Chelsea controlled the vast majority of possession, as anyone would’ve expected, but for much of the game, neither side really could’ve claimed to be in control. Krasnodar certainly offered plenty of threat on the counter and in their own spurts of possession as well — and even hit the crossbar early in the second half in their best period, with Chelsea only leading 1-0 at the time.
We really only made the points safe in the final third of the match, after switching to a 4-3-3 and creating several incisive final third actions. Werner finally got a chance to convert a penalty (after Jorginho missed one that Werner won in the first half), and Ziyech scored his first for the club quickly thereafter to make it 3-0.
In the first-half, after Jorginho missed his penalty and the bounce off the post favored the goalkeeper, Hudson-Odoi opened the scoring thanks to an error from the goalkeeper, who let an otherwise harmless slip out of his hands and bounce into the net.
It wasn’t pretty, but we got the points, and a few goals, and a clean sheet even! Pulisic added a fourth at the end for good measure.
- Slight rotation from Lampard, with Antonio Rüdiger coming in from the cold to replacing the resting Thiago Silva, and Mateo Kovačić and Callum Hudson-Odoi getting overdue starts. Hakim Ziyech finally fit enough to start as well.
- Triple sub in the 70th sees Chelsea move to a 4-1-2-3, with Kante in the middle (for Jorginho & Kovacic) and Mount and Pulisic both coming on (for Hudson-Odoi). Mount & Havertz both playing very advanced central midfielders in this version of the 4-3-3.
- Pulisic on the scoresheet for the first time this season. Ziyech’s first goal for the club.
- Jorginho had missed 1 non-shootout penalty in his career before this season. He’s now missed 2 just this season. (23/26 for his career.)
- Good to see Abramovich in the stadium as well.
- Third kit still abhorrent.
- Would like to see head injuries taken more seriously than whatever it was that went on after Zouma clashed heads and fell down.
- The other game in the group kicks off momentarily, Sevilla at home to Rennes. Chelsea top of the group as we speak.