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Chelsea 3-0 Dynamo Kiev, Europa League: Post-match reaction


Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

If there’s one thing we learned this week, it’s that strange things can happen in European knockout competitions, so when Chelsea kept missing chance after chance after chance (Pedro could’ve had a hat-trick by himself in the first-half not just the one goal), a bit of doubt started creeping in. Was this going to be one those European nights?

Not really.

Willian doubled Chelsea’s advantage just past the hour-mark and it was smooth sailing from then on, not that it was at all choppy beforehand. Loftus-Cheek could’ve added to the lead but instead settled for the assist as Hudson-Odoi added a third just before the end of regulation.

Job done and a solid lead for next week’s second leg away.

And yes, today’s Willian free kick was almost a carbon copy of that perfect Willian free kick in 2015. Same player, same end, same opposition, Chelsea’s second goal again, but about 5 yards further out (and much later in the game with a closer scoreline) back then.

  • Solid amount of rotation in the starting lineup, although Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi only made the bench. Kepa, Christensen, Jorginho, Barkley, and Willian retained their places from the weekend, with Alonso, David Luiz, Zappacosta, Kovačić, Pedro, and Giroud coming in.
  • Early-ish subs of RLC and Kanté to shore up the midfield (Barkley, Jorginho making way). Kovačić plays regista afterwards.
  • Hudson-Odoi gets a dozen minutes towards the end and gets on the scoresheet.
  • Another clean sheet and no shots on target allowed.
  • That’s Captain David Luiz to you, punk
  • Turns out no VAR in operation (today?) in the Europa League, so when Alonso inadvertently blocked a cross for a corner with an arm, there was no chance for anyone to overanalyze things in a situation that no one thought warranted further examination.
  • Next up: Wolves at home on Sunday, then the second leg next Thursday


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