90+3min: FULL TIME. Chelsea win, easily in the end!
90+2min: RLC does get the ball from CHO this time, but Dahlin makes a tremendous save to keep it 3-0.
90min: Three minutes added on.
88min: Bachirou takes out Willian in the same spot from which Barkley scored. Willian tries to go under the wall, but it’s blocked.
86min: CHO almost finds RLC again, but again the ball is just a bit too long and the goalkeeper gathers.
84min: GOAL!!!! Hudson-Odoi in acres of space on the right. Willian finds him with another great switch, he makes one move, scores with ease. 3-0, CHELSEA, 5-1 on aggregate.
80min: Kovacic appears to have picked up a knock.
79min: RLC and CHO combine almost immediately, but the ball back in from out wide is just a little too long for RLC and Malmo have the goal kick. Rieks picks up an injury for the visitors (already down to 10 and out of subs) while Azpilicueta makes way for Ampadu. Willian takes the armband, Ampadu slots in at right back.
75min: Jorginho and Loftus-Cheek on for Barkley and Kante.
74min: GOAL!!!! Barkley!!! Ross the Boss takes the free kick, Ross the Boss scores the free kick. 2-0, CHELSEA, 4-1 on aggregate.
73min: This time it’s Emerson who’s taken out, just at the top of the box. Bengtsson gets the yellow and it’s his second. He’s off early and that was always going to be a likely outcome given Malmo’s approach in both legs.
71min: Giroud and Barkley get Chelsea going on the counter and Willian plows forward on the left, but gets taken out from behind just before he could find Hudson-Odoi on the other flank. But the referee ignores the foul. Malmo make their final two chanceg
65min: CHO and Kante combine again before the former puts in a cross that’s a bit too much for Willian to handle. Still a chance is fashioned, which Malmo clear with some difficulty. Chelsea could have a fair few more goals here if we wanted to.
64min: Hudson-Odoi finds Kante wide open in the middle. He drives forward but his pass to Giroud is blocked, then blocked again, then falls for Barkley, but he’s called offside just as he passes it into the back of the net.
60min: Safari puts his studs into Kante’s ankle, but he doesn’t go down and thus gets no call. Safari avoids the second yellow that would’ve (should’ve) surely also followed.
58min: Rosenberg ends up on the ground off the pitch after the latest battle with Christensen, requiring a bit of treatment. He eventually makes way for Strandberg a few minutes later.
55min: GOAL!!! GIROUD!!! Chelsea finally come to life as Kante wins the ball and gets the Blues going forward, finding Willian on the left, who puts in a perfect cross for Giroud to tap home. 1-0, CHELSEA, 3-1 on aggregate.
52min: Bengtsson the latest to go into the book for hacking down Barkley on the Chelsea counter. In the break, some idiot runs onto the pitch and gets tackled by a steward. No card for that one.
50min: Chelsea defend the corner well, both first and second phase. Malmo pressing agressively. Emerson breaks the press and is taken out from behind by Christiansen, who gets a yellow.
48min: CHO beats one with a spin, can’t get past the second man but wins a throw, which Azpi takes. Giroud knocks it down for CHO but Malmo close down and Chelsea have to pull out. Azpi’s square ball is cut out however and Malmo counter. Chelsea recover and clear for a corner as Azpi heads out.
47min: Bengtsson poleaxes Giroud on a clearing header. The big man stays down as Chelsea play on, then eventually limbers up and gets on with it.
46min: Malmo fans light up some flares, and that is now officially the most exciting thing to happen so far today. We’re back underway with the visitors needing two goals at least. No changes for either side.
HALF-TIME: Outside of a brief 10-minute spell, Chelsea have sleepwalked this thing so far.
45min: No time added on and the referee’s whistle is greeted by a few moans and groans, but little emotion.
44min: Rosenberg gets a yellow for a strong kick straight into Kovacic’s right knee, as the first-half peters out aimlessly.
40min: Barkley finds himself with a bit of space in the middle and tries his luck from 20 yards. Dahlin dives, saves, holds.
37min: Emerson cross blocked, but Chelsea hold possession. Then Hudson-Odoi’s cross blocked and Chelsea have a corner. Willian’s effort is well over Rudiger’s head and is cleared but Chelsea retain possession.
