FULL TIME: Job done. Chelsea win!
90+3min: Hazard hacked down from behind; still no yellow. LOL.
90+2min: Barkley gives the ball away again, but Christensen covers again before getting fouled by Rosenberg.
90+1min: CHO beats his man and finds Kante, but his cutback towards the penalty spot rolls into empty space instead of Hazard’s feet, who should’ve been there but ran towards the goal instead. Giroud then has a tight angle shot but it’s saved.
90min: Barkley gives the ball away, but Christensen recovers well to prevent any real danger.
88min: Giroud called offside after some good work by Hazard down the left. Malmo still believe.
84min: Pedro called offside, then makes way for Callum Hudson-Odoi, at least 15 minutes too late.
82min: Chelsea have a corner, easily cleared.
79min: Goal! Malmo, who are still playing, and finding a goal. Christiansen finishes at the far post after bursting through the Chelsea lines and found by Rosenberg who held up the ball well. 2-1.
77min: Hazard tracks back to win the ball. It was a defensive substitution!
74min: Now it’s Kante on for Jorginho, with Kovacic dropping deep. Questionable substitutions from Sarri.
73min: Great play down the right with Azpilicueta finding Giroud, who flicks it on for Pedro, who’s just beaten to it by the goalkeeper.
71min: Willian takes the free kick and finds Giroud making a great run off the shoulder of Safari. He tries a left-footed shot first-time on the full turn, but whiffs badly. Willian is replaced by Hazard, for some ungodly reason.
70min: Giroud gets taken out this time. Still no yellow. Malmo make a couple changes, including a new striker in Strandberg.
69min: Kovacic drives forward, finding Barkley, who lays it on for Pedro, whose shot is deflected just wide of the far post. Willian takes the corner, but it’s cleared at the near post.
67min: The corner’s taken short, then Willian’s fouled by Christiansen. Willian swings the ball in but it’s over the head of everyone. Emerson’s cross back in is cleared for another corner, which is then cleared for good by Malmo.
65min: Great combination play between Giroud and Barkley, but the latter’s shot is saved very well by the goalkeeper.
62min: Emerson puts in a good-looking cross, but it’s over Giroud and too far in front of Pedro on the right. Willian then tries to do his best Hazard impression, but is unable to find the space for a shot. Chelsea maintain possession.
58min: GOALLL!!! Giroud!!! Chelsea break through the pressure with aplomb for once, and Barkley bounds forward 3-on-3, finds Willian on the left, who beats his man and slides across a ball with his left. Giroud finishes with a neat flick. Lovely play all around. 2-0, CHELSEA!!
57min: Emerson fouled again, by Rosenberg from behind, and still no yellow.
55min: Traustasson’s second effort from the corner is deflected wide by David Luiz, who’s incensed at Chelsea’s poor defending. More shaky defending on the follow-up corner, but Malmo head well wide.
53min: Malmo have a corner, but David Luiz blocks the resulting shot and Chelsea try to break. But it’s wasted. Instead Malmo come forward and only an alert recovery from Azpilicueta prevents a clear chance. Malmo do have a corner.
51min: A half-chance for Malmo is cleared, but Chelsea can’t keep hold of the ball and Malmo come again. David Luiz clears. Then Azpilicueta clears. Chelsea break forward but Giroud is hacked down but is then instead called for a foul, mysteriously, by this hilariously poor referee.
48min: Giroud and Jorginho combine well through the middle and the latter finds Azpilicueta coming forward on the right, but his cross is blocked for a throw. Chelsea play it around then try a ball over the top for Giroud, but it’s cleared.
46min: Chelsea get the second-half underway, but David Luiz’s traditional ball down the left is well off the mark and Malmo establish possession first.
HALF-TIME: Malmo’s gameplan is clear, hack Chelsea to pieces. So far it’s almost working, enabled in part by the referee. Chelsea do lead 1-0.
45min: No added-on time after a pacey first-half, which ends, appropriately enough, in another foul by Malmo, this time on Giroud.
44min: Chelsea keep possession for a little bit, but Giroud eventually wanders offside and Malmo have it back.
42min: Chelsea play out neatly this time but Kovacic is hacked down. Still no yellows from the referee, who surely forgot his cards at home.
