and opened the scoring 10 minutes into the second half when Giroud finished off a quick break, led by N'Golo Kante and also involving Willian.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men when Rasmus Bengtsson was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Emerson Palmieri, and Barkley brilliantly curled home the subsequent free-kick to make it 2-0.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek made his return from injury shortly after the second goal, before the impressive Hudson-Odoi put the seal on a 3-0 win with the final goal, a low drive, late on.

A hamstring injury ruled Kepa Arrizabalaga out of the game, meaning there was a rare start for Willy Caballero in goal. Andreas Christensen and Emerson came into the back four, and with Jorginho named on the bench, it was Mateo Kovacic who started as the deepest of the midfield trio.

Giroud, scorer of the decisive goal in Sweden, started up front, with Willian and Hudson-Odoi in support.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was deemed fit enough to be named on a Chelsea bench which included Eden Hazard and Gonzalo Higuain, as well as Academy goalkeeper Jamie Cumming.
 

Sarri will have been looking for his side to start strongly and attempt to build on the 2-1 advantage we were holding from the first leg, but it was the visitors who threatened first as Rasmus Bengtsson met an Andreas Vindheim delivery and headed just over the bar.

Hudson-Odoi had started on the right-hand side of the attacking trio, with Willian on the left, and it was a burst by the youngster which led to the opening opportunity of the game for the Blues as he carried the ball forward and fed Kante, whose cross was headed high over the bar by Giroud.

Having combined well to fashion a chance at one end, however, a mix-up between Hudson-Odoi and Kante presented Malmo striker Markus Rosenberg with a fantastic chance to break the deadlock, but thankfully his angled drive from just inside the box rolled inches past the far post.

Ross Barkley became the first player to be booked after tripping the marauding Fouad Bachirou as he attempted to instigate a Malmo counter attack, and moments later the Chelsea midfielder struck a fierce drive straight down the throat of Johan Dahlin from the edge of the box following good play by Hudson-Odoi.
 

Hudson-Odoi was bright and positive when in possession, and one quick burst of pace drew a foul from Behrang Safari which earned the defender a yellow card. The 18-year-old then played a smart one-two with Willian from a quickly-taken corner, with the Brazilian’s low centre almost turned home by Giroud at the near post.

We were seeing plenty of the ball as the half progressed, without creating too many clear-cut opportunities, although Barkley did draw a save from Johan Dahlin with a low drive from distance after exchanging passes with Giroud.

As the teams headed in at half-time it was goalless, but 10 minutes after the restart we took the lead with a well-worked goal which was made and finished in France.

The opener owed much to the energy and desire of Kante who carried the ball from inside his own half right to the edge of the Malmo box before feeding Willian, to his left, and the Brazilian’s low cross was volleyed home by Giroud from close range.
 

It was the striker’s sixth goal in this season’s competition, and one which gave us a 3-1 aggregate lead.

The goal sparked the Blues into life and the visitors were struggling to cope with the pace of Willian and Hudson-Odoi in wide areas.

After a foul on Willian went unpunished, a positive run by Emerson, who displayed fantastic skill to get away from a couple of challenges, was brought to a halt by a clumsy foul from Bengtsson, who was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Malmo’s task was then made all the more difficult from the resulting free-kick as Barkley stepped forward and curled a delightful strike over the wall and into the top corner to extend our advantage.

 

Our first couple of substitutions followed as Loftus-Cheek and Jorginho replaced Kante and Barkley respectively, before Ethan Ampadu was introduced for the last 11 minutes at the expense of Cesar Azpilicueta.

By this stage, the Blues were in full control of the game, but there was still time from another goal and it came from the right foot of Hudson-Odoi, who collected a superb crossfield ball from Willian and drove into the box before dispatching a brilliant rigfht-footed drive into the bottom corner.

It was his third goal of the campaign and no more than his performance had merited.

Dahlin in the Malmo goal denied Loftus-Cheek with a smart stop in the dying minutes, but the Blues are safely through to the last 16, and we wait to find out who we will face when the draw is made at 12noon tomorrow.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Caballero; Azpilicueta (c) (Ampadu 79), Rudiger, Christensen, Emerson; Kante (Loftus-Cheek 75), Kovacic, Barkley (Jorginho 75); Willian, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi.
Unused subs: Cumming, David Luiz, Hazard, Higuain.
Scorers Giroud 55, Barkley 74, Hudson-Odoi 84
Booked Barkley 16

Malmo (4-4-2): Dahlin; Vindheim, Nielsen, Bengtsson Safari; Traustason (Gall 71), Christiansen (Lewicki 71), Bachirou, Rieks; Antonsson, Rosenberg (c) (Strandberg 61).
Unused subs: Melichárek, Larsson, Binaku, Ahmedhodzic.
Booked Safari 30, Rosenberg 43, Christiansen 50, Bengtsson 51
Sent off Bengtsson 73

Referee Orel Grinfeld (ISR)
Crowd 39,813
 

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