Chelsea summer signings Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech show their worth with impressive displays; midfielder Jorginho misses early penalty as Russian side blown away late on by three goals in final 14 minutes
Hakim Ziyech scored his first goal for Chelsea and Edouard Mendy kept his fourth clean sheet in a row in a rampant 4-0 Champions League win over Krasnodar.
Jorginho missed an early penalty for Chelsea in their bid to get their first win in Group E, but Callum Hudson-Odoi got them rolling (37), taking advantage of a howler from Krasnodar goalkeeper Matvey Safonov.
The Russians came out with renewed vigour after the break but a combination of the flawless Mendy and the crossbar, which was rattled by Yuri Gazinskiy, kept Chelsea’s lead intact.
Timo Werner got that all-important second from the spot (76) after a controversial handball call against Aleksandr Martynovich, before Ziyech and substitute Christian Pulisic added gloss to a somewhat flattering scoreline.
Krasnodar: Safonov (3), Smolnikov (6), Kaio (6), Martynovich (6), Chernov (6), Vilhena (7), Gazinski (7); Utkin (6), Olsson (6), Ramírez (6), Berg (6)
Subs: Spertsyan (N/A), Sabua (N/A), Suleymanov (N/A)
Chelsea: Mendy (9), Azpilicueta (8), Rüdiger (7), Zouma (7), Chilwell (6), Hudson-Odoi (6), Jorginho (6), Kovacic (6), Ziyech (7), Werner (7), Havertz (7)
Subs: Pulisic (7), Mount (6), Kante (7), Abraham (N/A), Emerson (N/A)
Man of the match: Edouard Mendy
How Chelsea took control of Group E…
Krasnodar, who finished third in the Russian Premier League last season, were playing in their first-ever home match in the Champions League in what has been a meteoric rise for a club that was only founded in 2008.Sponsored Links
Antonio Rudiger was handed his first start of the season after some clear-the-air talks with Frank Lampard. He was one of four changes from the draw at Manchester United with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech, who was making his full debut, also getting the nod.
For the Russians, Wanderson, Remy Cabella and Viktor Claesson were all out but Swedish duo Marcus Berg and Kristoffer Olsson passed late fitness tests.
Chelsea were keen to take the sting out of the occasion in the early exchanges, keeping the ball efficiently but without much penetration. That changed on 14 minutes when a forceful run from Cesar Azpilicueta ended with a pass into Werner, who cleverly drew the foul of Kaio inside the area. Jorginho stepped up in his usual ‘hop, skip and jump’ style but scuffed the effort against the post. The Italian has now missed two of his last four penalties for Chelsea, having scored each of the first eight he took for the club.
Chelsea’s play remained pedestrian as it was the hosts that carried the more direct threat. Mendy looked relieved to see Tonny Vilhena’s deflected strike loop inches wide of his post on 22 minutes.
Chelsea did finally inject some speed into their forward play on 37 minutes, which resulted in a rather fortuitous opening goal. Kai Havertz found Hudson-Odoi inside the area but his pot-shot didn’t look overly dangerous as it was straight at Safonov but the young goalkeeper allowed the tame effort to squirm through his grasp and into the net.
The hosts played with much more aggression and intent in the second period and took control of the match.
With Chelsea wobbling, Yuri Gazinski blasted into the turf after a corner and the resulting bounce left Mendy unable to divert at full stretch, with the ball rattling the woodwork.
An equaliser looked more likely than a Chelsea second but defender Martynovich’s handball gifted Frank Lampard’s side a second penalty in the match with a quarter-hour to play. It was a harsh decision on the skipper, who accidentally deflected the ball off his thigh onto his slightly outstretched arm.
Up stepped Werner, who blasted home emphatically to seal the Blues’ win and Ziyech added a third moments later, finishing well to cap a strong full debut as the visitors finally eased their path to victory.
Pulisic added a tinge of flattery to the final scoreline, slotting home at the near post to cap a fantastic result for the Londoners on a night where owner Roman Abramovich was in attendance in southern Russia.
Also in Group E…
The other game in Group E saw Europa League champions Sevilla win 1-0 at home against Rennes thanks to Luuk De Jong’s strike early in the second half.
Man of the match: Edouard Mendy
Chelsea have kept three clean sheets in a row in all competitions for the very first time under Lampard, also recording shutouts for the first time in successive away games under the former Chelsea midfielder. It’s no fluke that it has coincided with the arrival of Mendy between the sticks – his influence on this Chelsea team has been massive. There’s an air of calmness that surrounds every decision he has to make – it’s a world away from the performance levels of Kepa Arrizabalaga. There were no standout moments to preserve this clean sheet but every time he was called upon, he answered the call with no fuss, making four saves.
What the manager said
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard: “I was aware he [Roman Abramovich] was here. It always makes us happy. I always feel his support whether here or not. It’s a nice bonus for him to be here for myself and squad. I didn’t manage to see him but a couple of my staff members spoke to him. And I’m pleased we put on a good performance in his home country. Hopefully we made him happy.
“Jorginho has been incredibly successful from his penalties. When you take that many there will be periods when you miss one or two. No problem with his style of taking them. Timo, I know is very capable. We have other players. We’ll talk about how we move forward.”
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last eight group stages away games in European competition (W6 D2), keeping a clean sheet in five of those matches in this run.
- Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over FK Krasnodar is their biggest UEFA Champions League victory since a win over FK Qarabag by the same scoreline in November 2017.
- Chelsea have kept successive clean sheets in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since December 2015, and in their opening two group stage games of a CL campaign for the first time since 2008-09.
- Ziyech has been directly involved in 13 goals in his last 15 starts in the Champions League, scoring six goals and assisting a further seven.
Chelsea are back in action on Saturday at 3pm with a trip to Burnley in the Premier League before hosting Rennes at Stamford Bridge next Wednesday.