40min: Chelsea not finding it easy to play out again and Kovacic is hilariously called for a swinging arm despite being buffeted left and right by Malmo. Malmo’s free kick from out wide rolls all the way through the area to a far post shot, which is blocked for a throw, which is then cleared for a corner. Malmo’s corner is only half cleared by David Luiz but the shot from the top of the box is blocked by Azpilicueta. The follow-up shot is wide and Chelsea can finally take a breath after a frantic 90 seconds.
36min: Jorginho turns the ball over in midfield and Malmo have a chance to shoot, winning a corner on the deflection over the bar. The corner is cleared by Barkley at the near post for another corner, which gets taken short and then blocked, appropriately enough, by Jorginho.
34min: Giroud can’t control the ball in to him and Malmo break forward on the right, but Chelsea recover well and Christensen clears for a throw.
32min: A bit of shaky defending gifts Malmo a chance, but Christiansen’s shot from the top of the box is weak and wayward.
30min: GOAL!! Barkley!!! Chelsea come forward on the right again and Pedro produces a good cross for once, finding Barkley in the middle who pokes it past the goalkeeper after a bit of awkward control. 1-0 CHELSEA!!!
29min: Malmo pressing high and giving Chelsea all sorts of problems in playing out from the back. A foul on Azpilicueta lets the Blues out.
28min: Azpilicueta comes forward and pumps in a cross, but it’s a bit behind Giroud and his header is weak and easily collected.
27min: Emerson the latest to suffer a foul (still no yellow), but Giroud’s called offside on the free kick. Replays show he was well onside.
25min: Willian finds Giroud at the far post on the break, but the big man is held off well by Bengtsson after a decent bit of chest control.
24min: Chelsea dial the pace back and keep the ball for a bit, but Kovacic eventually loses the ball on the turn after being found by David Luiz.
22min: Neat tackle from Christensen and lovely feet from Kovacic get Chelsea out on the break down the right flank ... but Pedro’s pass back to the middle is terrible and the goalkeeper collects easily.
February 14, 2019
21min: Willian beats his man but his cross is blocked and the referee gives a goal kick, hilariously.
18min: Chelsea try to play out but Pedro loses the ball and Malmo break up the left side. Christensen clears then Kovacic is fouled but gets no call from the referee.
15min: The locals are getting loud and proud and feisty, as their team commits a series of annoying fouls.
12min: Chelsea have a free kick, but David Luiz’s close-range header from Barkley’s cross is off target. Turns out he was offside anyway.
10min: Barkley has a chance after pouncing on a turnover, but his 20-yard effort is deflected wide.
5min: Chelsea get a corner and play it short. Willian picks out Giroud but his shot is blocked.
2min: Malmo start brightly and win a couple corners, but Chelsea defend the far post well enough, with Jorginho getting in a timely block.
KICK-OFF: And we’re off!
The Blues take on Sky Blues once again, hoping for a different outcome than Sunday’s 6-0 trouncing up on the sky blue side of Manchester.
This should (“should”) be an easy win for Chelsea, both home and away, but as we know all too well (in both a negative and a very positive sense) strange things can happen in knockout round games, even the two-legged kind.
Looks like Chelsea are not messing about with the lineups.
Here we go!
Malmö FF starting lineup (4-3-3):
Dahlin | Safari, Bengtsson, L.Nielsen, Vindheim | Rieks, Bachirou, Christiansen, Traustason | Rosenberg (c), Antonsson
Substitutes from: Melicharek, Larsson, Binaku, Lewicki, Strandberg, Ahmedhodzic, Gall
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, Christensen, David Luiz, Azpilicueta (c) | Barkley, Jorginho, Kovacic | Willian, Giroud, Pedro
Substitutes from: Caballero, Rudiger, Kante, Higuain, Hazard, Hudson-Odoi, Zappacosta
Date / Time: Thursday, February 14, 2019, 20:00 GMT; 3pm EST; 1:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Stadion, Malmö, Sweden
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov
On TV: BT Sport 2 (UK); UniMás (USA); SONY TEN 2? (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: BT Sport Live (UK); B/R Live, Univision NOW (USA); SONY LIV? (India)
Be excellent to each other.