Timo Werner’s first Champions League goal for Chelsea helped the Blues to a convincing victory in Russia on Wednesday evening, although the German insisted afterwards that the 4-0 final scoreline perhaps did not fully reflect the stubborn test provided by Krasnodar.
Group stage debutants this season, the Russians picked up their first point on matchday one against fellow new boys Rennes and made life difficult for Frank Lampard’s side with their aggressive midfield play and well-organised shape.
Werner’s goal, our second of the night, came at a particularly important time after the hosts had started the second half brightly. He had earlier won a penalty that Jorginho fired against the woodwork before Callum Hudson-Odoi opened the scoring.
‘In the end, it was 4-0 but it was not so easy like the result suggests,’ admitted Werner. ‘The first half was really tough for us. Krasnodar were really hard to play and they gave us a lot of problems.
‘We were a little bit unlucky that Jorginho did not score a penalty in the first 10 minutes but after that we played good to the front and we played deep behind the defenders. At the end, we are happy that we won.’
With over 11,000 home supporters in the stadium, the Chelsea players were faced with an atmospheric experience they had almost forgotten about, fighting against not just 11 opponents on the field but a partisan crowd urging their team forward. Werner felt the visitors showed resilience during this period to keep Krasnodar at bay.
‘When we came out after half-time, Krasnodar put a lot of pressure on us,’ he continued.
‘Everybody felt in the stadium that they wanted to score and make it 1-1 but we did well in this time. We defended very good and after this the penalty helped us a lot to win the game.’
All eight of the striker’s Champions League goals have now come away from home, three from the spot. With Jorginho denied by the post in the first half and the Italian later withdrawn, it was Werner who stepped up to take on penalty-taking responsibilities and his effort lashed into the back of the net contrasted significantly with Jorginho’s more subtle approach.
When asked about his spot-kick candidates after the game, Lampard defended his vice-captain’s record and style, with Werner offering a different option if required.
‘It depends on the game, not only because Jorginho missed a penalty, that someone else shot but I am very happy that I scored and that we won 4-0,’ added the striker.
‘It is good for us because the last game was not like this. We didn’t win so easy so it was good, not only for me but for the whole team.’