Chelsea cruise through to tomorrow’s Quarter-Final draw
Olivier Giroud scored a hat-trick as Chelsea thrashed Dynamo Kiev to move into the Europa League Quarter-Finals with an 8-0 aggregate win.
Giroud added to Chelsea’s 3-0 aggregate lead from a corner with only five minutes gone in Kiev to effectively end any slim hopes of a comeback from the hosts and added a second from a wonderful Alonso cross just after the half-hour mark.
With Maurizio Sarri’s men now in total control, Alonso tapped in a third from Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross in first-half stoppage time.
Instead of easing off, Chelsea continued to push on and dominated the second half as much as the first, with Giroud sealing his well-deserved hat-trick with a header from Willian’s free-kick just before the hour mark.
Since scoring his only domestic goal of the season in the 3-1 defeat against Tottenham in November last year, the 32-year-old Frenchman has scored eight goals in seven appearances in Europe (9 goals in 9 games overall in the Europa League).
Giroud in the Europa League is what Cristiano Ronaldo is in the Champions League… unstoppable.
The perfect performance was capped with another goal from Callum Hudson-Odoi – who today received his maiden England U21 call-up – with a composed finish beyond Kiev’s Denys Boyko after brilliant work and layoff from Giroud.
The emphatic nature of the result will serve as a warning to the other clubs still remaining in the competition, with the Blues now placed as the favourites to win the tournament.
Chelsea will discover their Quarter-Final and (potential) Semi-Final opponents in tomorrow’s draw, which takes place at midday (UK time).
Possession (%) – Dynamo Kiev 38%, Chelsea 62%
Shots – Dynamo Kiev 6, Chelsea 14
Shots on Target – Dynamo Kiev 2, Chelsea 8
Corners – Dynamo Kiev 3, Chelsea 7
Fouls – Dynamo Kiev 13, Chelsea 8
Offsides – Dynamo Kiev 6, Chelsea 1
Yellow/Red Cards – Dynamo Kiev 1/0, Chelsea 1/0
(Bonus Stat) 4 – By scoring tonight, Callum Hudson-Odoi has now scored more goals (4) than any other teenager to have played in European competition this season.
• Brilliant performance.
• Granted it’s Kiev, but tonight has been arguably our best performance of the season.
• Giroud masterclass.
• RLC giving me Vieira/Yaya Toure flashback vibes.
• Christensen was rock solid.
• CHO showcasing what’s he got once again.
Chelsea Player/Manager Ratings
Kepa – 6, Had absolutely nothing to do. Literally a spectator.
Zappacosta – 6, Decent performance. Didn’t have much to do from a defensive perspective, sloppy in possession, however.
Rudiger – 7, A couple of times he was caught out of position, but a competent display from our German centre-back.
Christensen – 9 Two words come to mind to describe Christensen’s match overall… Rock. Solid. Did not put a single foot wrong. He HAS to start Premier League games more often now.
Alonso – 7, Solid defensive display and was productive going forward. Marked off a good outing with a goal (nearly two).
Kanté – 7, Solid as always from the diminutive Frenchman. Comfortable going forward, stroll in the park even.
Kovačić – 8, Mateo starting to look like he’s found his mojo in my opinion as he becomes more comfortable with playing in the ‘regista’ role.
Loftus-Cheek – 9 A brilliant match for Loftus-Cheek. Gave me flashback vibes of Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure, steamrolling up the pitch, going past his opponents with ease and creating non-stop havoc. Once his back injury woes are finally solved, he’ll be frightening (good) for us.
Hudson-Odoi – 9, Started off slowly but grew into the game. By the end, he became a nightmare for Kiev’s defence. Pace, skill, sublime dribbling all on show. Jadon who???
Giroud – 10, MOTM. An absolute masterclass of a performance from the Frenchman. Hat-trick, one assist, exceptional footwork and positional awareness. Best display in a Chelsea shirt to date. Easily.
Willian – 8, Great outing from our stand-in captain, with a nice assist for Giroud’s third goal. Even managed to get his corners past the first man! Someone pinch me…
Jorginho (65′ for Kanté) – 6, Comfortable in possession, easy cameo.
Azpilicueta (69′ for Zappacosta) – 6, Came on for the injured Zappacosta and provided his typical work-rate. Booked.
Pedro (74′ for Willian) – 6, 16-minute runabout. That’s it basically.
Maurizio Sarri – 9, Perfect night for our Head Coach. Started off pre-match with picking a positive and refreshing line-up and ended with arguably our best team performance of the season. Some will still continue to moan about no chance for Ampadu, but for me, he didn’t do anything wrong tonight.