Wednesday 20 March 2019

Sarri revival continues for dominant Blues

Chelsea 3 Dynamo Kiev 0

Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek in action with Dynamo Kiev's Mykyta Burda. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek in action with Dynamo Kiev's Mykyta Burda. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Chelsea continued their resurgence under Maurizio Sarri by putting one foot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a dominant win over Dynamo Kiev.

Sarri's side made it three wins in nine days thanks to goals from Pedro, Willian and substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi, but should be taking a far greater aggregate lead to Ukraine for next week's return match.

Chelsea's Pedro in action with Dynamo Kiev's Artem Shabanov. Photo: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters
Chelsea's Pedro in action with Dynamo Kiev's Artem Shabanov. Photo: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

The Blues squandered a host of chances in the first leg of the last-16 tie as Dynamo goalkeeper Denys Boyko produced an inspired display, while Pedro had a strong penalty appeal turned down. With the Video Assistant Referee system not being used in this competition until the final, Dynamo could also have complaints about being denied a first-half spot-kick after a cross clipped the arm of Marcos Alonso.

Sarri, who opted for six changes, would have been keen to continue the momentum gained from successive Premier League wins against London rivals Tottenham and Fulham which have dragged him back from the brink of dismissal.

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Facing a limited team with only one fit striker and an ultra-defensive formation, the hosts were in complete control from start to finish. And their dominance was rewarded after just 17 minutes. Pedro gained possession on the left, drove at the Dynamo defence and, after receiving the ball back via a delightful flick from Olivier Giroud, finished through the legs of Boyko.

Chelsea's Pedro in action with Dynamo Kiev's Mykola Shaparenko. Photo: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters
Chelsea's Pedro in action with Dynamo Kiev's Mykola Shaparenko. Photo: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

It was Sarri's substitutions which eventually inspired the overdue additional goals, starting with the second in the 65th minute. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, brought on in place of Ross Barkley, was fouled and Willian curled the resultant set-piece into the top left corner. Hudson-Odoi added some gloss with a late third.

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