A good win that eases pressure for the 2nd leg.
Chelsea and Sarri got a 3rd win in a row as we beat Dynamo Kyiv 3-0 at home although it could have easily been north of 5. Sarri selected a changed lineup with some unexpected players on the pitch. Kepa remained in goal with Zappacosta, Christensen, Luiz, and Alonso making up the defence. Jorginho, Kovacic, and Barkley started with Kante and Loftus-Cheek on the bench. Pedro, Giroud, and Willian started up front with Hudson-Odoi, and Hazard on the bench. Chelsea got off to a slow start but once settled the game was largely played in and around Kyiv’s penalty area. Pedro scored the opening goal in the 17th minute after some great play between him and Giroud. Pedro could have scored another 4 goals in the first half but his finishing let him down and Chelsea went into the 2nd half with a single goal. Chelsea continued where they left off and with 60 minutes played and Kyiv growing in the game Sarri brought on RLC and Kante for Jorginho, and Barkley with Kovacic moving into the regista position. RLC’s impact was instant as he made a run and drew a foul from a Kyiv player in the 65th minute. Willan then scored a brilliant free-kick a carbon copy of the one in the 2015. Hudson-Odoi came on for Willian in the last change as Kyiv were looking like they would at least get an away goal. Though CHO scored in the 90th minute as RLC was given a brilliant pass into his path and he assisted CHO for the 3rd goal. 2 assists for RLC and 3 goals from our wingers, Chelsea have one foot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Sarri continued to state that CHO would need to wait until he was 22-23 to be an important player for Chelsea but he is ready and Sarri will need to use him more often although the pressure to win things is greater for him. RLC on the other hand is “off age” and has to start ahead of Barkley and Kovacic he provides so much more.
- Kepa – Nothing to do for large parts of the game as he adds another clean sheet to his name.
- Zappacosta – Good going forward and put some decent crosses into the box from the right back position.
- Christensen – Getting more opportunities as the season approaches its end and while he was shaky at times he put in another good performance.
- Luiz – Captain for the day and led by example spraying passes all across the pitch and controlling the defence.
- Alonso – Decent but link up play was more and you can see why Emerson is preferred at the moment.
- Jorginho – Good in the first half sloppy in the second as he looked tired and was subbed off for Kante.
- Kovacic – A good performance in both the RMF and Regista positions but not a real threat going forward.
- Barkley – Barkley is always good but never more he played well but never exceeds expectations. RLC needs to start ahead of him.
- Willian – Scored a brilliant free-kick but nothing more.
- Giroud – Another great performance without scoring a goal, if you are a winger who wants to score play with Giroud as his one and two touch play is outstanding.
- Pedro – Scored the 1st and could have added four more as we lively throughout the game as he continues to pickup form under Sarri.
- Kante – Kante was brought on to break up Kyiv’s play and he did just that.
- Loftus-Cheek – A great 30 minute cameo, got two assists and could have scored one goal himself. RLC needs to start more games!
- Hudson-Odoi – Came on for 10 minutes and got another goal as he continues to make his case for a starting position. Teenagers not being ready is a myth and Sarri needs to get on board with the program.
Chelsea now head into a weekend game against Wolves in the league. Wolves are good opposition and having lost to them away from home we need to win this game. Are alternative route to the Champions League continues! COME ON YOU BLUES!!!!