MATCH REPORT

Match Report

Report: Chelsea 3 Dynamo Kiev 0

The Blues will take a commanding lead to Ukraine next week with Pedro, Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi striking at the Bridge tonight to give us a healthy advantage in this Europa League round of 16 tie.

Pedro might have had a first-half hat-trick but he and we had to settle for one before the break. Olivier Giroud provided the outstanding assist and there was the Spaniard to finish from close range.

Midway through the second period Willian curled in a replica of his free-kick against the same opposition in 2015, rewarding our dominance of this first-leg encounter.

The cherry on top of the cake was provided by sub Hudson-Odoi in the final minute of normal time after good work from Pedro and another man brought off the bench, Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

So a huge step taken towards the quarter-final after another excellent evening’s work in the Europa League. We're back here on Sunday to play Wolves in the Premier League. 

Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal and Andreas Christensen at centre-back continued from Sunday’s win. To the Danish defender’s right Davide Zappacosta started his first game for two months. Giroud was making his 50th Chelsea appearance. Willian and Pedro completed the front three, while David Luiz captained for the first time.

Dynamo Kiev were missing their top scorer in this competition Benjamin Verbic (suspended) and new striker Fran Sol (injured).

The Blues set the tone for a dominant first half by winning a corner inside the opening minute, from which Ross Barkley was crowded out before he could force the ball home.

As we continued to force our Ukrainian visitors back, Pedro was unusually let down by his touch when an errant pass out from the back was directed straight at him in the box.

But the Spaniard showed no such hesitancy with 17 minutes played. Picked out in space by Barkley wide on the left, he accelerated into the box before finding Giroud who had his back to goal. The striker held off his man, controlled and then backheeled the most exquisite pass through the defender’s legs and into Pedro’s path. His finish beat Boyko.

It was Pedro’s first European goal of the season and a second should have followed three minutes later, but he could only shoot straight at Boyko after Zappacosta had scampered down the right and seen his low cross deflect perfectly for Pedro.

The tempo of our play had been good throughout and Barkley was the next to be denied. This time Boyko used his feet to thwart us following more exemplary forward play from Giroud and an incisive Mateo Kovacic pass.

On the half-hour Pedro and Giroud nearly repeated the trick that had worked so well for our opener, but the winger was bundled to the ground before he could shoot and the referee waved our appeals away.

Pedro was at the heart of everything. His next involvement was to bring David Luiz’s defence-splitting pass under control and volley goalwards. The increasingly busy Boyko reacted superbly and got a strong right hand to the ball to keep it out.

The Dynamo keeper then needed one of his defenders, Mykyta Burda, to divert Marcos Alonso’s goalbound strike behind. This time Willian had been the creative spark. Our dominance showed no signs of abating, but the half-time whistle blew, not long after Pedro had forced Boyko into an easier save, with our lead at just one.

It was that man Pedro who had the first meaningful effort of the second half having yet again found space to run in to. This time his effort lacked the power to truly test Boyko.

Olivier Giroud impressed on his 50th Chelsea appearance

‘Come on Chelsea!’ shouted the home support knowing how crucial further goals could be. It felt as though we could all but kill off the tie tonight.

Maurizio Sarri refreshed the midfield with a double-sub on the hour. Loftus-Cheek and N’Golo Kante replaced Barkley and Jorginho, with Kovacic moving to the base.

Loftus-Cheek’s first involvement was to be tripped 25 yards from goal, left of centre. It must have been very near the patch of grass Willian scored a free-kick against Dynamo three-and-a-half years ago, and the outcome tonight was gloriously identical! The Brazilian bent his effort over the wall and into the very top left-hand corner of the net in front of a similarly ecstatic Matthew Harding Stand.

In the wake of the second goal Dynamo had their best spell of sustained possession, and Christensen, yet to miss a minute of Europa League football this season, made a succession of important clearances and interceptions. The Ukrainians also had their first attempt of the evening, a speculative long-range strike from Serhiy Sydorchuk that sailed harmlessly over.

Moments after Alonso drilled wide from the corner of the box, Hudson-Odoi came on for Willian, both players receiving great ovations. 

With seven minutes remaining, a free-flowing Chelsea move started by Loftus-Cheek well inside his own half was nearly finished by the same man as we swept upfield at pace. Hudson-Odoi was involved with a clever backheel before Loftus-Cheek found Pedro. He returned the ball which the England midfielder controlled and then fired over from close range.

It looked like we might immediately be made to pay, but sub Sidcley couldn’t direct his diving header on target with what was comfortably the visitors’ best chance of the night.

For the first time in the match we looked a little exposed but Dynamo couldn’t capitalise and in fact we struck a third before the final whistle.

Zappacosta started the move and then Pedro whipped a crossfield pass behind the defence to Loftus-Cheek, who laid it into Hudson-Odoi’s path. He controlled and fired past Boyko for his third Chelsea goal in this competition and our third of an another enjoyable European night in west London.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa; Zappacosta, Christensen, David Luiz (c), Alonso; Barkley (Loftus-Cheek 62), Jorginho (Kante 62), Kovacic; Willian (Hudson-Odoi 78), Giroud, Pedro.
Unused subs Caballero, Rudiger, Hazard, Higuain.
Scorers Pedro 17, Willian 65, Hudson-Odoi 90

Dynamo Kiev (4-5-1): Boyko; Kedziora, Burda, Shabanov, Mykolenko; Sydorchuk (c), Shepeliev; Tsygankov, Shaparenko, Buyalskiy (Sidcley 71); Rusyn (Garmash 66).
Unused subs Bushchan, Andriyevskiy, Tsitaishvili, Smyrnyi, Kadar.
Booked Shepeliev 9, Buyalskiy 41
Referee Slavko Vincic
Crowd 37,280

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