By Paul Lagan
FC Krasnodar 0 v Chelsea 4
Callum Hudson-Odoi opened his Champions League account as the Blue produced a solid performance in southern Russia, to secure three vital group stage points with an emphatic 4-0 victory over FC Krasnodar this evening.
Further goals from Timo Werner from the spot kick, Hakim Ziyech and substitute Christian Pulisic made it a comfortable night for the west Londoners, who also saw Jorginho fluff a penalty.
Chelsea now have four points in Group E.
The home side had two excellent chances in the opening five minutes, Utkin, forced Edouard Mendy into a smart save, tipping the ball away for a corner. Both chances a result of sloppy defending by the Blues.
With the Londoners, first effort, on 10 minutes, Hakim Ziyech did well to race into Krasnodar’s penalty area. He let fly with a low, right-footer which Safonov, saved at his near post.
The Blues got. Pen;ty three minutes later when Cesar Azpilicueta sent in a right win cross, Timo Werner was first to the ball, but Chernov, clipped his heels for a certain spot kick.
Up stepped Jorginho, but he fluffed the effort, smacking the left hand upright, before seeing the ball cleared after rebounding off the shin of the goalkeeper.
Callum Hudson-Odoi opened the scoring seven minutes before the break, but he owed his goal to a goalkeeping clanger when Safonov allowed the winger’s low, curling right-footer from the left side of the penalty area to flip over his body and drift over the goal line.
It was Hudson-Odoi’s first Champions League goal.
There were no changes by either side at half-time.
The Russians had a great chance to level on 55 minutes when a half volley by Grazinskiy crashed into the ground and then rattled the crossbar.
Ziyech failed to get power behind his shot on 66 minutes after a quick breakaway, but they still looked vulnerable to the counter attack from the home side.
Head coach Frank Lampard decided on a triple substitution with 20 minutes left, Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic replaced, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, and Hudson-Odoi.
Pulisic’s first contribution secured a second penalty when his snap shot was handled in the penalty area.
Werner opted to thump the spot kick high and wide of Safonov to double the lead.
Goal number three came on 80 minutes and it was the best goal of the night with Ziyech cut the ball into the back of the net.
That was the Morocco star’s last touch as he was replaced by Tammy Abraham, with Emerson on for Ben Chilwell.
On the stroke of full-time, Pulisic produced a rapper to send the ball through the legs of Safonov to notch up the west Londoners’ fourth goal.
Chelsea face Rennes at the Bridge next Wednesday in the third group match.
Teams: FC Kranaodar, Safonov, Smolnikov, Da Silva Pantaleao, Martynovich, Chernov, Utkin, Vilhena, Olson, Grazinskiy, Ramirez, Berg
Subs: Gorodov, Kutovoi, Spertsyan, Saba, Litvinov, Sinitsyn, Suleymanov
Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Chilwell, Jorginho, Kovacic, Ziyech, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Werner
Subs: Christensen, Kante, Abraham, Pulisic, Caballero, Tomori, Giroud, Mount, James, Emerson, Ziger
Referee: Ali Palabiyik – Turkey
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