Chelsea 3-0 Dynamo Kiev: Blues put one foot in quarter-finals with convincing win
Last Updated: 08/03/19 6:33am
Chelsea put one foot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a 3-0 first-leg home win over Dynamo Kievon Thursday.
Playing their seventh game in 18 days, Maurizio Sarri's men netted courtesy of Pedro (17) and a sumptuous Willian free-kick (65) before Callum Hudson-Odoi added a late third (88) as Chelsea recorded their third win on the spin in all competitions.
The Blues dominated the encounter for large spells and would be heading to the second leg with an even healthier advantage if it wasn't for an inspired first-half performance by visiting goalkeeper Denys Boyko.
The return leg in Ukraine takes place next Thursday.
Chelsea were given a reminder about the dangers of knockout football at this stage of the competition by Arsenal's defeat in the early kick-off in Rennes. Sarri's men started with an intensity that Kiev struggled to live with.
Chelsea: Kepa (6), Zappacosta (7), Christensen (7), Luiz (8), Alonso (6), Kovacic (7), Jorginho (7), Barkley (7), Pedro (7), Giroud (7), Willian (7)
Subs: Loftus-Cheek (7), Kante (7), Hudson-Odoi (7)
Dynamo Kiev: Boyko (8), Kedziora (6), Burda (6), Shabanov (6), Mykolenko (6), Shepeliev (6), Sydorchuk (6), Shaparenko (6), Buyalskiy (6), Tsygankov (6), Rusyn (6)
Subs: Periera (6), Garmash (6)
Man of the match: David Luiz
The opening goal came on 17 minutes when Olivier Giroud played a cheeky flick through the legs of his marker and Pedro collected before firing home from close range.
That should have been the first of a glut of goals for the Spaniard but Boyko was in sparkling form to deny him twice while Ross Barkley was also thwarted by the busy visiting goalkeeper as somehow Kiev got in at the break just one behind.
It needed something special to beat Boyko and Willian provided the magic on 65 minutes with a quite stunning free-kick from 25 yards. The former Shakhtar Donetsk star had struggled with his final ball up until spanking this effort home - the execution was so perfect that Boyko didn't even move.
Substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek blazed over from close range as Chelsea chased a third goal and their wastefulness nearly cost them as Kiev chased an away goal in the closing stages. However, their press left space for the counter and Loftus-Cheek broke clear before setting up Hudson-Odoi to put Chelsea in a very strong position in the tie.
Man of the match: David Luiz
A joy to watch. Forget about Jorginho dictating play from deep, Chelsea's platform was set by their majestic ball-spraying centre-half who pinged some outrageous long passes to pin their opponents back. He breezed through this game defensively, too, as his performance merited a clean sheet.
- Dynamo Kiev have never won a European match on English soil, with the Ukrainians drawing three and losing 12 of their 15 previous visits.
- Pedro has scored two goals in his last three games for Chelsea in all competitions, as many as he managed in his 16 before that.
- Giroud has been directly involved in seven goals in his last six Europa League games for Chelsea, scoring six and assisting one.
- Hudson-Odoi has been directly involved in seven goals in his last seven games in all competitions for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (4 goals, 3 assists).
Chelsea are back in Premier League action on Super Sunday when Wolverhampton Wanderers visit Stamford Bridge.