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Rennes 1-2 Chelsea, Champions League: Post-match reaction; ratings

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WINNER WINNER INTO THE KNOCKOUT ROUNDS DINNER

FBL-EUR-C1-RENNES-CHELSEA Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images

Chelsea came out flying from the blocks, looking to put the game to bed early. And we almost did so inside of 5 minutes, when Callum Hudson-Odoi laid in a perfect cross for Timo Werner to tap it home, but our leading goalscorer’s goalscoring touch continues to be off. Sure, the ball was bouncing a bit but the chance looked unmissable.

Fortunately, the next time we were in for a great chance, we made no mistake. This time, Hudson-Odoi was on the receiving end of a great pass, from deep by Mason Mount who had won the ball with some strong defensive work then turned into Cesc Fàbregas.

Chelsea were not able to build on that goal; in fact, it were Rennes who responded strongly to going behind and started generation possession and plenty of danger, especially through their speed on the right wing, finishing the half the stronger of the two teams.

A couple strong saves from Mendy and a few key clearances kept the half-time score at 1-0.

Chelsea had a chance to settle some nerves early in the half, but Werner’s headed goal was rightly called offside. Rennes then remembered where they left off in the first-half and started pushing for the equalizer once again. Chelsea defended well enough to keep them out however, even if the midfield was a bit too open.

Abraham was then fouled in the area, but somehow that was called the other way by the referee (and VAR must’ve been asleep).

The letoff gave Rennes even more confidence, and Chelsea’s changes were unable to really stem the tide. And eventually, they made one of their million corners count, with an unchallenged Guirassy powering a header past Mendy from six yards out.

Chelsea answered almost immediately, but Chilwell missed a wide open header from a great Ziyech free kick. Then it was Werner’s turn to miss another great opportunity, again from a Ziyech pass, but Giroud did was Giroud does, finding the loose ball and generating an unstoppable header into the net in stoppage time.

Phew!

Never in doubt.

Carefree.

  • Couple notable changes from Lampard, with Azpilicueta starting his first in five, Hudson-Odoi replacing Ziyech on the right wing, and Jorginho given the nod ahead of Kanté in midfield.
  • Like for like changes in Kanté (for Mount), Giroud (for Abraham), Havertz (for Kovačić), Ziyech (for Hudson-Odoi), plus a late cameo for Reece James for Werner.
  • Krasnodar held Sevilla to a 1-1 draw late winner for Sevilla, too, and that’s both teams into the knockout rounds then.
  • 6 wins in a row, 13 unbeaten.
  • Next up: an early-season six-pointer at the top of the table against Spurs at the Bridge
  • KTBFFH

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