Chelsea's goalscorers Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud pointed out the importance of bouncing back with a win against Malmo on Thursday night.
Barkley opened the scoring in the first half in Sweden before Giroud doubled the lead after the break. We looked well in command until Malmo pulled a goal back with 10 minutes remaining, meaning there is still work to do in the return leg at Stamford Bridge next week, but both players believe a victory was crucial following last Sunday’s defeat at Manchester City.
‘It was important for us to get the result from the weekend behind us and start with a positive today and a win,’ Barkley said.
‘It was vital for us to win today and hopefully it continues. To come away from home and win was the target today and we’re looking forward to the second leg.’
Giroud netted his fifth Europa League goal of the campaign, meaning it is four straight European games in which he has scored.
‘We needed to bounce back today so we have done the job, even if we could have scored more goals,’ said the Frenchman. ‘It’s a shame we conceded on the counter-attack but we are happy and we need to finish the job at the Bridge now.
‘We didn’t concede many chances but we knew they could be dangerous on the counter-attack and they succeeded with one chance. But it’s in our hands and we want to qualify.
‘We have a big game on Monday against Manchester United in the FA Cup, then the second leg and the League Cup final against City. So massive games, and we want to qualify in every competition.’