The European champions cruised to victory in our third group game of this season’s Champions League with Andreas Christensen’s first goal for Chelsea added to by two Jorginho penalties, sandwiching a Kai Havertz goal, although it was not all plain sailing as two strikers were lost to injury.
The game was pretty much one-way traffic from the off, but Romelu Lukaku injured an ankle when winning the penalty for the second goal. Timo Werner went off with a hamstring problem just before half-time. By then we were already 2-0 up thanks to our Danish defender’s close-range shot and the first penalty, and it was 4-0 before the hour.
Substitute Havertz chipped in his second of the season and first since Anfield in August before Jorgi made it a brace of penalties in a match for the third time in his Chelsea career. No Blue had even achieved that feat twice before him.
With Juventus winning 1-0 away in St Petersburg, we are in second place in Group H, three points behind the Italians and three ahead of third-place Zenit.
Chelsea 4-0 Malmo FF (H) | Champions League Highlights
Highlights of Chelsea's 4-0 win against Malmo in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge.
We went into this game knowing there was work to do tonight to strengthen our group-stage campaign having lost to Juventus after beating Zenit at home in our opener. We had to win at home against the side sitting at the foot of the group, and it proved a task well within our grasp.
After recent outings with a 3-5-2 shape, it was back to 3-4-3 tonight with Mount in the forward line on the right although it was Lukaku who was out there sending in an early cross for Werner to battle for, but Lukaku had been offside.
His next involvement was smashing the ball on target after it was half-cleared his way, but despite a sizeable deflection, Johan Dahlin made a save.
It was but a brief respite for the Swedes. The pressure stayed on after the corner and when Thiago Silva crossed from deep, his fellow centre-back Christensen was the player there right in front of the goal, shooting down into the turf with the bounce back up beating the keeper. On his 137th appearance, Andreas was off the mark for goals.
That was on nine minutes and before another nine were played, we were awarded a penalty. It was a great move. Mount’s quick play gave Werner space and when he played Lukaku in, the centre-forward did what he does so well, twisting and using his strength to repel the defence whose last resort was to bring him down.
Lasse Nielsen was booked but Lukaku had been injured. Before he hobbled off with an ankle strain, Jorginho put us 2-0 ahead with a conventionally struck spot-kick. Havertz was Lukaku’s replacement.
Foot on pedal but Timo off
Ben Chilwell attempted to keep his recent scoring run going with a very acrobatic attempt at a volley and then had a softer shot saved. It took two good saves to deny Havertz from the German’s first and second attempts at goal but just after the second of those, we lost our second striker this game.
Werner appeared to tweak a hamstring while following in on Havertz’s shot, so Callum Hudson-Odoi was on just before the interval.
Doubling the advantage
In one of two half-time changes, Malmo switched goalkeepers but before he could even touch the ball, the new guy Ismael Diawara was on the floor watching Havertz lift the ball over him for the Chelsea third. It was a calm finish off the far post after a good run and pass by Hudson-Odoi had opened the way.
Goal number four came from the penalty spot. The overlapping Rudiger took Havertz’s pass towards goal but was barged in the back. Jorginho’s spot-kick conversion was very similar to his first.
With the game won, Tuchel was able to rest some legs and made three changes, including a Chelsea Champions League debut for Saul.
Those on the pitch pressed for more goals as the rain poured down, and Rudiger even tried his luck with a hammered free-kick from 25 yards out which went high into the Matthew Harding End to mighty cheers. So 4-0 it was.
Although with this 4-0 win we have to wait for Chelsea to make it to 500 goals in European competition (we are now on 499), this victory moves us on to 150 European wins. That has taken 279 games. This was one of the most straight-forward.
The Blues begin the Premier League action this coming weekend. We host Norwich in the 12.30pm kick-off at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The match pits the side currently at the top of the table with the one at the bottom. Our next Champions League match is away to tonight's opponents, in a couple of weeks' time.
Chelsea (3-4-3): Mendy; Christensen, Thiago Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta (c) (James 65), Kante (Saul 65), Jorginho, Chilwell (Alonso 65); Mount, Lukaku (Havertz 23), Werner (Hudson-Odoi 44).
Unused subs Arrizabalaga, Bettinelli, Chalobah, Barkley, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech.
Scorers Christensen 9, Jorginho 21 pen, 57 pen, Havertz 48
Malmo (3-5-2): Dahlin (Diawara h-t); Larsson, Nielsen, Brorsson; Berget (Moisander 83), Pena (Rakip 58), Innocent, Christiansen (c) (Nalic 58), Olsson; Colak, Birmancevic (Abubakari h-t).
Unused subs Ellborg, Eile, Bjorkvist, Lindman, Gwargis.
Booked Nielsen 19, Christiansen 53, Larsson 55.
Referee Francois Letexier from France