36min: Rudiger tries the Azpi-cross towards Giroud, but Malmo get it clear through Bengtsson and the goalkeeper. Christensen clears the long goal kick for a throw.
34min: Willian wins the foul off Vindheim, this time, out wide left. He swings in the free kick for Giroud’s far post, but his header back is cleared for a throw.
32min: Hudson-Odoi win a corner. Willian takes it short to CHO, who gives it back to him. His low cross is somewhat missed by Azpilicueta and Dahlin makes the save on the deflection from the Chelsea captain. Close!
31min: Safari takes out Hudson-Odoi with a tactical foul, gets the yellow he rightly deserves.
29min: Hudson-Odoi’s turn to flash some skill, but Chelsea eventually settle for a cross from Emerson towards Giroud, which is clear by the goalkeeper up towards Rosenberg, who wins his duel with Christensen and wins the free kick. Chelsea clear with Azpilicueta.
28min: Willian beats two on the left and swings in a cross, but it’s blocked by Nielsen and Malmo get to the 50-50 first, before Emerson gives away a foul to complete the clearance
27min: Excellent atmosphere in the stadium, with the Malmo fans going nuts with their non-stop chanting. Chelsea maintaining possession, but not doing much with it at the moment.
25min: Tremendous cross-field switch finds Hudson-Odoi, but he can’t get past Rieks and is called for a push.
24min: Chelsea continuing to not be able to deal too well with Malmo’s high press, but eventually cross the half-way line and settle in for some possession.
19min: A nearly perfect volleyed cross from Vindheim almost finds Rosenberg, but eventually is over the head of everyone and Chelsea can restart. Barkley tries his luck from distance after a bit of dribbling around by Hudson-Odoi, but Dahlin catches the powerful drive into his stomach.
17min: Hudson-Odoi finds Giroud on a Higuain-esque run, but the shot is blocked and Malmo counter. Barkley pulls and pushes Christiansen to stop it, but gets the yellow for his troubles.
14min: Willian taken out, no call. Kante covers in midfield to stop the counter.
12min: Chelsea having trouble playing out, and after Hudson-Odoi gives the ball away with a backpass, Rosenberg pounces, twists Rudiger into a pretzel and has a left-footed effort roll just wide of the far post.
10min: Malmo pressing high and win the ball. Traustason tries his luck from distance, but it’s well wide. Emerson then drives forward and puts in a low cross, but Dahlin’s alert to it and shovels it away.
5min: Kovacic gives the ball away, but Chelsea recover and get going through Hudson-Odoi. His cross is headed over by Giroud.
3min: Rudiger gives away a foul on the right touchline; Malmo swing in the cross, Chelsea clear, but Malmo get a second chance to cross and this time Bengtsson’s header if just wide.
KICK-OFF: Chelsea get us underway, hold the ball, then give it away.
Win, loss, win, loss, win, loss. If the pattern holds, Chelsea should be winning this one. Chelsea “should” be winning this one regardless, of course, but nothing’s guaranteed these days — especially these days.
Surely, a loss would be unthinkable, even if Chelsea were to advance (which we would, if we were to lose 1-0 tonight). The Blues hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg in Sweden, and away goals in Europe still count the usual way. If Malmo win 2-1 tonight, we head into extra time and then penalty kicks if necessary.
A winner must be found, and it must be us. Here we go.
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Caballero | Emerson, Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta (c) | Barkley, Kovacic, Kante | Willian, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi
Substitutes from: Cumming, Jorginho, Higuain, Hazard, Loftus-Cheek, David Luiz, Ampadu
Malmo starting lineup (4-4-2):
Dahlin | Safari, Bengtsson, L.Nielsen, Vindheim | Rieks, Bachirou, Christiansen, Traustason | Rosenberg (c), Antonsson
Substitutes from: Melicharek, Larsson, Binaku, Lewicki, Strandberg, Ahmedhodzic, Gall
Date / Time: Thursday, February 21, 2019, 20:00 GMT; 3pm EST; 1:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Orel Grinfeld
Be excellent to each other.