Chelsea started brilliantly and could’ve been up two or three inside of ten minutes. As it was, the Blues’ lead was only one, after Olivier Giroud scored with customary cool following a great build-up from the back and a forceful run through the middle by a post-COVID Kai Havertz.
Sevilla eventually woke up and started playing as well, and from then on, it was a much more even though still quite wide open contest. Chelsea survived a set piece scramble at about the midpoint of the half, plus a couple VAR checks for handball, then Pulisic missed a second good opportunity, and the referee handed out a handful of yellows before blowing for half-time.
In the second half, Chelsea again started the better of the two sides, and again made that good start count, with Giroud scoring yet again with even more customary cool. And that just about put the contest to bed, even with a half hour still to go.
That gave us more than enough time to find Giroud’s head for his and Chelsea’s third of the night, and even enough time for him to add a fourth from the spot, after being hauled down by his defender. Glorious
hattrick haul for the big man.
4 - Olivier Giroud is the first Chelsea player to score four goals in a game since Frank Lampard in March 2010 vs Aston Villa, while he's the first to net four for Chelsea in a European Cup/Champions League game. Incredible. pic.twitter.com/p3k9sdCz9k— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 2, 2020
And it was a glorious night overall for the Blues, which guarantees top spot in the group, regardless of what happens on the final matchday (thanks to head-to-head tiebreaker rules).
- Almost a full and complete rotation of the starting lineup, with only Mendy in goal and Kovacic in midfield retaining their spots from the weekend. First starts in ages for the likes of Pulisic and Emerson.
- Like for like changes in Mount (for Havertz), Kante (for Kovacic), Ziyech (for Pulisic), Werner (for Giroud), and Gilmour (for Jorginho). Nice to see Billy G back.
- Giroud more than doubles his goals tally for the season, giving him 5 in his last 2 Champions League appearances. He has 12 goals in his last 12 starts for Chelsea.
34y 63d - Olivier Giroud is the oldest player in Champions League history to score a hat-trick, while he's the oldest to do it in the European Cup since Real Madrid's Ferenc Puskás in September 1965 (38y 173d v Feyenoord). Glorious. pic.twitter.com/vNRBGACFm6— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 2, 2020
- Assists for Havertz, Kovacic, and Kante
- Chelsea win 4 straight Champions League matches for the first time since 2011-12 season. Don’t need a better omen than that!
- That’s now 15 games unbeaten and 8 clean sheets in our last 10 games in all competitions.
- In the other game, Krasnodar beat Rennes, which gives them the Europa League spot. We play Krasnodar at the Bridge next week in what will be purely a fitness exercise.
- Next up: Leeds United on Saturday night, with 2000 in attendance!