8th March, 2019
Chelsea showed all and sundry what they are capable of doing to opposing teams especially at the Stamford Bridge as they virtually crushed the visiting Dynamo Kiev by three goals to nothing in their Europa League last-16 first-leg tie on Thursday.
The goals came courtesy Pedro, Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi as the Blues romped to victory in a very comfortable manner and bringing smiles to the faces of their teeming loyal fans home and abroad.
The first goal came through Pedro as he scored his first Europa League goal of the campaign after 17 minutes after which Willian doubled their advantage with a superb free-kick in the 65th minute.
It was then the turn of substitute Hudson-Odoi who whipped in a third in the 90th minute as Sarri’s men strolled to a third consecutive win in all competitions in the most comfortable manner.
It all started on a bright note as Chelsea forged ahead in the 17th minute thanks to sublime play from Olivier Giroud as he collected Pedro’s pass and picked out the Spaniard’s subsequent surge into the penalty area with a superb flick with the former Barcelona man then sliding the ball through Denys Boyko’s legs from eight yards.
The same Pedro should have doubled the Blues’ advantage three minutes later but fired straight at Boyko from just six yards, while Ross Barkley was denied by the Dynamo goalkeeper’s legs soon after.
The visitor’s goalkeeper brilliantly repelled Pedro’s volley and Marcos Alonso saw an effort deflected narrowly wide as Chelsea threatened to pull out of sight before half-time.
However, Willian ensured those misses were not too costly, however, whipping a superb free-kick into Boyko’s top-right corner from 25 yards in the 65th minute to double the Blues’ lead.
Marcos Alonso then flashed wide and Ruben Loftus-Cheek clipped over before Hudson-Odoi coolly slotted past Boyko late on to ensure Chelsea travel to Ukraine next week with one foot in the quarter-finals.
It is a fact that few would have given Sarri a chance of still being in charge for this game a few weeks ago, but the Italian has well and truly weathered the storm as he has come out of the Kepa Arrizabalaga fiasco in the EFL Cup final with his reputation not just intact, but arguably enhanced, and has now overseen three consecutive wins in all competitions.