By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 4 v Malmö –
Andreas Christensen set Chelsea on their way to a very comfortable 4-0 victory over Malmö in the Champions League Group H match at Stamford Bridge tonight.
But it wasn’t all good new for Chelsea, as strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner limped off with injuries.
If ever there was a time for a Danish player to score his first goal for the club – it would be against a Swedish side – that rivalry makes England and Scotland look like best mates.
And so after 137 matches for the west Londoners, up popped defender Christensen to half-volley home after nine minutes.
From that point onwards the visitors were in damage-limitation mode.
And the fact the Blues hit only three more – two penalties from Jorginho and a clipped, angled dink by substitute Kai Havertz, showed that Chelsea were never really out of second gear.
They sit second in the group behind Juventus – Malmö proving themselves to be the whipping boys.
Timo Werner missed a sitter on five minutes when he side-footed from five yards out after Lukaku’s byline cross set up the striker.
But his blushes were spared as Lukaku was adjudged to have been offside.
The Belgium hit man was unlucky two minutes later when his goal-bound shot took a deflection off Eric Larson and goalkeeper Johan Dahlin produced a wonder save to tip the ball over the crossbar.
But within seconds, the Blues took the lead when centre-back Christiansen met Thiago Silva’s cross with a neat half-volley, sending the ball past Dahlin from just inside the Malmö penalty area.
it was Christian’s first ever goal for Chelsea in 137 games for the west Londoners.
Jorginho should have had a penalty on 16 minutes when he was clearly bundled over by Lasse Nielsen but referee Francois Letexier said no.
But a minutes later, he was awarded a spot kick when Nielsen appeared to clip Lukaku on the six-yard line. Up stepped Jorginho who took the smallest of pauses before dispatching the ball past Dahlin to make it 2-0.
Lukaku was injured in the tackle and was replaced by Kai Havertz.
Havertz could have scored with five minutes on the clock, after excellent build-up, play, Dahlin denied the German by tipping his shot around the post.
Werner limped off the pitch with a possible hamstring injury three minutes a later – Callum Hudson-Odoi replaced him.
Malmö replaced their goalkeeper at half-time, Melker Ellborg taking the place of Dahlin.
But Ellborg’s first touch was to pick the ball out of the net after just a minute when Hudson-Odoi set up Havertz who clipped the ball over the goalkeeper from a tight angle and into the net.
A second penalty came on 57 minutes when Toni Rudiger snatched the ball in midfield – he played the ball to Havertz who returned the ball to the German who continued his run into the Malmö penalty area.
Just as he was about to kick the ball, he was bundled over.
Jorginho then smacked the spot kick past the hapless stopper to make it 4-0 to the home side.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel made a triple substitution- Cesar Azpilicueta, Ben Chilwell and and N’Golo Kante went off – Marcos Alonso, Saul and Reece James came on.
The home side were never in danger of conceding a goal, nor did they look like they particularly wanted to extend the lead.
They face Norwich City in the Premier League in the early kick-off on Saturday.
Teams: Chelsea, Mendy, Rudiger, Christensen, Jorginho, Silva, Kante, Lukaku, `Werner, Mount, Chilwell, Azpilicueta
Subs: Kepa, Bettinelli, Alonso, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Saul, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, James, Havertz
Malmö; Dahlin, Larson, Pena, Colak, Christiansen, Olsson, Birmancevic, Innocent, Nielsen, Borazon, Berger
Subs, Eliborg, Diawara, Moisander, Rakip, Abubakari, Gwargis, Nalic, Eile, Bjorkqvist, Lindman
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